naganaga to
kawa hito suji ya
yuki no hara

The long, long river
A single line
On the snowy plain

by Nozawa Bonchō.

So many droplets in the sea

So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains;
So too of our multiplicity, nothing but God remains.

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German

by Angelus Silesius.

In the ocean, even a droplet is ocean

In the ocean is all ocean,
even the smallest droplet;
Say, which holy soul
in God not God will be?

by Angelus Silesius.

The Current Of Time's River

The current of time's river
Will carry off all human deeds
And sink into oblivion
All peoples, kingdoms and their kings.

And if there's something that remains
Through sounds of horn and lyre,
It too will disappear into the maw of time
And not avoid the common fate.

by Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin.

SILENCE deep rules o'er the waters,

Calmly slumb'ring lies the main,
While the sailor views with trouble

Nought but one vast level plain.

Not a zephyr is in motion!

Silence fearful as the grave!
In the mighty waste of ocean

Sunk to rest is ev'ry wave.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Can Water Drink Itself?

Can water drink itself?
Can a tree taste its own fruit?
The worshiper of God must
remain distinct from Him.

Only thus will he come to
know God's joyful love.
But if he were to say that God
and he are one,
that joy and love would
vanish instantly.

by Sant Tukaram.

FLOW on, ye lays so loved, so fair,

On to Oblivion's ocean flow!
May no rapt boy recall you e'er,

No maiden in her beauty's glow!

My love alone was then your theme,

But now she scorns my passion true.
Ye were but written in the stream;

As it flows on, then, flow ye too!

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Heart Is Deeper Than The Ocean

The heart is deeper than the ocean -
Who can fathom its mysteries?

Storms come and go on its surface,
While fleets sail through it, Their crews wielding their oars.

Inside the heart are the fourteen realms,
Stretched like canvas tents.

Only the on who knows These deeper secrets of the heart,
Can know the Creator, O Bahu!

by Sultan Bahu.

With its yellow pears
And wild roses everywhere
The shore hangs into the lake,
O gracious swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
In the sobering holy water.

Ah, where will I find
Flowers, come winter,
And where the sunshine
And shade of the earth ?
Walls stand cold
And speechless, in the wind
The wheathervanes creak.

by Friedrich Holderlin.

The Dropp Dies In The River

The dropp dies in the riverof its joy
Pain goes so far it cures itself

In the spring after the heavy rain the cloud disappears
That was nothing but tears

In the spring the mirror turns green
holding a miracle
Change the shining wind

The rose led us to our eyes

Let whatever is be open.

[Translated by W. S. Merwin and Aijaz Ahmed]

by Mirza Ghalib.

Sunday Up The River

MY love o'er the water bends dreaming;
   It glideth and glideth away:
She sees there her own beauty, gleaming
   Through shadow and ripple and spray.

O tell her, thou murmuring river,
   As past her your light wavelets roll,
How steadfast that image for ever
   Shines pure in pure depths of my soul.

by James Thomson.

Seeking to find his home, Odysseus crosses each water;
Through Charybdis so dread; ay, and through Scylla's wild yells,
Through the alarms of the raging sea, the alarms of the land too,--
E'en to the kingdom of hell leads him his wandering course.
And at length, as he sleeps, to Ithaca's coast fate conducts him;
There he awakes, and, with grief, knows not his fatherland now.

by Friedrich Schiller.

A South-Sea Islander

ALOLL in the warm clear water,
On her back with languorous limbs,
She lies. The baby upon her breasts
Paddles and falls and swims.
With half-closed eyes she smiles,
Guarding it with her hands;
And the sob swells up in my heart —
In my heart that understands.
Dear, in the English country,
The hatefullest land on earth,
The mothers are starved and the children die,
And death is better than birth!

by Francis William Lauderdale Adams.

By The River Ii

WHEN by the broad stream thou dost dwell,

Oft shallow is its sluggish flood;
Then, when thy fields thou tendest well,

It o'er them spreads its slime and mud.

