Medway Song

(Air: Carnaval de Venise)

LET Housman sing of Severn shore,
Of Thames let Arnold sing,
But we will sing no river more
Save this where crowbars ring.
Let others sing of Henley,
Of fashion and renown,
But we will sing the thirteen locks
That lead to Tonbridge town!
Then sing the Kentish river,
The Kentish fields and flowers,
We waste no dreams on other streams
Who call the Medway ours.


When on the level golden meads
The evening sunshine lies,
The little voles among the reeds
Look out with wondering eyes.
The patient anglers linger
The placid stream beside,
Where still with towering tarry prow
The stately barges glide.
Then sing the Kentish river,
The Kentish fields and flowers,
We waste no dreams on other streams
Who call the Medway ours.


On Medway banks the May droops white,
The wild rose blossoms fair,
O'er meadow-sweet and loosestrife bright,
For water nymphs to wear.
And mid the blowing rushes
Pan pipes a joyous song,
And woodland things peep from the shade
As soft we glide along.
Then sing the Kentish river,
The Kentish fields and flowers,
We waste no dreams on other streams
Who call the Medway ours.


You see no freight on Medway boats
Of fashions fine and rare,
But happy men in shabby coats,
And girls with wind-kissed hair.
The world's a pain forgotten,
And very far away,
The stream that flows, the boat that goes--
These are our world to-day.
Then sing the Kentish river,
The Kentish fields and flowers,
We waste no dreams on other streams
Who call the Medway ours.

by Edith Nesbit

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