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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.

Rivers of England

Rivers of England

By Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849)

(From The Village Patriarch)

FIVE rivers, like the fingers of a hand,

Flung from black mountains, mingle, and are one

Where sweetest valleys quit the wild and grand,

And eldest forests, o’er the silvan Don,

Bid their immortal brother journey on,

A stately pilgrim, watched by all the hills.

Say, shall we wander where, through warriors’ graves,

The infant Yewden, mountain-cradled, trills

Her Doric notes? Or where the Locksley raves

Of broil and battle, and the rocks and caves

Dream yet of ancient days? Or where the sky

Darkens o’er Rivilin, the clear and cold,

That throws his blue length, like a snake, from high?

Or where deep azure brightens into gold

O’er Sheaf, that mourns in Eden? Or where rolled

On tawny sands, through regions passion-wild,

And groves of love, in jealous beauty dark,

Complains the Porter, Nature’s thwarted child,

Born in the waste, like headlong Wiming? Hark!

The poised hawk calls thee, Village Patriarch!

He calls thee to his mountains! Up, away!

Up, up, to Stanedge! higher still ascend,

Till kindred rivers, from the summit gray,

To distant seas their course in beauty bend,

And, like the lives of human millions, blend

Disparted waves in one immensity!