Before the weary pilgrim, flowed a river fair and wide
The way was filled with danger, he couldn't cross the other side;
So the pilgrim sought another to be his expert guide
With a boat that could take him through the surging tide.
The sailor man was strong and he steered the boat so well
Or did the river bear the boat? It was so hard to tell;
The sailor told the pilgrim of the signs that he might seek
Of the secrets of the river and the message it would speak.
Then the pilgrim felt the peace so he listened and he heard
The murmer of the river and sighs of whispered word;
He heard the river laugh and then he heard it cry
And the pilgrim heard the message as sad tears filled his eye.
He heard the drums of war in the torrent of the rain
And the awful cries of anguish that he never could explain;
Was there a reason for the crossing, or where the river ran
Was there another reason for the journey of this man?
He heard the sounds of death, he heard the sounds of mirth
But nothing that he heard gave tribute to the earth;
The sounds were fused together till they reached a common goal
And the quiver of his heartbeat found a cadence in his soul.
The river lost its birthplace and embraced the open sea
And the pilgrim gave his thanks on reverent bended knee
He opened up his eyes as the sunrise slowly died
But the sailor man had gone and the boat rocked on the tide.
The river filled his veins till the two at last were one
While the tide rolled on forever and earth went round the sun;
The pilgrim was the river and the boat and sailor man
Were the journey of the song, the singing river sang.
This is my adaptation of "The Ferryman" by Herman Hesse
Copyright © elizabeth wesley