Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

Down Stream


BETWEEN Holmscote and Hurstcote
The river-reaches wind,
The whispering trees accept the breeze,
The ripple's cool and kind;
With love low-whispered 'twixt the shores,
With rippling laughters gay,
With white arms bared to ply the oars,
On last year's first of May.
Between Holmscote and Hurstcote
The river's brimmed with rain,
Through close-met banks and parted banks
Now near, now far again:
With parting tears caressed to smiles,
With meeting promised soon,
With every sweet vow that beguiles,
On last year's first of June.
Between Holmscote and Hurstcote
The river's flecked with foam,
'Neath shuddering clouds that hang in shrouds
And lost winds wild for home:
With infant wailings at the breast,
With homeless steps astray,
With wanderings shuddering tow'rds one rest
On this year's first of May.
Between Holmscote and Hurstcote
The summer river flows
With doubled flight of moons by night
And lilies' deep repose:
With lo! beneath the moon's white stare
A white face not the moon,
With lilies meshed in tangled hair,
On this year's first of June.
Between Holmscote and Hurstcote
A troth was given and riven,
From heart's trust grew one life to two,
Two lost lives cry to Heaven:
With banks spread calm to meet the sky,
With meadows newly mowed,
The harvest-paths of glad July,
The sweet school-children's road.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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