Henry Alford

To the River Wye

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If, gentle stream, by promised sacrifice
Of kid or yearling, or by scattered flowers
Of votive roses culled from thy thick bowers,
Or golden cistus we could thee entice
To be propitious to our love, no price
Should save these errant flocks: each nook but ours
Should shed its eglantine in twinkling showers,
For tribute from thy wooded paradise.

But not thy flocks, nor brier-roses hung
In natural garlands down thy rocky hills,
Shall win thee to be ours; more precious far
Than summer blossoms or rich offerings are,
We bring thee sweet poetic descants, sung
To the wild music of thy tinkling rills.

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Henry Alford