On Avon's Breast I saw a Stately Swan

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One day when England's June was at its best,
I saw a stately and imperious swan
Floating on Avon's fair untroubled breast.
Sudden, it seemed as if all strife had gone
Out of the world; all discord, all unrest.

The sorrows and the sinnings of the race
Faded away like nightmares in the dawn.
All heaven was one blue background for the grace
Of Avon's beautiful, slow-moving swan;
And earth held nothing mean or commonplace.

Life seemed no longer to be hurrying on
With unbecoming haste; but softly trod,
As one who reads in emerald leaf, or lawn,
Or crimson rose a message straight from God.
. . . . .
On Avon's breast I saw a stately swan.

The great William Shakespeare, from Stratford-Upon-Avon was called 'sweet swan of Avon' by Ben Jonson.