Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Thames, the River
Thames
Isabella Craig Knox (1831–1903)
 
A GLIMPSE of the river! it glimmers
  Through the stems of the beeches;
Through the screen of the willows it shimmers
  In long winding reaches;
Flowing so softly that scarcely        5
  It seems to be flowing,
But the reeds of the low little islands
  Are bent to its going;
And soft as the breath of a sleeper
  Its heaving and sighing,        10
In the coves where the fleets of the lilies
  At anchor are lying:
It looks as if fallen asleep
  In the lap of the meadows, and smiling
Like a child in the grass, dreaming deep        15
  Of the flowers and their golden beguiling.
 
A glimpse of the river! it glooms
  Underneath the dark arches;
Across it the broad shadow looms,
  And the eager crowd marches;        20
Where waiting the feet of the city,
  Strong and swift it is flowing;
On its bosom the ships of the nations
  Are coming and going;
Heavy laden, it labors and spends,        25
  In a great strain of duty,
The power that was gathered and nursed
  In the calm and the beauty.
Like thee, noble river, like thee!
  Let our lives in beginning and ending        30
Fair in their gathering be,
  And great in the time of their spending.
 
 
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