The Nameless Stream by Mackay

Letter B.

Beautiful stream! By rock and dell

There's not an inch in all thy course

I have not track'd. I know thee well:

I know where blossoms the yellow gorse;

I know where waves the pale bluebell,

And where the orchis and violets dwell.

I know where the foxglove rears its head,

And where the heather tufts are spread;

I know where the meadow-sweets exhale,

And the white valerians load the gale.

I know the spot the bees love best,

And where the linnet has built her nest.

I know the bushes the grouse frequent,

And the nooks where the shy deer browse the bent.

I know each tree to thy fountain head—

The lady birches, slim and fair;

The Nameless Stream.

The feathery larch, the rowans red,

The brambles trailing their tangled hair;

And each is link'd to my waking thought

By some remembrance fancy-fraught.

The Nameless Stream.

Yet, lovely stream, unknown to fame,

Thou hast oozed, and flow'd, and leap'd, and run,

Ever since Time its course begun,

Without a record, without a name.

I ask'd the shepherd on the hill—

He knew thee but as a common rill;

I ask'd the farmer's blue-eyed daughter—

She knew thee but as a running water;

I ask'd the boatman on the shore

(He was never ask'd to tell before)—

Thou wert a brook, and nothing more.

Yet, stream, so dear to me alone,

I prize and cherish thee none the less

That thou flowest unseen, unpraised, unknown,

In the unfrequented wilderness.

Though none admire and lay to heart

How good and beautiful thou art,

Thy flow'rets bloom, thy waters run,

And the free birds chaunt thy benison.

Beauty is beauty, though unseen;

And those who love it all their days,

Find meet reward in their soul serene,

And the inner voice of prayer and praise.

Mackay