The ships descend ere daylight wanes,

The prudent fisher upward goes;
Round reef and rock ice casts its chains,

And boys at will the pathway close.

To this attend, then, carefully,

And what thou wouldst, that execute!
Ne'er linger, ne'er o'erhasty be,

For time moves on with measured foot.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Upon The Fish In The Water

The water is the fish's element;
Take her from thence, none can her death prevent;
And some have said, who have transgressors been,
As good not be, as to be kept from sin.

2.

The water is the fish's element:
Leave her but there, and she is well content.
So's he, who in the path of life doth plod,
Take all, says he, let me but have my God.

3.

The water is the fish's element,
Her sportings there to her are excellent;
So is God's service unto holy men,
They are not in their element till then.

by John Bunyan.

The heroes of the present and the past
Were puny, vague, and nothingness to thee:
Thou didst a span grasp mighty to the last,
And strain for glory when thy die was cast.
That little island, on the Atlantic sea,
Was but a dust-spot in a lake: thy mind
Swept space as shoreless as eternity.
Thy giant powers outstript this gaudy age
Of heroes; and, as looking at the sun,
So gazing on thy greatness, made men blind
To merits, that had adoration won
In olden times. The world was on thy page
Of victories but a comma. Fame could find
No parallel, thy greatness to presage.

by John Clare.

To A River In Which A Child Was Drowned

Smiling river, smiling river,
On thy bosom sun-beams play;
Though they're fleeting, and retreating,
Thou hast more deceit than they.


In thy channel, in thy channel,
Choak'd with ooze and grav'lly stones,
Deep immersed, and unhearsed,
Lies young Edward's corse: his bones


Ever whitening, ever whitening,
As thy waves against them dash;
What thy torrent, in the current,
Swallow'd, now it helps to wash.


As if senseless, as if senseless
Things had feeling in this case;
What so blindly, and unkindly,
It destroy'd, it now does grace.

by Charles Lamb.

Sonnet Lxx: On Being Cautioned Against Walking On An Headland Overlooking The Sea, Because It Was Frequented By A Lunatic

Is there a solitary wretch who hies
To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes
Its distance from the waves that chide below;
Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs
Chills his cold bed upon the mountain turf,
With hoarse, half-utter'd lamentation, lies
Murmuring responses to the dashing surf?
In moody sadness, on the giddy brink,
I see him more with envy than with fear;
He has no nice felicities that shrink
From giant horrors; wildly wandering here,
He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know
The depth or the duration of his woe.

by Charlotte Smith.

Lines To A Lady

YES! heaven protect thee, thou gem of the ocean;
Dear land of my sires, though distant thy shores;
Ere my heart cease to love thee, its latest emotion,
The last dying throbs of its pulse must be o'er.

And dark were the bosom, and cold and unfeeling,
That tamely could listen unmoved at the call,
When woman, the warm soul of melody stealing,
Laments for her country and sighs o'er its fall.

Sing on, gentle warbler, the tear-drop appearing
Shall fall for the woes of the queen of the sea;
And the spirit that breathes in the harp of green Erin,
Descending, shall hail thee her 'Cushlamachree.'

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

The Moon And Sea

Whilst the moon decks herself in Neptune's glass
And ponders over her image in the sea,
Her cloudy locks smoothing from off her face
That she may all as bright as beauty be;
It is my wont to sit upon the shore
And mark with what an even grace she glides
Her two concurrent paths of azure o'er,
One in the heavens, the other in the tides:
Now with a transient veil her face she hides
And ocean blackens with a human frown;
Now her fine screen of vapour she divides
And looks with all her light of beauty down;
Her splendid smile over-silvering the main
Spreads her the glass she looks into again.

by George Darley.

