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Eliza Cook (Элиза Кук)

The Thames

LET the Rhine be blue and bright
In its path of liquid light,
Where the red grapes fling a beam
Of glory on the stream;
Let the gorgeous beauty there
Mingle all that ’s rich and fair;
Yet to me it ne’er could be
Like that river great and free,
      The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Though it bear no azure wave,
Though no pearly foam may lave,
Or leaping cascades pour
Their rainbows on its shore;
Yet I ever loved to dwell
Where I heard its gushing swell,
And never skimmed its breast
But I warmly praised and blest
      The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Can ye find in all the world
A braver flag unfurled
Than that which floats above
The stream I sing and love?
O, what a burning glow
Has thrilled my breast and brow,
To see that proud flag come
With glory to its home,
      The Thames! the mighty Thames!

Did ribs more firm and fast
Ere meet the shot or blast
Than the gallant barks that glide
On its full and steady tide?
Would ye seek a dauntless crew
With hearts to dare and hands to do?
You ’ll find the foe proclaims
They are cradled on the Thames;
      The Thames! the mighty Thames!

They say the mountain child
Oft loves its torrent wild
So well, that should he part
He breaks his pining heart;
He grieves with smothered sighs
Till his wearying spirit dies;
And so I yearn to thee,
Thou river of the free,
      My own, my native Thames!

Eliza Cook's other poems:
  1. St. Patrick’s Day
  2. Galla Brae
  3. Song of the Sailor Boy
  4. Loch Leven’s Gentle Stream
  5. Grey-Eyed Mabel

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