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Poem by Charles Kingsley
The Tide River
Clear and cool, clear and cool, By laughing shallow and dreaming pool; Cool and clear, cool and clear, By shining shingle and foaming weir; Under the crag where the ouzel sings, And the ivied wall where the church-bell rings, Undefiled, for the undefiled; Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child. Dank and foul, dank and foul, By the smoky town in its murky cowl; Foul and dank, foul and dank, By wharf and sewer and slimy bank; Darker and darker the farther I go, Baser and baser the richer I grow; Who dare sport with the sin-defiled? Shrink from me, turn from me, mother and child. Strong and free, strong and free, The flood-gates are open, away to the sea. Free and strong, free and strong, Cleansing my streams as I hurry along, To the golden sands, and the leaping bar, And the taintless tide that awaits me afar. As I lose myself in the infinite main, Like a soul that has sinned and is pardoned again, Undefiled, for the undefiled; Play by me, bathe in me, mother and child.
Charles Kingsley's other poems:
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