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Lament of the River.

Mourns the river, I came down from the mountain,1
Jubilant with pride and glee,2
Leaping through the winds, and shouting3
That I had an errand to the sea !4
The rocks stood against me, and we wrestled,5
But I leaped from the holding of their hands,6
Leaped from their holding, and went slipping7
And sliding into lower lands.8
I carolled as I went, and the woodlands9
Smiled as my song murmured by,10
And the birds on the wing heard me singing,11
And dropped me a blessing from the sky.12
The flowers on the bank heard me singing,13
And the buds that had been red and sweet14
Grew redder and sweeter as they listened,15
And their golden hearts began to beat.16
The cities through their din heard me passing,17
They came out and crowned me with their towers ;18
The trees hung their garlands up above me,19
And coaxed me to rest among their bowers.20
But I laughed as I left them in the sunshine :21
There was never aught of rest for me22
Till I mingled my waters with the ocean,23
Till I sang in the chorus of the sea.24
Ah me ! for my pride upon the mountain,25
Ah me ! for my beauty in the plains,26
Where my crest floated glorious in the sunshine,27
And the clouds showered strength into my veins.28
Alas ! for the blushing little blossoms,29
And the grasses with their long golden drifts,30
For the shadows of the forest in the moontide,31
And the full-handed cities with their gifts.32
I have mingled my waters with the ocean,33
I have sung in the chorus of the sea,34
And my soul from the tumult of the billows35
Will nevermore be jubilant and free.36
I sing, but the echo of my mourning37
Returns to me, shrieking back again38
One wild weak note amongst the myriads39
That are sobbing ’neath the thunders of the main.40
O well for the dewdrop on the gowan,41
O well for the pool upon the height,42
Where the kids gather thirsty in the noontide,43
And stars watch all through the summer night.44
There is no home-returning for the waters45
To the mountain, whence they came glad and free ;46
There is no happy ditty for the singer47
That has sung in the chorus of the sea.48