[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
I AM a spring
Why square me with a kerb ?
Ah, why this measuring
Of marble limit ? Why this accurate vault
Lest day assault,
Or any breath disturb ?
And why this regulated flow
Of what 'tis good to feel, and what to know?
You have no right
To take me thus, and bind me to your use,
Screening me from the flight
Of all great wings that are beneath the heaven,
So that to me it is not given
To hold the image of the awful Zeus,
Nor any cloud or star
Emprints me from afar.
O cruel force,
That gives me not a chance
To fill my natural course;
With mathematic rod
Calling me to pre-ordered circumstance
Nor suffering me to dance
Over the pleasant gravel,
With music solacing my travel
With music, and the baby buds that toss
In light, with roots and sippets of the moss !
A fount, a tank
Yet through some sorry grate
A driblet faulters, till around the flank
Of burly cliffs it creeps ; then, silver-shooting,
Threads all the patient fluting
Of quartz, and violet-dappled slate
A puny thing, on whose attenuate ripples
No satyr stoops to see
His broken effigy,
No naiad leans the languor of her nipples.
One faith remains
That through what ducts soe'er,
What metamorphic strains,
What rthymic filt'rings, I shall pass
To where, O God, Thou lov'st to mass
Thy rains upon the crags, and dim the sphere.
So, when night's heart with keenest silence thrills,
Take me, and weep me on the desolate hills!