Friday, June 3, 2011

The River / Frederick George Scott


The River

Why hurry, little river,
Why hurry to the sea?
    There is nothing there to do
    But to sink into the blue
And all forgotten be.
There is nothing on that shore
But the tides for evermore,
And the faint and far-off line
Where the winds across the brine
For ever, ever roam
And never find a home.

Why hurry, little river,
    From the mountains and the mead,
Where the graceful elms are sleeping
    And the quiet cattle feed?
The loving shadows cool
The deep and restful pool;
And every tribute stream
Brings its own sweet woodland dream
Of the mighty woods that sleep
Where the sighs of earth are deep,
And the silent skies look down
On the savage mountain’s frown.

Oh, linger, little river,
    Your banks are all so fair,
Each morning is a hymn of praise,
    Each evening is a prayer.
All day the sunbeams glitter
    On your shadows and your bars,
And at night the dear God stills you
    With the music of the stars.

---
Frederick George Scott
from A Hymn of Empire, and other poems, 1906

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Frederick George Scott biography

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