Discouraged by Adelaide Anne Procter

Where the little babbling streamletFirst springs forth to light,Trickling through soft velvet mosses,Almost hid from sight;Vowed I with delight,–“River, I will follow the …

Where the little babbling streamlet
First springs forth to light,
Trickling through soft velvet mosses,
Almost hid from sight;
Vowed I with delight,–
“River, I will follow thee,
Through thy wanderings to the Sea!”

Gleaming ‘mid the purple heather,
Downward then it sped,
Glancing through the mountain gorges,
Like a silver thread,
As it quicker fled,
Louder music in its flow,
Dashing to the Vale below.

Then its voice grew lower, gentler,
And its pace less fleet,
Just as though it loved to linger
Round the rushes’ feet,
As they stooped to meet
Their clear images below,
Broken by the ripples’ flow.

Purple Willow-herb bent over
To her shadow fair;
Meadow-sweet, in feathery clusters,
Perfumed all the air;
Silver-weed was there,
And in one calm, grassy spot,
Starry, blue Forget-me-not.

Tangled weeds, below the waters,
Still seemed drawn away;
Yet the current, floating onward,
Was less strong than they;–
Sunbeams watched their play,
With a flickering light and shade,
Through the screen the Alders made.

Broader grew the flowing River;
To its grassy brink
Slowly, in the slanting sun-rays,
Cattle trooped to drink:
The blue sky, I think,
Was no bluer than that stream,
Slipping onward, like a dream.

Quicker, deeper then it hurried,
Rushing fierce and free;
But I said, “It should grow calmer
Ere it meets the Sea,
The wide purple Sea,
Which I weary for in vain,
Wasting all my toil and pain.”

But it rushed still quicker, fiercer,
In its rocky bed,
Hard and stony was the pathway
To my tired tread;
“I despair,” I said,
“Of that wide and glorious Sea
That was promised unto me.”

So I turned aside, and wandered
Through green meadows near,
Far away, among the daisies,
Far away, for fear
Lest I still should hear
The loud murmur of its song,
As the River flowed along.

Now I hear it not:- I loiter
Gaily as before;
Yet I sometimes think,–and thinking
Makes my heart so sore,–
Just a few steps more,
And there might have shone for me,
Blue and infinite, the Sea.

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