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By the Side of a Brook
On the bank of a rushing brook
I sat for hours watching its course.
Peered into the clear gurgling mass
That cascaded down from a mountainous source
Like a slithering snake, it slinks and slips
It babbles downhill night and day
Rolling and gliding through plains and dales
It winds its way to the wider bay.
Dipping my fingers in its icy chill
How my hand got repelled as from a shock!
In its ripples stirred by the kissing breeze,
I saw trees, clouds and the jutting rock-
All floating in queer, fanciful shapes,
Shuddering, trembling and standing still
And the fishes leaving zigzag trails,
Swishing and swimming in the winding rill.
As I quietly watched her speedy flight
With her ***** rising in mournful heaves,
In my ears fell her whispering soft
Orchestrated by the rustle of quivering leaves
I hardly knew the time speeding by
Nor noticed the birds’ homeward flight
Or the Sun moving to the west end side
And the Sky reddening at his sight
As the brook thus continued her headlong ride
To be mingled finally with the ocean wide
I walked, brooding over man’s relentless stride
To be merged eventually with the Cosmic Guide.
Cyprian Van Dyke
Sparkle in Wisdom
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