The River Wye

Henry Alford

IF, gentle stream, by promised sacrifice

Of kid or yearling, or by scattered flowers

Of votive roses culled from thy thick bowers,

Or golden cistus, we could thee entice

To be propitious to our love, no price

Should save these errant flocks; each nook but ours

Should shed its eglantine in twinkling showers,

For tribute from thy wooded paradise.

But not thy flocks, nor brier-roses hung

In natural garlands down thy rooky hills,

Shall win thee to be ours; more precious far

Than summer blossoms or rich offerings are,

We bring thee sweet poetic descants, sung

To the wild music of thy tinkling rills.