Sonnet Lxxii. To The Morning Star

THEE! lucid arbiter 'twixt day and night,
The seaman greets, as on the ocean stream
Reflected, thy precursive friendly beam
Points out the long-sought haven to his sight.
Watching for thee, the lover's ardent eyes
Turn to the eastern hills; and as above
Thy brilliance trembles, hails the lights that rise
To guide his footsteps to expecting love!
I mark thee too, as night's dark clouds retire,
And thy bright radiance glances on the sea;
But never more shall thy heraldic fire
Speak of approaching morn with joy to me!
Quench'd in the gloom of death that heavenly ray
Once lent to light me on my thorny way!

by Charlotte Smith.

Sonnet Xxxiii. To The Naiad Of The Arun

GO, rural Naiad! wind thy stream along
Through woods and wilds: then seek the ocean caves
Where sea-nymphs meet their coral rocks among,
To boast the various honours of their waves!
'Tis but a little, o'er thy shallow tide,
That toiling trade her burden'd vessel leads;
But laurels grow luxuriant on thy side,
And letters live along thy classic meads.
Lo! where 'mid British bards thy natives shine!
And now another poet helps to raise
Thy glory high--the poet of the MINE ,
Whose brilliant talents are his smallest praise:
And who, to all that genius can impart,
Adds the cool head, and the unblemish'd heart.

by Charlotte Smith.

Sonnet To Lake Leman

Rousseau -- Voltaire -- our Gibbon -- De Staël --
Leman! these names are worthy of thy shore,
Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more,
Their memory thy remembrance would recall:
To them thy banks were lovely as to all,
But they have made them lovelier, for the lore
Of mighty minds doth hallow in the core
Of human hearts the ruin of a wall
Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee
How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,
In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,
Which of the heirs of immortality
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!

by George Gordon Byron.

It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found,
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be moved for days from where it sometime fell.
When last the winds of Heaven were unbound.
Oh, ye! who have your eyeballs vexed and tired,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
Oh ye! whose ears are dinned with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody---
Sit ye near some old Cavern's Mouth and brood,
Until ye start, as if the sea nymphs quired!

by John Keats.

Epitaph On Two Young Men Of The Name Of Leitch, Who Were Drowned In Crossing The River Southesk

O thou! whose steps in sacred reverence tread
These lone dominions of the silent dead;
On this sad stone a pious look bestow,
Nor uninstructed read this tale of woe;
And while the sigh of sorrow heaves thy breast,
Let each rebellious murmur be suppress'd;
Heaven's hidden ways to trace, for us how vain!
Heaven's wise decrees, how impious to arraign!
Pure from the stains of a polluted age,
In early bloom of life they left the stage:
Not doom'd in lingering woe to waste their breath,
One moment snatch'd them from the power of Death:
They lived united, and united died;
Happy the friends whom Death cannot divide!

by James Beattie.

Sonnet. On The Sea

It keeps eternal whisperings around
Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
Gluts twice ten thousand caverns, till the spell
Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
Often 'tis in such gentle temper found
That scarcely will the very smallest shell
Be mov'd for days from whence it sometime fell,
When last the winds of heaven were unbound.
Oh ye! who have your eye-balls vex'd and tir'd,
Feast them upon the wideness of the Sea;
Oh ye! whose ears are dinn'd with uproar rude,
Or fed too much with cloying melody,--
Sit ye near some old cavern's mouth, and brood
Until ye start, as if the sea-nymphs quir'd!

by John Keats.

Lines To A Lady, On Hearing Her Sing

Yes! heaven protect thee, thou gem of the ocean;
Dear land of my sires, though distant thy shores;
Ere my heart cease to love thee, its latest emotion,
The last dying throbs of its pulse must be o'er.

And dark were the bosom, and cold and unfeeling,
That tamely could listen unmoved at the call,
When woman, the warm soul of melody stealing,
Laments for her country and sighs o'er its fall.

Sing on, gentle warbler, the tear-drop appearing
Shall fall for the woes of the queen of the sea;
And the spirit that breathes in the harp of green Erin,
Descending, shall hail thee her "Cushlamachree."

by Joseph Rodman Drake.

