Introduction Biography Selected Works History of Gardiner Location Map Bibliography

Rolling Dam Brook

On March 22, 1963, Rosalind Richards (1874–1964) issued this statement about the poem, “The Torrent”: “As everyone will have told you, I myself, I fear, several times over, this is Rollingdam, the Falls of Rollingdam Brook, in the mile-long stretch of the Rollingdam Woods. A sudden, sharp little glen among thick hemlock and beech growth—a succession of littleish, swirling cataracts, between dark grey, mossy cliffs, then the main fall, of perhaps thirty feet. You can let yourself down the cliff to a point of rock, close to the foot of the Falls, where the spray comes cold on our face. The “Hard Men,” and the Scream of Saws, never came! The lovely little marvel is there, hidden deep in the woods, as it was in the Indians’ time.” The entry in Emma Robinson’s list of attributions agrees with the statement of Miss Richards.

Robinson told his friend Miss Rosalind Richards that these falls on Rolling Dam Brook served as the inspiration for his poem, “The Torrent,” the first half of the title of his first book. Because this site is on private property, people are asked not to trespass.


< previous : return to map : next >

The Torrent
I found a torrent falling in a glen
Where the sun’s light shone silvered and leaf-split;
The boom, the foam, and the mad flash of it
All made a magic symphony; but when
I thought upon the coming of hard men
To cut those patriarchal trees away,
and turn to gold the silver of that spray,
I shuddered. But a gladness now and then
Did wake me to myself till I was glad
In earnest, and was welcoming the time
For screaming saws to sound above the chime
Of idle waters, and for me to know
The jealous visionings that I had had
Were steps to the great place where trees and torrents go.


< previous : return to map : next >


EDWIN ARLINGTON ROBINSON
A Virtual Tour of Robinson's Gardiner, Maine

Home | Introduction | The Life of EA Robinson | Selected Works | Maps
| Contextual History | Contact | Bibliography | Cultural Links



This website is maintained by the Gardiner Public Library (Anne E. Davis, Director)
152 Water Street, Gardiner, Maine 04345, and the Gardiner Library Association.

This website is sponsored by the Kennebec-Chaudière Heritage Commission and Maine Humanities Council,
the J. W. Robinson Welfare Trust Fund, the Gardiner Library Association, and the Gardiner Board of Trade.

Legal Copyright Notice

Site designed by Studio MN