The Great War

from The Poems of Robert W. Sterling, an electronic edition

The River Bathe

WHEN the messenger sunbeam over your bed

Silently creeps in the morn;

And the dew-drops glitter on flower and tree,

Like the tears of hope new-born;

When the clouds race by In the painted sky

And the wind has a merry tune:

Ah! then for the joy of an early dip

In the glorious pools of Lune!

Up! up from your bed! Let the sluggards lie

In an airy palace of dreams,

Respond to the joyous lapwing's call

And the song of the burbling streams!

Oh, balmy the air, and wondrous fair

Are the hills with sunlight crowned,

And all the voices of nature seem

To mingle in one glad sound.

Then hurry along, for as light as the heart

Are the feet on a morning in June,

To the banks that are speckled with sunshine and shade,

'Neath the guardian trees of Lune,

Where the eddies play with the rocks all day

In a whirl of fretful fun,

And the wavelet kisses the pebbly shore

With a mirrored smile from the sun.

A good brave plunge in the crystal cool

Of this grand primeval tub:

Then glowing you stand on the warm dry rocks

By the edge of the foaming Dub.

Then homeward along, like the soul of a song

That has every note in tune;

And dear will the memory always be

Of the glorious pools of Lune.

November, 1910.