Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RIVERS OF IRELAND, by EDMUND SPENSER



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RIVERS OF IRELAND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Ne thence the irishe rivers absent were
Last Line: To doe their dueful service, as to them befell.
Alternate Author Name(s): Clout, Colin
Subject(s): Ireland; Rivers; Irish


NE thence the Irishe Rivers absent were:
Sith no lesse famous then the rest they bee,
And ioyne in neighbourhood of kingdome nere,
Why should they not likewise in love agree,
And ioy likewise this solemne day to see?
They saw it all, and present were in place;
Though I them all, according their degree,
Cannot recount, nor tell their hidden race,
Nor read the salvage countries thorough which they pace.

There was the Liffy rolling downe the lea;
The sandy Slane; the stony Aubrian;
The spacious Shenan spreading like a sea;
The pleasant Boyne; the fishy fruitfull Ban;
Swift Awniduff, which of the English man
Is cal'de Blacke-water; and the Liffar deep;
Sad Trowis, that once his people over-ran;
Strong Allo tombling from Slewlogher steep;
And Mulla mine, whose waves I whilom taught to weep.

And there the three renowned Brethren were,
Which that great gyant Blomius begot
Of the faire nimph Rheusa wandring there:
One day, as she to shunne the season whot
Under Slewboome in shady grove was got,
This gyant found her, and by force deflower'd;
Whereof conceiving, she in time forth brought
These three faire sons, which being thenceforth powrd
In three great rivers ran, and many countreis scowrd.

The first the gentle Shure that, making way
By sweet Clonmell, adornes rich Waterford;
The next, the stubborne Newre whose waters gray
By faire Kilkenny and Rosseponte boord;
The third, the goodly Barow which doth hoord
Great heaps of salmons in his deepe bosome:
All which, long sundred, doe at last accord
To ioyne in one, ere to the sea they come;
So, flowing all from one, all one at last become.

There also was the wide embayed Mayre;
The pleasaunt Bandon crownd with many a wood;
The spreading Lee that, like an island fayre,
Encloseth Corke with his divided flood;
And balefull Oure late staind with English blood:
With many more whose names no tongue can tell.
All which that day in order seemly good
Did on the Thames attend, and waited well
To doe their dueful service, as to them befell.





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