THE BROOK by Alfred Tennyson

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Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

I come from haunts of coot and hern:
I make a sudden sally,
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down the valley;

By thirty hills I hurry down,
Or slip between the ridges,
By twenty thorps, a little town,
And half a hundred bridges.

Till last by Philip’s farm I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I chatter over stony ways
In little sharps and trebles;
I bubble into eddying bays,
I babble on the pebbles;

With many a curve my banks I fret
By, many a field and fallow,
And many a fairy foreland set
With willow-weed and mallow;

I chatter, chatter, as I flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I wind about, and in and out,
With here a blossom sailing,
And here and there a lusty trout,
And here and there a grayling,

And here and there a foamy flake,
Upon me as I travel,
With many a silvery waterbreak
Above the golden gravel,

And draw them all along, and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

I steal by lawns and grassy plots,
I slide by hazel covers;
I move the sweet forget-me-nots
That grow for happy lovers;

I slip, I slide, I gloom, I glance,
Among my skimming swallows;
I make the netted sunbeam dance
Against my sandy shallows;

I murmur under moon and stars
In brambly wildernesses;
I linger by my shingly bars,
I loiter round my cresses;

And out again I curve and flow
To join the brimming river;
For men may come, and men may go,
But I go on forever.

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