From The Prometheus Vinctus Of Aeschylus

Great Jove, to whose almighty throne
Both gods and mortals homage pay,
Ne'er may my soul thy power disown,
Thy dread behests ne'er disobey.
Oft shall the sacred victim fall
In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall;
My voice shall raise no impious strain
'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main.

How different now thy joyless fate,
Since first Hesione thy bride,
When placed aloft in godlike state,
The blushing beauty by the side,
Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smiled,
And mirthful strains the hours beguiled;
The Nymphs and Tritons dances around,
Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove relentless frown'd.

by George Gordon Byron.

Sonnet Xxx. To The River Arun

BE the proud Thames of trade the busy mart!
Arun! to thee will other praise belong;
Dear to the lover's and the mourner's heart,
And ever sacred to the sons of song!
Thy banks romantic hopeless Love shall seek,
Where o'er the rocks the mantling bindwith flaunts;
And Sorrow's drooping form and faded cheek
Choose on thy willow'd shore her lonely haunts.
Banks, which inspired thy Otway's plaintive strain!
Wilds,--whose lorn echoes learned the deeper tone
Of Collins' powerful shell! yet once again
Another poet--Hayley is thine own!
Thy classic stream anew shall hear a lay,
Bright as its waves, and various as its way.

by Charlotte Smith.

Sonnet Xxvi. To The River Arun

ON thy wild banks, by frequent torrents worn,
No glittering fanes, or marble domes appear,
Yet shall the mournful muse thy course adorn,
And still to her thy rustic waves be dear.
For with the infant Otway, lingering here,
Of early woes she bade her votary dream,
While thy low murmurs sooth'd his pensive ear
And still the poet--consecrates the stream.
Beneath the oak and birch that fringe thy side,
The first-born violets of the year shall spring;
And in thy hazles, bending o'er the tide,
The earliest nightingale delight to sing:
While kindred spirits, pitying, shall relate
Thy Otway's sorrows, and lament his fate.

by Charlotte Smith.

WHAT though the neutral sea sever us twain?
In the still night your soul in mine I take;
Your eyes, hilarious with passion, wake,
And love's delirium is mine again,
When all your body's warmth swirled in my brain—
Your face uplifted like a pallid lake
Where in my eager lips their thirst could slake,
With deep-sighed, langourous kisses, keener than pain.
Then suddenly through passion's rosy mists
A shudder trickled, like a stream of blood:
In a grim pause we felt and understood.
The everlasting war that was our fate—
The pitiless struggle and primeval hate
Of old implacable antagonists.

by Arthur Henry Adams.

Saw a boy three lilies white,
Lilies in the river,
Half heart-open to the light,
Full of golden arrows bright,
Each a silver quiver.
Lilies, lilies, lilies white,
Lilies in the river.

Said the boy, “I’ll pluck you there,
Lilies in the river!”
Said the lilies, “If you dare
You shall drown, or homeward fare
Dripping and a-shiver!”
Lilies, lilies, lilies white,
Lilies in the river.

Wilful still the boy would clasp
Lilies in the river;
Tumbled in ere he could grasp,
Scrambled out with puff and gasp,
Plucked no lilies ever.
Lilies, lilies, lilies white,
Lilies in the river.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Hearken, thou craggy ocean-pyramid,
Give answer by thy voice—the sea-fowls' screams!
When were thy shoulders mantled in huge streams?
When from the sun was thy broad forehead hid?
How long is't since the mighty Power bid
Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams—
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams—
Or when grey clouds are thy cold coverlid!
Thou answer'st not; for thou art dead asleep.
Thy life is but two dead eternities,
The last in air, the former in the deep!
First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies!
Drowned wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep,
Another cannot wake thy giant-size!

by John Keats.

Sonnet I. To My Brother George

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discovered revels keeping.
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?

by John Keats.

