Song of the Brook
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
From “The Brook: an Idyl” I COME from haunts of coot and hern: I make a sudden sally And sparkle out among the fern, To bicker down a valley. By thirty hills I hurry down, 5 Or slip between the ridges, By twenty thorps, a little town, And half a hundred bridges. Till last by Philip’s farm I flow To join the brimming river, 10 For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever. I chatter over stony ways, In little sharps and trebles, I bubble into eddying bays, 15 I babble on the pebbles. With many a curve my banks I fret By many a field and fallow, And many a fairy foreland set With willow-weed and mallow. 20 I chatter, chatter, as I flow To join the brimming river; For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever. I wind about, and in and out, 25 With here a blossom sailing, And here and there a lusty trout, And here and there a grayling, And here and there a foamy flake Upon me, as I travel 30 With many a silvery waterbreak Above the golden gravel, And draw them all along, and flow To join the brimming river; For men may come and men may go, 35 But I go on forever. I steal by lawns and grassy plots: I slide by hazel covers; I move the sweet forget-me-nots That grow for happy lovers. 40 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 45 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; 50 For men may come and men may go, But I go on forever.