Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THROUGH THE WATERS, by ELIZA COOK



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THROUGH THE WATERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Through the forest, through the forest, oh! Who would not like to roam
Last Line: Like racing with the gull upon a broad and dashing sea!
Subject(s): Wandering & Wanderers; Wanderlust; Vagabonds; Tramps; Hoboes


Through the forest, through the forest, oh! who would not
like to roam,
Where the squirrel leaps right gaily and the shy fawn makes a home;
Where branches, spreading high and wide, shut out the golden sun,
And hours of noontide steal away all shadowy and dun?
'Tis sweet to pluck the ivy sprigs or seek the hidden nest,
To track the spot where owlets hide and wild deer take their rest;
Through the forest, through the forest, oh, 'tis passing sweet to take
Our lonely way mid springy moss, thick bush, and tangled brake.

Through the valley, through the valley, where the
glittering harebells peep,
Where laden bees go droning by, and hum themselves to sleep;
Where all that's bright with bloom and light springs forth
to greet the day,
And every blade pours incense to the warm and cloudless ray;
Where children come to laugh away their happy summer hours,
To chase the downy butterfly, or crown themselves with flowers:
Through the valley, through the valley, oh! who does not like to bask
Amid the fairest beauties Heaven can give or man can ask?

Through the desert, through the desert, where the Arab
takes his course,
With none to bear him company except his gallant horse;
Where none can question will or right, where landmarks ne'er impede,
But all is wide and limitless to rider and to steed.
No purling streamlet murmurs there, no chequered shadows fall;
'Tis torrid, waste, and desolate, but free to each and all.
Through the desert, through the desert! Oh, the Arab would not change
For purple robes or olive trees his wild and burning range.

Through the waters, through the waters, ah! be this the joy for me,
Upon the flowing river or the broad and dashing sea;
Of all that wealth could offer me the choicest boon I'd crave
Would be a bold and sturdy bark upon the open wave.
I love to see the wet sails fill before the whistling breath,
And feel the ship cleave on as though she spurned the flood beneath.
Through the waters, through the waters, can ye tell me what below
Is freer than the wind-lashed main, or swifter than the prow?

I love to see the merry craft go running on her side;
I laugh to see her splashing or before the rapid tide;
I love to mark the white and hissing foam come boiling up,
Fresh as the froth that hangs about the Thunderer's nectar cup.
All sail away: ah! who would stay to pace the dusty land
If once they trod a gallant ship, steered by a gallant band.
Through the waters, through the waters, oh! there's not a joy for me
Like racing with the gull upon a broad and dashing sea!





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