Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  To Lady Fane on Her Grotto at Basildon, 1746

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

Thames, the River

To Lady Fane on Her Grotto at Basildon, 1746

By Richard Graves (1715–1804)

GLIDE smoothly on, thou silver Thames,

Where Fane has fixed her calm retreat;

Go pour thy tributary streams,

To lave imperial Thetis’ feet.

There when in flowery pride you come

Amid the courtiers of the main,

And join within the mossy dome

Old Tiber, Arno, or the Seine;

When each ambitious stream shall boast

The glories of its flattered lords;

What pomp adorns the Gallic coast,

What Rome, or Tuscany affords;

Then shalt thou speak (and sure thy tale

Must check each partial torrent’s pride)

What scenes adorn this flowery vale,

Through which thy happier currents glide.

But when thy fond description tells

The beauties of this grott divine,—

What miracles are wrought by shells,

Where nicest taste and fancy join,—

Thy story shall the goddess move

To quit her empire of the main,

Her throne of pearls, her coral grove,

And live retired with thee and Fane.