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

Thames, the River

The Thames

By Eliza Cook (1812–1889)

LET the Rhine be blue and bright

In its path of liquid light,

Where the red grapes fling a beam

Of glory on the stream;

Let the gorgeous beauty there

Mingle all that ’s rich and fair;

Yet to me it ne’er could be

Like that river great and free,

The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Though it bear no azure wave,

Though no pearly foam may lave,

Or leaping cascades pour

Their rainbows on its shore;

Yet I ever loved to dwell

Where I heard its gushing swell,

And never skimmed its breast

But I warmly praised and blest

The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Can ye find in all the world

A braver flag unfurled

Than that which floats above

The stream I sing and love?

O, what a burning glow

Has thrilled my breast and brow,

To see that proud flag come

With glory to its home,

The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Did ribs more firm and fast

Ere meet the shot or blast

Than the gallant barks that glide

On its full and steady tide?

Would ye seek a dauntless crew

With hearts to dare and hands to do?

You ’ll find the foe proclaims

They are cradled on the Thames;

The Thames! the mighty Thames!

They say the mountain child

Oft loves its torrent wild

So well, that should he part

He breaks his pining heart;

He grieves with smothered sighs

Till his wearying spirit dies;

And so I yearn to thee,

Thou river of the free,

My own, my native Thames!