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Poem by Thomas Aird


The River


Infant of the weeping hills,
Nursling of the springs and rills,
Growing River, flowing ever,
Wimpling, dimpling, staying never,Ч
Lisping, gurgling, ever going,
Lipping, slipping, ever flowing,
Toying round the polished stone,
Kiss the sedge and journey on.
Here's a creek where bubbles come,
Whirling make your ball of foam.
There's a nook so deep and cool,
Sleep into a glassy pool.
Breaking, gushing,
Downward rushing,
Narrowing green against the bank,
Where the alders grow in rank,Ч
Thence recoiling,
Outward boiling,
Fret, in rough shingly shallows wide,
Your difficult way to yonder side.
Thence away, aye away,
Bickering down the sunny day,
In the Sea, in yonder West,
Lose yourself, and be at rest.

Thus from darkness weeping out,
Flows our infant Life away,
Murmuring now the checks about,
Singing now in onward play;
Deepening, whirling,
Darkly swirling,
Downward sucked in eddying coves,
Boiling with tumultuous loves;
Widening o'er the worldly sands;
Kissing full the cultured lands;
Dim with trouble, glory-lit,
Heaven still bending over it;
Changing still, yet ever going,
Onward, downward ever flowing.

Oh to be a boy once more,
Curly-headed, sitting singing
'Mid a thousand flowerets springing,
In the sunny days of yore,
In the sunny world remote,
With feelings opening in their dew,
And fairy wonders ever new,
And all the budding quicks of thought!
Oh to be a boy, yet be
From all my early follies free!
But were I skilled in prudent lore,
The boy were then a boy no more.

Short our threescore years and ten,
Yet who would live them o'er again?
All life's good, ere they be flown,
We have felt, and we have known.
More than mortal were our fear,
If doomed to dwell for ever here.

Yet oh, from age to age, that we
Might rise a day old earth to see!
Mountains, high with nodding firs,
O'er you the clouded crystal stirs,
Fresh as of old, how fresh and sweet!
And here the flowerets at my feet.
Daisy, daisy, wet with dew,
And all ye little bells of blue,
I know you all; thee, clover bloom,
Thee the fern, and thee the broom:
And still the leaves and breezes mingle
With twinklings in the forest dingle.
Oh through all wildering worlds I'd know
My own dear place of long ago.
Pleased would the yearning spirit then
The doings learn of living men,
The rise and fall of realms and kings,
And, oh, a thousand homely things.
Deeper our care considerate
To know of earth's diviner state:
How speeds the Church, with horns of light,
To push and pierce the Heathen night?
What promise of the coming day,
When Sin and Pain shall pass away,
And, under Love's perpetual prime,
Joy light the waving wings of Time?



                      Thomas Aird


Thomas Aird's other poems:
  1. Wash The Feet Of Poor Old Age
  2. The Holy Cottage
  3. Song Of Time And Man
  4. The Lyre
  5. Song The Fourth


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Coventry Patmore The River ("It is a venerable place")
  • William Watson The River ("As drones a bee with sultry hum")

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