Two Rivers

Thy summer voice, Musketaquit,
Repeats the music of the rain;
But sweeter rivers pulsing flit
Through thee, as thou through the Concord Plain.

Thou in thy narrow banks art pent:
The stream I love unbounded goes
Through flood and sea and firmament;
Through light, through life, it forward flows.

I see the inundation sweet,
I hear the spending of the steam
Through years, through men, through Nature fleet,
Through love and thought, through power and dream.

Musketaquit, a goblin strong,
Of shard and flint makes jewels gay;
They lose their grief who hear his song,
And where he winds is the day of day.

So forth and brighter fares my stream,--
Who drink it shall not thirst again;
No darkness taints its equal gleam,
And ages drop in it like rain.


Early versions of the poem from his journal:

I see thy brimming, eddying stream
And thy enchantment,
For thou changest every rock in thy bed
Into a gem,
All is opal and agate,
And at will thou pavest with diamonds:
Take them away from the stream
And they are poor, shreds and flints.
So is it with me today.


A later version:

Thy murmuring voice, Musketaquid,
Repeats the music of the rain,
But sweeter rivers silent flit
Through thee as thou through Concord plain.
Thou in thy banks must dwell,
The stream I follow freely flows
Through thee, through rocks, through air as well,
Through light, through men it gayly goes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson