Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

The Lost Rivers - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Far down from the thunder
And rush of the street,
Flow Westbourne and Tyebourne
And Effra and Fleet,
'Neath blue skies and grey skies
Once freely that ran -
Lost rivers of London,
Forgotten of man.

Do they ever remember
Where night is like day,
Red leaves of October
And green leaves of May;
The sunshine and starshine,
The rain and the dew,
The gold of the kingcup,
The kingfisher's blue?

Do they think of the flurry
And rush of the weirs,
The mill-wheel that scattered
Drops from it like tears,
The sun-dappled shallows,
The dusk of the pool
Whose fishes bade urchins
Play truant from school?

Do they dream about cresses
And catkins in spring,
And beds of green rushes
Where reed-warblers sing,
Of willow-herb blowing
And swallows that weave,
Where the dragonfly glistens,
Their mazes at eve?

Deep under the bustle
And rush of the street
Flow Westbourne and Tyebourne
And Effra and Fleet,
In darkness and silence
Forlornly they run,
Lost rivers of London,
Forgetting the sun.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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