ALL peacefully gliding,
The waters dividing,
The indolent batteau moved slowly along,
The rowers, light-hearted,
From sorrow long parted,
Beguiled the dull moments with laughter and song:
'Hurrah for the rapid that merrily, merrily
Gambols and leaps on its tortuous way!
Soon we will enter it, cheerily, cheerily,
Pleased with its freshness, and wet with its spray.'

More swiftly careering,
The wild rapid nearing,
They dash down the stream like a terrified steed;
The surges delight them,
No terrors affright them,
Their voices keep pace with the quickening speed:
'Hurrah for the rapid that merrily, merrily
Shivers its arrows against us in play!
Now we have entered it, cheerily, cheerily,
Our spirits as light as its feathery spray.'

Fast downward they're dashing,
Each fearless eye flashing,
Though danger awaits them on every side.
Yon rock–see it frowning!
They strike–they are drowning!

But downward they speed with the merciless tide;
No voice cheers the rapid, that angrily, angrily
Shivers their bark in its maddening play;
Gaily they entered it–heedlessly recklessly,
Mingling their lives with its treacherous spray!

More verses by Charles Sangster