Stay, rivulet, nor haste to leave
The lovely vale that lies around thee.
Why wouldst thou be a sea at eve,
When but a fount the morning found thee?
Born when the skies began to glow,
Humblest of all the rock's cold daughters,
No blossom bowed its stalk to show
Where stole thy still and scanty waters.
Now on thy stream the noonbeams look,
Usurping, as thou downward driftest,
Its crystal from the clearest brook,
Its rushing current from the swiftest.
Ah! what wild haste!--and all to be
A river and expire in ocean.
Each fountain's tribute hurries thee
To that vast grave with quicker motion.
Far better 'twere to linger still
In this green vale, these flowers to cherish,
And die in peace, an aged rill,
Than thus, a youthful Danube, perish.
More verses by William Cullen Bryant
- The Waning Moon
- An Indian At The Burial-Place Of His Fathers.
- An Indian Story
- Fatima And Raduan
- The Living Lost