Mary Weston Fordham

(1845-1905 / the United States)

Maiden And River - Poem by Mary Weston Fordham

Maiden -River, why in ceaseless flow
Must you ripple to and fro?
Stop a while.
Lonely on thy bank I stand,
On your shining, pebbly strand,
Canst thou not a moment stay
Through the long, long summer day?
Stop a while.

River -Child of earth dost thou not know
Ne'er can cease my endless flow?
I must go.
Onward till I reach my outlet,
Out beyond the golden sunset,
Seek not then to stay my flowing,
Onward still I must be going
To my goal.

Maiden -River, when the storms are raging,
Wind and rain a warfare waging,
Do you fear?
When thy waves with whitened crest,
Toss around in wild unrest,
Doth thy bosom shake with fear,
Trembling, lest thy end is near?
Say, O! say.

River -Child, my race will ne'er be run
Not till yonder blazing sun
Fades away.
Look t'wards the horizon's crest,
See the mighty Ocean's breast,
Now its billowy waves are still,
He who says it is My will,
Keepeth me.

Maiden -River, should'st thou chance to see,
On thy journey through the lea,
Snow white sail?
Reaching out towards the clouds,
Quivering with its massive shrouds,
Touch it gently with thy arms,
Shield it safe from rude alarms,
It is mine.

River -Child of earth least thou not heard?
That He knows of beast and bird
Every hair,
Can He not then bring to thee
Safe from o'er the murmuring sea.
Mortal child O! ne'er despair,
'Ship ahoy!' may greet thy ear,
Soon, ay soon.

Maiden -River, then glide sweetly on,
Till thy goal is safely won,
Till at last

Thou dost hear like thunder roar,
Breaking from the golden shore,
Awful words from sacred lore,
Time for thee shall be no more.
River, farewell.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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