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Poem by William Thom

Address to the Don

Don rises in Strathdon, and receives (besides other small rivers) Nochty, from Invernochty, Bucket, from Glenbucket, and Ury, from Inverary, parishes. It falls into the sea at Old Aberdeen, where it has a fair bridge of one arch, built it is supposed about A.D. 1320, by King Robert Bruce, while this see was vacant by the flight of Bishop Cheyne,the bridge of Balgownie, celebrated by Lord Byrons reminiscences.

DARK Don, thy waters rude repulsive scowl
And frothy margin all too well bespeak
The upland ravages, the conflict bleak
Of mountain winter; and the maddened howl
Of bruiting elements, distraught and foul,
Have ruffled thy fair course and choked thy braes.
Love flies affrightened at thy swollen look;
The laverock may not hear its own sweet lays
Oer thy fierce chaffings, and the timid brook
Sinks tremblingly amid thy surfy maze,
Thou cold remembrancer of wilder human ways!

So soiled the social tide by some cursed deed
Of ancient ruffian or fool, so ages read
To weeping worlds of hearts that bled,
Of patriots and sages that have died
Ere that broad stream was half repurified.
Roll thy dark waters, Don,we yet shall see
On thy bright bosom the fair symmetry
Of vaulted heaven, when the shrill lark pours
Voluptuous melody to listening flowers,
And all of man, of earth, and air shall feel
What hate and darkness hurteth love and light can heal!

William Thom

Poem Theme: Rivers

William Thom's other poems:
  1. Ravenscraig
  2. The Lass o Kintore
  3. The Wedded Waters

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