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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Stream

Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593)

I WALK’D along a stream, for pureness rare,

Brighter than sunshine; for it did acquaint

The dullest sight with all glorious prey

That in the pebble-pavèd channel lay.

No molten crystal, but a richer mine,

Even Nature’s rarest alchymy ran there,—

Diamonds resolv’d, and substance more divine,

Through whose bright-gliding current might appear

A thousand naked nymphs, whose ivory shine,

Enamelling the banks, made them more dear

Than ever was that glorious palace gate

Where the day-shining Sun in triumph sate.

Upon this brim the eglantine and rose,

The tamarisk, olive, and the almond tree,

As kind companions, in one union grows,

Folding their twining arms, as oft we see

Turtle-taught lovers either other close,

Lending to dulness feeling sympathy;

And as a costly valance o’er a bed,

So did their garland-tops the brook o’erspread.

Their leaves, that differ’d both in shape and show,

Though all were green, yet difference such in green,

Like to the checker’d bent of Iris’ bow,

Prided the running main, as it had been….