river

The River Song

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This boat is of shato-wood, and its gunwales are cut
magnolia,
Musicians with jewelled flutes and with pipes of gold
Fill full the sides in rows, and our wine
Is rich for a thousand cups.
We carry singing girls, drift with the drifting water,
Yet Sennin needs
A yellow stork for a charger, and all our seamen
Would follow the white gulls or ride them.
Kutsu’s prose song
Hangs with the sun and moon.

King So’s terraced palace
is now but barren hill,
But I draw pen on this barge
Causing the five peaks to tremble,
And I have joy in these words
like the joy of blue islands.
(If glory could last forever
Then the waters of Han would flow northward.)

And I have moped in the Emperor’s garden, awaiting an
order-to-write !
I looked at the dragon-pond, with its willow-coloured
water
Just reflecting the sky’s tinge,
And heard the five-score nightingales aimlessly singing.

The eastern wind brings the green colour into the island
grasses at Yei-shu,
The purple house and the crimson are full of Spring
softness.
South of the pond the willow-tips are half-blue and
bluer,
Their cords tangle in mist, against the brocade-like
palace.
Vine-strings a hundred feet long hang down from
carved railings,
And high over the willows, the fine birds sing to each
other, and listen,
Crying—‘Kwan, Kuan,’ for the early wind, and the feel
of it.
The wind bundles itself into a bluish cloud and wanders
off.
Over a thousand gates, over a thousand doors are the
sounds of spring singing,
And the Emperor is at Ko.
Five clouds hang aloft, bright on the purple sky,
The imperial guards come forth from the golden house
with their armour a-gleaming.
The Emperor in his jewelled car goes out to inspect his
flowers,
He goes out to Hori, to look at the wing-flapping storks,
He returns by way of Sei rock, to hear the new
nightingales,
For the gardens at Jo-run are full of new nightingales,
Their sound is mixed in this flute,
Their voice is in the twelve pipes here.

 

– Ezra Pound

 

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Sonnet XXVI. To The River Arun

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On thy wild banks, by frequent torrents worn,
No glittering fanes, or marble domes appear,
Yet shall the mournful muse thy course adorn,
And still to her thy rustic waves be dear.
For with the infant Otway, lingering here,
Of early woes she bade her votary dream,
While thy low murmurs sooth’d his pensive ear
And still the poet–consecrates the stream.
Beneath the oak and birch that fringe thy side,
The first-born violets of the year shall spring;
And in thy hazles, bending o’er the tide,
The earliest nightingale delight to sing:
While kindred spirits, pitying, shall relate
Thy Otway’s sorrows, and lament his fate.

 

– Charlotte Smith

 

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Wash Of Cold River

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Wash of cold river
in a glacial land,
Ionian water,
chill, snow-ribbed sand,
drift of rare flowers,
clear, with delicate shell-
like leaf enclosing
frozen lily-leaf,
camellia texture,
colder than a rose;

wind-flower
that keeps the breath
of the north-wind —
these and none other;

intimate thoughts and kind
reach out to share
the treasure of my mind,
intimate hands and dear
drawn garden-ward and sea-ward
all the sheer rapture
that I would take
to mould a clear
and frigid statue;

rare, of pure texture,
beautiful space and line,
marble to grace
your inaccessible shrine.

 

– Hilda Doolittle

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The Wrong Way Home

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All night a door floated down the river.
It tried to remember little incidents of pleasure
from its former life, like the time the lovers
leaned against it kissing for hours
and whispering those famous words.
Later, there were harsh words and a shoe
was thrown and the door was slammed.
Comings and goings by the thousands,
the early mornings and late nights, years, years.
O they’ve got big plans, they’ll make a bundle.
The door was an island that swayed in its sleep.
The moon turned the doorknob just slightly,
burned its fingers and ran,
and still the door said nothing and slept.
At least that’s what they like to say,
the little fishes and so on.
Far away, a bell rang, and then a shot was fired.

 

– James Tate

Pether, Sebastian, 1790-1844; Moonlit River Landscape with a Monumental Gateway

To The River

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Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty- the unhidden heart-
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto’s daughter;

But when within thy wave she looks-
Which glistens then, and trembles-
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in his heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies-
His heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.

 

– Edgar Allan Poe

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To The River

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Fair river! in thy bright, clear flow
Of crystal, wandering water,
Thou art an emblem of the glow
Of beauty- the unhidden heart-
The playful maziness of art
In old Alberto’s daughter;

But when within thy wave she looks-
Which glistens then, and trembles-
Why, then, the prettiest of brooks
Her worshipper resembles;
For in his heart, as in thy stream,
Her image deeply lies-
His heart which trembles at the beam
Of her soul-searching eyes.

 

– Edgar Allan Poe

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Down By The River

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Down by the river we did go
hand in hand in a lovers
hold
Momma and daddy said
this is a love that can not grow
and he must go
But momma an daddy i love him so.
you stay with him then you must go
. don’t make
me chose for i love you too
Down by the river we did go hand
in hand in a lovers hold
Momma and daddy you dont know,
His love for me is pure as gold
Theres something you two
must know.
Down by the river we did go hand
in hand in a lover hold
Raining so hard we could hardly see
We slow danced by the rivers edge
He said no other could love you like i
Then i slipped an fell and the river
took me away
I fought the river but the river won
Then a bright light shined
Saw an angel reaching for me
Momma an daddy you dont know
When my eyes open this is what i seen
.Had been pulled
from river laid me upon the shore
Blanket of white feathers were
keeping me warm
As he stood with tear filled eyes
A bright light shine
And upond his back were angel wings
.He said
God sent me here to love you
Momma and daddy you dont know.
My choice is with him now i go
For oneday i’ll have my own angel wings
And will never let him go.
Momma and daddy you dont know
Down
by the river we did go hand in hand
in a lovers hold
down by the river
we did go

 

– Jackie Kirby

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