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.
 
Cherwell, the River
Cherwell, from the Terrace
John Bruce Norton (1815–1883)
 
I.
’T IS evening! With a mind to which the shade
Somewhat of its own sombre hues hath lent,
On the old terrace-wall far forward bent,
I watch, while slowly the last sunbeams fade
Behind the trees of Christ-Church’ lengthened glade,        5
Cherwell, thy tributary waters glide
Onward to Isis’ breast, a silver tide,
Winding, mid willow-drooping banks embayed;
Yes! typical thine unambitious flow,
Of those brief years to lone seclusion given,        10
When studious days in modest current go,
Noiseless, unruffled, swift, unsullied, even,
Unrippled, foamless, eddyless, till hurled
Into the larger waters of the world!
 
II.
ARISTOCRATIC stream! Thou who dost brook
        15
No trade upon thy waters! never soil
Thy purity the barge and sons of toil!
For gentle lovers only dost thou look:
Ne’er hast thou been, ne’er shalt thou be, forsook
By Youth and Pleasure, who with dripping oar        20
Through the green meadows on thy banks explore
Each azure bend, and lily-bearing nook;
The pool by bathers sought, glassy and still:
The shady reach where the dark willows bend:
Thine angler-haunted current by the mill:—        25
Beautiful river! why should I rehearse
Faintly thy charms, when he who was my friend
Hath given thee sweeter and more burning verse?
 
 
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