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The Brook's Song


I chatter, chatter, as I flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

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And draw them all along, and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,

But I go on for ever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,

I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots

That grow for happy lovers.

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,

Among my skimming swallows; I make the netted sunbeam dance

Against my sandy shallows.

I murmur under moon and stars

In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;

I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow

To join the brimming river,
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)



From her couch of snows
In the Acroceraunian mountains,

From cloud and from crag,

With many a jag, Shepherding her bright fountains.

She leapt down the rocks

With her rainbow locks Streaming among the streams;

Her steps paved with green

The downward ravine Which slopes to the western gleams:

And gliding and springing,

She went, ever singing, In murmurs as soft as sleep;

The Earth seemed to love her,

And Heaven smiled above her, As she lingered towards the deep.

Then Alpheus bold,

On his glacier cold, With his trident the mountains strook,

And opened a chasm

In the rocks;—with the spasm All Erymanthus shook.

And the black south wind

It concealed behind The urns of the silent snow,

And earthquake and thunder

Did rend in sunder
The bars of the springs below.

The beard and the hair

Of the River-god were
Seen through the torrent's sweep,

As he followed the light

Of the fleet nymph's flight To the brink of the Dorian deep.



“Oh, save me! Oh, guide me!

And bid the deep hide me!
For he grasps me now by the hair!”

The loud Ocean heard,

To its blue depth stirred, And divided at her prayer;

And under the water

The Earth's white daughter Fled like a sunny beam;

Behind her descended,

Her billows, unblended
With the brackish Dorian stream.

Like a gloomy stain

On the emerald main, Alpheus rushed behind,

As an eagle pursuing

A dove to its ruin
Down the streams of the cloudy wind.

Under the bowers

Where the Ocean Powers Sit on their pearlèd thrones;

Through the coral woods

Of the weltering floods, Over heaps of unvalued stones;

Through the dim beams

Which amid the streams Weave a network of colored light;

And under the caves

Where the shadowy waves
Are as green as the forest's night:--

Outspeeding the shark,

And the swordfish dark,Under the ocean foam,

And up through the rifts

Of the mountain clifts,--
They passed to their Dorian home.

And now from their fountains
In Enna's mountains,

Down one vale where the morning basks,

Like friends once parted

Grown single-hearted, They ply their watery tasks.

At sunrise they leap

From their cradles steep
In the cave of the shelving hill;

At noontide they flow

Through the woods below And the meadows of asphodel;

And at night they sleep

In the rocking deep Beneath the Ortygian shore;

Like the spirits that lie

In the azure sky.
When they love but live no more.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)


“How does the water
Come down at Lodore?”
My little boy asked me

Thus, once on a time;
And moreover he tasked me
To tell him in rhyme.

Anon, at the word,
There first came one daughter,

And then came another,

To second and third
The request of their brother,
And to hear how the water

Comes down at Lodore,
With its rush and its roar,

As many a time
They had seen it before.

So I told them in rhyme,
For of rhymes I had store;
And 'twas in my vocation

For their recreation

The Cataract of Lodore


That so I should sing;
Because I was Laureate

To them and the King.

From its sources which well
In the tarn on the fell;

From its fountains

In the mountains,

Its rills and its gills;
Through moss and through brake,

It runs and it creeps
For a while, till it sleeps

In its own little lake. And thence at departing,

Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds,

And away it proceeds,
Through meadow and glade,

In sun and in shade,
And through the wood-shelter,
Among crags in its flurry,


Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling;
Now smoking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,
Till, in this rapid race

On which it is bent,

It reaches the place
Of its steep descent.

The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging

As if a war raging
Its caverns and rocks among;

Rising and leaping,
Sinking and creeping,

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