“I am doing no good!” said a little rill,
As it rippled along at the foot of a hill,
“I am doing no good with my babbling here,
No one is listening,–no one is near!”
“‘No good!–no good!’” said a violet blue,
As it shook from its petals the sparkling dew,
And opened its wondering, azure eyes
To the soft, clear light of the morning skies.
“‘No good?’”–said a willow tree, bending low
To kiss the rivulet, “say not so!
Daily and hourly I draw from thee
The grace and beauty that dwell with me!”
And the rustling reeds in the marge that stood
Reproachfully murmured–“‘no good!–no good!’”
“‘No good,’ indeed!”–cried a dainty bird,
And she sprang from her nest as the sound she heard,
And fluttered her wings o’er the sorrowing stream,
While her bright plumes flashed in the morning beam.
“Peace, peace, my brook!”–and the young leaves stirred
At the gushing notes of the happy bird–
“Do you not nourish the dear beech tree
That spreads its shelter for mine and me?
You give yon wild rose its beauteous hue,–
And yonder violet its tender blue,–
And yonder willow its foliage fair,–
And yonder lily its fragrance rare!
The sun is gracious and kind, we think,
But to you, my brooklet, we come to drink!
His beams with glory and warmth are rife,
But you afford us the cup of life!
Gentle rivulet, cease to pine!–
Sing, and be happy for me and mine!”
“And me!” said the lily, “and me!”–“and me!”
Said violet, and rose-bud, and willow tree;
And rustling reeds, and the gray, old beech
Tossing his arms high out of reach,–
Fluttering insect, and waving tree,
Murmured and rustled “for me!”–“and me!”
Then the rivulet brightening, sped along,
With a freer step and a gladder song,
Through many a valley and meadow green
Making her flowery foot-prints seen,–
Deepening ever and broadening out,
Greeting the hills with a joyous shout,–
Greeting the rocks with a soft caress,
And singing still in her joy’s excess,
Till her song swelled out to an anthem free,
As she caught the flash of the distant Sea–
The glorious Sea that, with answering tone,
Welcomed his guest from the hill-side lone.
Then the Stream shook hands with the kingly main,
And, glancing back to her source again,
Beheld each place where her steps had been
Glowing in tenderest, loveliest green,–
Saw beauty and fruitfulness fresh and fair
Wherever her gladdening footsteps were,
And caught from the green hills far away
The echo of many a woodland lay,
And the perfume of many a wild flower borne
On the scented wings of the dewy morn.
And then the rivulet understood
That all along she’d been doing good;–
That a rich green belt on Earth’s sunny breast
Was left to tell of her mission blest;–
That Earth with lovelier flowers was rife
For her calm footsteps and patient life;–
That giving much, she had gathered more,
Winning an ever-increasing store;–
And, at length, unfettered, and strong, and free,
A home she had found with the glorious Sea!