Among the Millet

by Archibald Lampman


 

SPRING ON THE RIVER


 

O sun, shine hot on the river;
    For the ice is turning an ashen hue,
    And the still bright water is looking through,
    And the myriad streams are greeting you
With a ballad of life to the giver,                                                   5
    From forest and field and sunny town,
    Meeting and running and tripping down,
With laughter and song to the river.

Oh! the din on the boats by the river;
    The barges are ringing while day avails,                               10
    With sound of hewing and hammering nails,
    Planing and painting and swinging pails,
All day in their shrill endeavor;
    For the waters brim over their wintry cup,
    And the grinding ice is breaking up,                                      15
And we must away down the river.

Oh! the hum and the toil of the river;
    The ridge of the rapid sprays and skips:
    Loud and low by the water’s lips,
    Tearing the wet pines into strips,                                           20
The saw mill is moaning ever.
    The little grey sparrow skips and calls
    On the rocks in the rain of the water falls,
And the logs are adrift in the river.

Oh! restlessly whirls the river;                                                     25
    The rivulets run and the cataract drones:
    The spiders are flitting over the stones:
    Summer winds float and the cedar moans;
And the eddies gleam and quiver.
    O sun; shine hot, shine long and abide                                 30
    In the glory and power of the summer tide
On the swift longing face of the river.