Remember the folks who first came to our shores,
Fleeing from floods, famine, starvation and wars.
Remember they cleared the forests, pushed back the sea.
They braved the storms and swamps, and built the place that is home to me.
Lady River, your beauty shone and lived on.
Though you might haunt, yet neither tease nor taunt.
How they came - just the same,
Not minding the rugged hills, and nature untame.
Lady River, you`ve launched a thousand ships from distant shores,
Like the Grecian beauty the ancients loved, and the modern man adores.
Thousands of junks, bum-boats, lighters nestled around,
And coolies carrying cargo crates abound.
But like unwelcome guests, they were soon gone,
Leaving behind worn-down warehouses that drew a yawn,
Now you`re very clean; even pristine,
As the twinkling skyline of affluence hems you in.
Then urban renewal plunged right in - dazzling your tearless eyes.
Its magic wand changed all - to modernise or harmonise.
Even the Merlion spewing water from its mouth has shifted.
You`ve survived and thrived - your history and tradition lifted.
You`ve watched time wink - its tricks you understand -
Whatever the fetish, fad or new trend.
Whatever slogan, jargon, or dish delicious -
They`re sometimes serious, often hilarious.
Your weary eyes have seen armies, and statesmen,
Suicides of forlorn coolies and depressed steersmen,
Floating bodies of executed spies and war victims,
Choirs and orchestras with their stirring music or hymns.
You have witnessed senseless invasions, occupations and reoccupations;
Mergers and acquisitions, debates and discussions;
The economy`s boom and gloom and recession;
And urban changes with conservation and preservation.
O Lady River, the fleeting years have not dimmed your complexion.
Twelve tall bridges are still your constant companion.
History and heritage charter your course and give direction.
Footsteps along your banks quietly follow your tradition.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem