Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, QUESTION AND ANSWER, by JAMES KENNETH STEPHEN

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

QUESTION AND ANSWER, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The river is flowing
Last Line: Not me why I laugh!
Alternate Author Name(s): Stephen, J. K.
Subject(s): Laughter; Nature


THE river is flowing,
The stars coming forth:
Great ruddy clouds going
From westward to north.

The rushes are waving,
The water's still blue:
And I am behaving
Decorously too:

The amorous zephyr
Breathes soft in our ear:
Who hears not is deafer
Than adders, my dear:

Ah! list to the whisper
Of waters and sky!
Thames, vagabond lisper
Grows subtle and sly.

How trebly delicious
The air-draughts we quaff:
The hour is propitious:—
Oh! ... why do you laugh?


Ask the sky why it flushes,
The clouds why they glow:
The weir why it gushes,
The reeds why they grow:

The moon why it rises,
The sun why it sets:
Her why she surprises,
Him why he forgets:

The star why it twinkles,
The west why it shines:
The brow why it wrinkles,
The heart why it pines:

Mankind why they blunder,
The corn why there's chaff:
Ask yourself why you wonder—
Not me why I laugh!

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