Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | March 14, 2009


   A young lady, age 20, fell over the rocks at the Swallow Waterfall in the summer of 1873, and was lost to sight in a moment.  The body was not recovered till four hours afterwards.

s20swallow20waterfall20in20wales13LEANING over the waterfall!
       Lured by the fairy sight,
Heeding not the warning call,
   Watching the foam and the flow,
Smooth and dark, or swift and bright,
Here in the shade and there in the light!
     Oh who could know
The coming sorrow, the nearing woe!

Leaning over the waterfall!
   Only a day before
She had spoken of Jesu’s wondrous call,
   As He trod the waves of Galilee.
They asked, as she gazed from the sunset
“If He walked that water, what would you
Then fell the answer, glad and true,
     “If He beckoned me,
I would go to Him on the pathless sea.”

Leaning over the waterfall
   Only a moment before!
And then the slip, the helpless call,
   The plunge unheard in the pauseless roar
   By the startled watchers on the shore;
And the feet that stood by the waterfall
     So fair and free,
Are standing with Christ by the crystal sea.

Leaning over the waterfall!
   Have you not often leant–
(What should hinder?  or what appal?)
Freely, fearlessly, over the brink,
   Merrily glancing adown the stream,
   Or gazing rapt in a musical dream
At the lovely waters?  But pause and think–
     Who kept your feet,
And suffered you not such death to meet?

Leaning over the waterfall!
   What if your feet had slipped?
Never a moment of power to call,
   Never a hand in time to save
   From the terrible rush of the ruthless wave!
     If thus you fell?
Hearken!  would it be heaven or hell?

Leaning over the waterfall!
   Listen, and learn, and lean!
Listen to Him whose loving call
   Soundeth deep in your heart to-day!
   Learn of Jesus, the only way,
How to be holy, how to be blest!
     Lean on His breast,
And yours shall be safety and joy and rest.

(The picture above is of the Swallow Waterfall in Wales, likely well known to F. R. H.)

Frances Ridley Havergal from “UNDER HIS SHADOW”.



  1. Thank you for these snippets of FRH to start my day. They are a blessing, as was the biography you sent me. What a treasure!

  2. Trinka: You know how to pick out the gold. . .thanks for this!

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