“Rivers Unknown to Song”
James Thomson Wide waters in the waste; or, out of reach, Rough Alpine falls where late a glacier hung; Or rivers groping for the alien beach, Through continents, unsung. Nay, not these nameless, these remote, alone; But all the streams from all the watersheds— Peneus, Danube, Nile—are the unknown. Young in their ancient beds. Man has no tale for them. O travellers swift From secrets to oblivion! Waters wild That pass in act to bend a flower, or lift The bright limbs of a child! For they are new, they are fresh; there's no surprise Like theirs on earth. O strange for evermore! This moment's Tiber with his shining eyes Never saw Rome before. Man has no word for their eternity— Rhine, Avon, Arno, younglings, youth uncrowned: Ignorant, innocent, instantaneous, free, Unwelcomed, unrenowned.
Alice Meynell’s other poems:
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