The Bath Of The Streams.

A poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

Down unto the ocean,
Trembling with emotion,
Panting at the notion,
See the rivers run--
In the golden weather,
Tripping o'er the heather,
Laughing all together--
Madcaps every one.

Like a troop of girls
In their loosen'd curls,
See, the concourse whirls
Onward wild with glee;
List their tuneful tattle,
Hear their pretty prattle,
How they'll love to battle
With the assailing sea.

See, the winds pursue them,
See, the willows woo them
See, the lakelets view them
Wistfully afar,
With a wistful wonder
Down the green slopes under,
Wishing, too, to thunder
O'er their prison bar.

Wishing, too, to wander
By the sea-waves yonder,
There awhile to squander
All their silvery stores,
There awhile forgetting
All their vain regretting
When their foam went fretting
Round the rippling shores.

Round the rocky region,
Whence their prison'd legion,
Oft and oft besieging,
Vainly sought to break,
Vainly sought to throw them
O'er the vales below them,
Through the clefts that show them
Paths they dare not take.

But the swift streams speed them
In the might of freedom,
Down the paths that lead them
Joyously along.
Blinding green recesses
With their floating tresses,
Charming wildernesses
With their murmuring song.

Now the streams are gliding
With a sweet abiding--
Now the streams are hiding
'Mid the whispering reeds--
Now the streams outglancing
With a shy advancing
Naiad-like go dancing
Down the golden meads.

Down the golden meadows,
Chasing their own shadows--
Down the golden meadows,
Playing as they run:
Playing with the sedges,
By the water's edges,
Leaping o'er the ledges,
Glist'ning in the sun:

Streams and streamlets blending,
Each on each attending,
All together wending,
Seek the silver sands;
Like the sisters holding
With a fond enfolding--
Like to sisters holding
One another's hands.

Now with foreheads blushing
With a rapturous flushing--
Now the streams are rushing
In among the waves.
Now in shy confusion,
With a pale suffusion,
Seek the wild seclusion
Of sequestered caves.

All the summer hours
Hiding in the bowers,
Scattering silver showers
Out upon the strand;
O'er the pebbles crashing,
Through the ripples splashing,
Liquid pearl-wreaths dashing
From each other's hand.

By yon mossy boulder,
See an ivory shoulder,
Dazzling the beholder,
Rises o'er the blue;
But a moment's thinking,
Sends the Naiad sinking,
With a modest shrinking,
From the gazer's view.

Now the wave compresses
All their golden tresses--
Now their sea-green dresses
Float them o'er the tide;
Now with elf-locks dripping
From the brine they're sipping,
With a fairy tripping,
Down the green waves glide.

Some that scarce have tarried
By the shore are carried
Sea-ward to be married
To the glad gods there:
Triton's horn is playing,
Neptune's steeds are neighing,
Restless with delaying
For a bride so fair.

See at first the river
How its pale lips quiver,
How its white waves shiver
With a fond unrest;
List how low it sigheth,
See how swift it flieth,
Till at length it lieth
On the ocean's breast.

Such is Youth's admiring,
Such is Love's desiring,
Such is Hope's aspiring
For the higher goal;
Such is man's condition
Till in heaven's fruition
Ends the mystic mission
Of the eternal soul.

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