Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  To Leven Water

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Leven, the River

To Leven Water

By James Cochrane

On a Railway Being Made on Its Banks

HAIL, gentle stream! They tell me thou art changed,

That on thy banks no eglantine is seen,

Nor rural song of shepherd heard at e’en,

As when, a boy, thy tangled groves I ranged.

Affection knows no change, and will not know,

In her loved object; she who day by day

Sits by the couch of sickness, sees not grow

Fainter and still more faint the pulse’s play;

Mistakes for coming health the hectic glow,

Till naught is left but the cold, lifeless clay:

Even so before my eyes, year after year,

Inroads were made upon thy rural fame,

But I ne’er saw them till the crisis came,

And then the change, alas! was all too clear.