Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
IV. Inland Waters: Highlands
Song of the Brook
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
 
From “The Brook: an Idyl”

I COME from haunts of coot and hern:
  I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
  To bicker down a valley.
 
By thirty hills I hurry down,        5
  Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
  And half a hundred bridges.
 
Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
  To join the brimming river,        10
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on forever.
 
I chatter over stony ways,
  In little sharps and trebles,
I bubble into eddying bays,        15
  I babble on the pebbles.
 
With many a curve my banks I fret
  By many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
  With willow-weed and mallow.        20
 
I chatter, chatter, as I flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on forever.
 
I wind about, and in and out,        25
  With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
  And here and there a grayling,
 
And here and there a foamy flake
  Upon me, as I travel        30
With many a silvery waterbreak
  Above the golden gravel,
 
And draw them all along, and flow
  To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,        35
  But I go on forever.
 
I steal by lawns and grassy plots:
  I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
  That grow for happy lovers.        40
 
I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
  Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
  Against my sandy shallows;
 
I murmur under moon and stars        45
  In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars;
  I loiter round my cresses;
 
And out again I curve and flow
  To join the brimming river;        50
For men may come and men may go,
  But I go on forever.
 
 
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