Kate Seymour Maclean

River Song - Poem by Kate Seymour Maclean

Swift and silent and strong
Under the low-browed arches,
Through culverts, and under bridges,
Sweeping with long forced marches
Down to the ultimate ridges,-
The sand, and the reeds, and the midges,
And the down-dropping tassels of larches,
That border the ocean of song.

Swift and silent and deep
Through the noisome and smoke-grimed city,
Turning the wheels and the spindles,
And the great looms that have no pity,-
Weight, and pulley, and windlass,
And steel that flashes and kindles,
And hears no forest-learnt ditty,
Not even in dreams and sleep.

Blithe and merry and sweet
Over its shallows singing,-
I hear before I awaken
The Bound of the church-bells ringing,
And the sound of the leaves wind-shaken,
Complaining and sun-forsaken,
And the oriole warbling and singing,
And the swish of the wind in the wheat

Sweet and tender and true!
From meadows of blossoming clover,
Where sleepy-eyed cows are lowing,
And bobolinks twittering over,-
Ebbing and falling and flowing-
Singing and gliding and going-
The river-my silver-shod lover,
Down to the infinite blue.

Deep, and tender, and strong!
With resonant voice and hole-
To far away sunshiny places,
Haunts of the bee and the swallow,
Where the Sabbath is sweet with the praises
Of dumb things, of weeds and of daisies,-
Oh river! I hear thee-I follow
To the ocean where I too belong.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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