“Winter Cavern”

(Winner of the 1965 Golden Quill award)

I love the treasures of a cavern wall
That takes so many million years to form;
Yet, in one day, God duplicates it all
With freezing rain and howling winter storm.

How like a cavern is the forest now
As stalactites of ice hang from the trees,
As crystals gleam from every burdened bough,
No royal gems could quite compare with these.

The trunks of trees are stalagmites that rise
To draperies of ice and clinging snow,
As nature weaves white magic in the skies,
As hour by hour the strange formations grow.

Illuminated crystal chandeliers
Light up a Hall of Statues in the gloom,
With rare inspiring beauty that appears
As in a mammoth cavern’s Crystal Room.

Ice helictites hang o’er each passageway,
And there I see a frozen waterfall.
A man could stand and marvel all the day,
And never see the beauty of it all.

As I survey this cavern in the snow,
This labyrinth of ice-enshrouded trees,
I know these speleothems still will grow,
Then disappear with sun and warming breeze.

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