Posted by: Sherry Goodwin | February 16, 2008

Severn Song

THE Severn flow is soft and fair, as slowly
The light grows dim;
The sunset glow is soft and full, and holy
As evening hymn.
We float along beneath the forest darkling,
Blending with song the silence of the hour:
We swiftly glide where rapids bright and sparkling
Bear us beside the ruddy rock and tower.
O softly, softly row in measured time,
While nearer, nearer swells the curfew chime.
Now, now again adown the current shooting,
New joy we hail;
While through the forest thrills the fairy fluting
Of nightingale.
O sweet and sweeter that hidden lay,
That in the twilight dies away.
Then merrily onward!  O merrily row!
And smoothly swift, O Severn, flow!

The Severn flow is swift and strong, as neareth
The home we love;
The sunset glow has paled and passed, and cleareth
The heaven above.
The children’s eyes will soon be gently closing,
Calm stars arise and shine on earth instead;
And through the night, all peacefully reposing,
Angels of light shall guard each tiny bed.
O swiftly, swiftly row o’er darkening stream,
While nearer, nearer shines the home lamp’s gleam.
Now, now awake the song of purest thrilling,
Of home and love;
And call the echoes forth, with music filling
The rocks above.
Our song is sweetest as falls the day,
For we are on our homeward way:
Then merrily onward!  O merrily row!
And smoothly swift, O Severn, flow!

–Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS


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