This red-cliffed canyon where the river flows
Is a great library, which Nature stocks
With all her history; the man who knows
This land may read its story in the rocks.
Age upon age, past human ken or reason,
The dust from mountains weathered endlessly
Was laid as silty mud each passing season
In the dark waters of a vanished sea.
The restless push of continents which raised
This shallow sea floor to its high plateau
Is written here–so do not be amazed
At all the fossil shells these highlands show.
And we can read, while rafting down the river,
Time’s odyssey, which mankind calls “forever.”

Eleanor Hauselt