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The Rivers

Felicia Dorothea Hemans 1793 (Liverpool, Lancashire) – 1835 (Dublin, County Dublin)

GO! trace th' unnumbered streams, o'er earth
That wind their devious course,
That draw from Alpine heights their birth,
Deep vale, or cavern source.

Some by majestic cities glide,
Proud scenes of man's renown,
Some lead their solitary tide,
Where pathless forests frown.

Some calmly roll in golden sands,
Where Afric's deserts lie;
Or spread, to clothe rejoicing lands
With rich fertility.

These bear the bark, whose stately sail
Exulting seems to swell;
While these, scarce rippled by a gale,
Sleep in the lonely dell.

Yet on, alike, though swift or slow
Their various waves may sweep,
Through cities or through shades they flow
To the same boundless deep.

Oh! thus, whate'er our path of life,
Through sunshine or through gloom,
Through scenes of quiet or of strife,
Its end is still the tomb.

The chief, whose mighty deeds we hail,
The monarch throned on high,
The peasant in his native vale,
All journey on–to die!

But if Thy guardian care, my God!
The pilgrim's course attend,
I will not fear the dark abode,
To which my footsteps bend.

For thence thine all-redeeming Son,
Who died, the world to save,
In light, in triumph, rose, and won
The victory from the grave!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Felicia Dorothea Hemans was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status. more…

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    "The Rivers" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/13610/the-rivers>.

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