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To The River Arve

William Cullen Bryant 1794 (Cummington) – 1878 (New York City)

Not from the sands or cloven rocks,
Thou rapid Arve! thy waters flow;
Nor earth, within her bosom, locks
Thy dark unfathomed wells below.
Thy springs are in the cloud, thy stream
Begins to move and murmur first
Where ice-peaks feel the noonday beam,
Or rain-storms on the glacier burst.

Born where the thunder and the blast,
And morning's earliest light are born,
Thou rushest swoln, and loud, and fast,
By these low homes, as if in scorn:
Yet humbler springs yield purer waves;
And brighter, glassier streams than thine,
Sent up from earth's unlighted caves,
With heaven's own beam and image shine.

Yet stay; for here are flowers and trees;
Warm rays on cottage roofs are here,
And laugh of girls, and hum of bees--
Here linger till thy waves are clear.
Thou heedest not--thou hastest on;
From steep to steep thy torrent falls,
Till, mingling with the mighty Rhone,
It rests beneath Geneva's walls.

Rush on--but were there one with me
That loved me, I would light my hearth
Here, where with God's own majesty
Are touched the features of the earth.
By these old peaks, white, high, and vast,
Still rising as the tempests beat,
Here would I dwell, and sleep, at last,
Among the blossoms at their feet.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:05 min read
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William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant was an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. more…

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