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Poem by Philip James Bailey

To the Trent

Of all the rivers in the land,
Thee most I love, fair Trent,
For in thy stream and by thy banks
My happiest hours I've spent.
'Twas there, hard bye, I first drew breath,
There hope to end my days;
And every where I'll tell till death
My native river's praise.

Oh! Shannon hath a wilder shore,
And Thames a richer freight,
And silver--linked Forth is banked
By more baronial state;
But neither hath a purer wave,
Nor deeper, stiller stream;
'Tis quiet as a grassy grave,
Or a saint's dying dream.

Let me, in sunshine or in storm,
Still linger by her side;
I'll alway look on her with love,
And speak of her with pride.
By rock and mead, and grove and isle,
She goes from deep to deep;
I love her in her dawning smile,
And in her sunset sleep.

And when she riseth with the rain,
And bringeth forth her flood,
And sweeps up to the high town's foot
Her spoil of field and wood,--
I love her more than ever then,
For then she hath her will;
And over mounds and herds and men
She bears the victory still.

May such a calm triumphant course
To sacred souls be given,
That, river--like, though born on earth,
They image only Heaven:
And tending ever towards the light,
In this their earthly race,
Meet, mixing with eternity,
In joy, their Maker's face. 

Philip James Bailey

Philip James Bailey's other poems:
  1. Festus - 8
  2. Festus - 20
  3. Festus - Dedication
  4. Festus - 21.2
  5. Festus - 30

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