The River

Wild river in thy cataract far-rumoured and rash rapids to sea hasting,
Far now is that birth-place mid abrupt mountains and slow dreaming of lone valleys
Where only with blue heavens was rapt converse or green orchards with fruit leaning
Stood imaged in thy waves and, content, listened to thy rhapsody’s long murmur.

Vast now in a wide press and a dense hurry and mass movement of thronged waters
Loud-thundering, fast-galloping, might, speed is the stern message of thy spirit,
Proud violence, stark claim and the dire cry of the heart’s hunger on God’s barriers
Self-hurled, and a void lust of unknown distance, and pace reckless and free grandeur.

Calm yet shall release thee; an immense peace and a large streaming of white silence,
Broad plains shall be thine, greenness surround thee, and wharved cities and life’s labour
Long thou wilt befriend, human delight help with the waves’ coolness, with ships’ furrows
Thrill, — last become, self losing, a sea-motion and joy boundless and blue laughter.

Notes on Text
1942. A single handwritten manuscript precedes the On Quantitative Metre revision work.

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