The Nepean

A poem by John Le Gay Brereton

Far down the reach a creeping mist
Hung dim along the mountain side;
On shadowed water, sleek and whist,
I let the lazy shallop glide.

The ripple scarcely cut the green
That edged the central path of grey.
I drew the oars, and, all unseen,
Gave reverent greeting to the day.

Naked I stood with arms outspread
That opened wide the gates of dream;
Then breathless bent my wondering head
And sprang to meet the silent stream.

I slid and floated like a seal,
And bade my senses revel free,
From cheek to footsole I could feel
Her soft cool hands caressing me.

A noise of tiny wavelets woke,
I quenched my drouth with delicate sips,
And, as I drank, the surface broke
In eager kisses on my lips.

The scented breath of morning turned
To incense as toward the west
At last, rock-altar’d, I discerned
The sunshine on the mountain crest.

That light of blessing from the sky
Made us the fuel of its blaze,
And fragrant bush and stream and I
Were one aspiring cry of praise.

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