The Brook Rhine

SMALL current of the wilds afar from men,
Changing and sudden as a baby's mood;
Now a green babbling rivulet in the wood,
Now loitering broad and shallow through the glen,
Or threading 'mid the naked shoals, and then
Brattling against the stones, half mist, half flood,
Between the mountains where the storm-clouds brood;
And each change but to wake or sleep again;
Pass on, young stream, the world has need of thee;
Far hence a mighty river on its breast
Bears the deep-laden vessels to the sea;
Far hence wide waters feed the vines and corn.
Pass on, small stream, to so great purpose born,
On to the distant toil, the distant rest.

by Augusta Davies Webster

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