English River

That voice- a girl?  her silver tones a dulcet spell
so sweet and small and silk-thread thin,
yet filling forest rill to dell
Out of sight and ken,
yet kin to my own spirit, she
In tune of pouting Fairie Queene
Sitting on a moss-beard stone
in dappled sunshade moist and green
She sings a simple song-
an herb to cure the dryness of my heart.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

This Lorelei who hides her face-
or capercaillie in the bush-
Can this song be a call to me
or does the breeze conceive my dream?
do leaves and hollow branches tune
and all conspire to draw me on
or is my heart the author of this song?

I stood upon the bank a while
and watched the flowing river swell.
I raised my face and closed my eyes
and breathed in clover, moist and full
the long wet grass, the lone green tree
a buzzing bee and dizzy me

And I have slipped, and joyous fallen in.

From pole to pole the river flows
and up the sky in fountains
and back again across the stars
to rain upon the mountains.

“Swim in the English river…” she sings
A water sprite, then, must she be.
“Swim in the English river…” again-
I wonder, might she swim with me?

dream language vision
poem grown out of a recurring dream Bill Vaughn had
03/13/90