The Fountain

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water
to solace the dryness at our hearts
I have seen

the fountain springing out of the rock wall
and you drinking there. And I too
before your eyes

found footholds and climbed
to drink the cool water.

The woman of that place, shading her eyes,
frowned as she watched—but not because
shed grudged the water,

only because she was waiting
to see we drank our fill and were
refreshed.

Don’t say, don’t say there is no water.
The fountain is there among its scalloped
green and gray stones,

it is still there and always there
with its quiet song and strange power
to spring in us,
up and out through the rock.

Denise Levertov, “The Fountain.”

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The font of baptism, The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, Birmingham, England. (Photo: Stephen Burns.)