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The River

 In my first sleep
I came to the river
And looked down
Through the clear water -
Only in dream
Water so pure,
Laced and undulant
Lines of flow
On its rocky bed
Water of life
Streaming for ever.
A house was there Beside the river And I, arrived, An expected guest About to explore Old gardens and libraries - But the car was waiting To drive me away.
One last look Into that bright stream - Trout there were And clear on the bottom Monster form Of the great crayfish That crawls to the moon.
On its rocky bed Living water In whorls and ripples Flowing unbended.
There was the car To drive me away.
We crossed the river Of living water - I might not stay, But must return By the road too short To the waiting day.
In my second dream Pure I was and free By the rapid stream, My crystal house the sky, The pure crystalline sky.
Into the stream I flung A bottle of clear glass That twirled and tossed and spun In the water's race Flashing the morning sun.
Down that swift river I saw it borne away, My empty crystal form, Exultant saw it caught Into the current's spin, The flashing water's run.

by Kathleen Raine
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