To My Brother George

Many the wonders I this day have seen:
The sun, when first he kissed away the tears
That filled the eyes of Morn;—the laurelled peers
Who from the feathery gold of evening lean;—
The ocean with its vastness, its blue green,
Its ships, its rocks, its caves, its hopes, its fears,
Its voice mysterious, which whoso hears
Must think on what will be, and what has been.
E'en now, dear George, while this for you I write,
Cynthia is from her silken curtains peeping
So scantly, that it seems her bridal night,
And she her half-discovered revels keeping.
But what, without the social thought of thee,
Would be the wonders of the sky and sea?

by John Keats.

Sonnet Lxxxiii. The Sea View

THE upland shepherd, as reclined he lies
On the soft turf that clothes the mountain brow,
Marks the bright sea-line mingling with the skies;
Or from his course celestial, sinking slow,
The summer-sun in purple radiance low,
Blaze on the western waters; the wide scene
Magnificent, and tranquil, seems to spread
Even o'er the rustic's breast a joy serene,
When, like dark plague-spots by the demons shed,
Charged deep with death, upon the waves, far seen,
Move the war-freighted ships; and fierce and red,
Flash their destructive fires--The mangled dead
And dying victims then pollute the flood.
Ah, thus man spoils Heaven's glorious works with blood!

by Charlotte Smith.

You strange, astonished-looking, angle-faced,
Dreary-mouthed, gaping wretches of the sea,
Gulping salt-water everlastingly,
Cold-blooded, though with red your blood be graced,
And mute, though dwellers in the roaring waste;
And you, all shapes beside, that fishy be,--
Some round, some flat, some long, all devilry,
Legless, unloving, infamously chaste:--

O scaly, slippery, wet, swift, staring wights,
What is't ye do? What life lead? eh, dull goggles?
How do ye vary your vile days and nights?
How pass your Sundays? Are ye still but joggles
In ceaseless wash? Still nought but gapes, and bites,
And drinks, and stares, diversified with boggles?

by James Henry Leigh Hunt.

To Thomas Moore

My boat is on the shore,
And my bark is on the sea;
But, before I go, Tom Moore,
Here's a double health to thee!

Here's a sigh to those who love me,
And a smile to those who hate;
And, whatever sky's above me,
Here's a heart for every fate.

Though the ocean roar around me,
Yet it still shall bear me on;
Though a desert should surround me,
It hath springs that may be won.

Were't the last drop in the well,
As I gasp'd upon the brink,
Ere my fainting spirit fell,
'Tis to thee that I would drink.

With that water, as this wine,
The libation I would pour
Should be -peace with thine and mine,
And a health to thee, Tom Moore!

by George Gordon Byron.

Deep slumber hung o'er sea and hill and plain;
With pale pink cheek fresh from her watery caves
Slow rose the moon out of the midnight waves,
Like Venus out of ocean born again.
Olympian blazed she on the dark blue main;
'So shall, ye gods,' — hark how my weak hope raves! —
'My happy star ascend the sea that laves
Its shores with grief, and silence all my pain!'
With that there sighed a wandering midnight breeze
High up among the topmost tufted trees,
And o'er the moon's face blew a veil of cloud;
And in the breeze my genius spake, and said,
'While thy heart stirred, thy glimmering hope has fled,
And like the moon lies muffled in a shroud.'

by Erik Johan Stagnelius.

And while all the waves are borne off apace,
I feel as if I there too had my place,
And staring into the image-filled lake,
In some strange longing my parting would take.

From still azure depths me greeting, I spy
A different nature, different sky;
All is ethereal there and ideal,
Like things in their pristine form more real.

My very first I from the purest blue,
My once purer self then whispers anew:
Why did you leave me, just leave me and go?
Oh, how I do love you, I love you so!

How strangely afraid and aching I seem,
My spirit escapes to more than a dream:
There appear to be gods and humans who
Embrace and mingle in depths of pure blue.

by Schack von Staffeldt.