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The River

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Below is the poem entitled The River which was written by poet elizabeth wesley. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The River

Before the weary pilgrim, flowed a river fair and wide
The way was filled with danger,  he couldn't cross the other side;
So the pilgrim sought another to be his expert guide
With a boat that could take him through the surging tide.

The sailor man was strong and he steered the boat so well
Or did the river bear the boat?  It was so hard to tell;
The sailor told the pilgrim of the signs that he might seek
Of the secrets of the river and the message it would speak.

Then the pilgrim felt the peace so he listened and he heard
The murmer of the river and sighs of whispered word;
He heard the river laugh and then he heard it cry
And the pilgrim heard the message as sad tears filled his eye.

He heard the drums of war in the torrent of the rain
And the awful cries of anguish that he never could explain;
Was there a reason for the crossing, or where the river ran
Was there another reason for the journey of this man?

He heard the sounds of death, he heard the sounds of mirth
But nothing that he heard gave tribute to the earth;
The sounds were fused together till they reached a common goal
And the quiver of his heartbeat found a cadence in his soul.

The river lost its birthplace and embraced the open sea
And the pilgrim gave his thanks on reverent bended knee
He opened up his eyes as the sunrise slowly died
But the sailor man had gone and the boat rocked on the tide.

The river filled his veins till the two at last were one
While the tide rolled on forever and earth went round the sun;
The pilgrim was the river and the boat and sailor man
Were the journey of the song, the singing river sang.

This is my adaptation of "The Ferryman" by Herman Hesse


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  1. Date: 7/14/2013 10:32:00 AM

    Very well worded Lizzie, a truly wonderful expierience you have relayed here..' so good to read today, Joe..)

  1. Date: 6/10/2013 1:34:00 PM

    A splendid work, Lizzie, as is your wont! Terry (I miss not seeing anything new...)

  1. Date: 1/29/2013 10:30:00 AM

    You have got a good metre and rhythm going here. Really outstanding work. I am flattered by your comment, mainly because I know not what a Cockney accent is, though I have heard the term before. I was simply trying to emulate Kipling. I do love to listen to English accents, though.

  1. Date: 11/7/2012 10:13:00 AM

    found one i have not read before, this is amazing Lizzy

  1. Date: 9/18/2012 8:55:00 PM

    awesome poem,,,, I really enjoyed the journey as I was reading , you have a blessed day ;}

  1. Date: 8/12/2012 5:01:00 AM

    Dear Liz, So glad my poem was special to you. We owe everything Christian to the Jews [even Jesus the Jew]. I am a Christian but still believe in the true Sabbath -- the Sabbath of the Jews. Shame most Christians don't know that Sunday worship is pagan and devised by the Romans. The Jews deny Jesus and the Christians deny God's holy day that goes back to creation. Loved your "The River" poem. You have the gift to write. God bless, love, Maureen

  1. Date: 8/9/2012 12:37:00 AM

    Splendid work, madame. I have not read The Ferryman, but am sure you must have done justice to it.

  1. Date: 7/24/2012 8:02:00 PM

    Such delightful Cosmic consolation Elizabeth,bravo!!! you really put my mind to frolic and contemplation with this composition,thanks -Thank Deity for singing rivers - very deft rhyme - J.A.B.

  1. Date: 7/20/2012 11:08:00 PM

    wow this is so beautiful... such great rhyming and a soothing flow...Enjoyed your river a lot too Elizabeth & thanks for commenting on mine. Have a great weekend!!!

  1. Date: 7/7/2012 5:31:00 PM

    great interesting poem here babe

  1. Date: 7/7/2012 5:06:00 PM

    A beautiful poem, Elizabeth -well rhymed and flowing like a river itself. Also Happy Birthday. I hope you celebrated your Birthday with your near and dear ones, befittingly. Thanks for reading my poem Donot knock and for your generous appreciation

  1. Date: 7/3/2012 9:47:00 PM

    Happy Belated Birthday, also my best friends birthday and the birthday of my country Canada so you are in fine company. Mine is on the 14th along with P.S.'s Carolyn Devonshire, In hope you had a fantastic birthday Sunday filled with love and happiness

  1. Date: 7/2/2012 4:19:00 PM

    Just found out July 1st was your birthday. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, LIZ. Love, Dave

  1. Date: 7/2/2012 10:25:00 AM

    A nice question deeply asked in the last line. It's very hard to say where adaptation is on boom. Loved always, bl

  1. Date: 7/1/2012 4:52:00 PM

    Dear Elizabeth, First of all....Happy Birthday! What a great way to begin July. You are such a generous person leaving lovely comments with thought and care for all of us. This poem is a testament to your talent and what a great poet you are. Many, many blessings for happiness are wished for you on your Special day. Love, Lotus

  1. Date: 7/1/2012 3:56:00 PM

    Very very well put here Lizzie.. so good to read..)

  1. Date: 7/1/2012 11:56:00 AM

    Good afternoon Liz, love the outlook of your poems and ways... your poem is perfect for this sound if your view of the "The Ferryman" came to life... love your poem.. always PD

  1. Date: 7/1/2012 5:58:00 AM

    Sounds like the story of the Voyageurs here in Northen Minnesota! Well done, ELizabeth! Jimbo

  1. Date: 6/30/2012 12:56:00 AM

    Lizzy, the plates simply said Andie55 (for the year I was born). (I gave up my splendid sports car also in what was the 55th year of my life, so I gave up using the plates forever). It felt like my death.

  1. Date: 6/29/2012 10:10:00 AM

    One of your best, in my opinion. Keep up the great work. Have a great weekend..TAH

  1. Date: 6/28/2012 6:23:00 AM

    Beautiful as usual, thnx for sharing, :) Jag

  1. Date: 6/27/2012 1:37:00 PM

    I like this image of man as river, a river gaining breadth as it rolls down to the sea. Hesse has imbued man with mystic qualities that are fascinating. I recall The Glass Bead Game. Great stuff, Liz. I'm still having computer problems and am waiting for the first of the month, so I can take it in for repairs. Love, daver

  1. Date: 6/27/2012 12:36:00 PM

    Such a flowing write Lizzie, absolutely enjoyed your adaptation.. Thank you for dropping in on my side of the world.. Hope you are doing okay.. ;) love Wilma

  1. Date: 6/27/2012 9:58:00 AM

    i love the way you use the contrast approach with rhymes that just so effortlessly flow in every single one of your lines....a river, this one, floating on waters of reflection, lizzie...incredible!..:) huggs!

  1. Date: 6/27/2012 9:26:00 AM

    Very nice........... George

  1. Date: 6/27/2012 9:11:00 AM

    great adaptation,lovely done Herman would be pleased,nice Elizabeth

  1. Date: 6/24/2012 11:17:00 PM

    Mrs. Elizabeth what a beautiful rendition. Powerful poetry indeed. I enjoyed the way that the poem almost seems to flow as if it is a river, it just feels fluid. Great poetry, thank you for sharing. P.S. Yes I am fine, thank you for asking :). I have just been busy with work and school. Getting a degree would have been easier 13 years ago *sigh*.

  1. Date: 6/24/2012 4:05:00 PM

    A fantastic rendition Elizabeth ! And the river man I am ! Just wonderful ! And death amongst creation, bothers me not. Where one treads, is either soft to the touch, or poetry from the observer results ! Have a wonderful life dear friend ! Much love, and a pleasure to have followed you..............................james

  1. Date: 6/24/2012 2:13:00 PM

    Wow. very well written. - JH

  1. Date: 6/24/2012 10:04:00 AM

    Incidentally I also wrote one long series in the name of Boatman’s Song in 2010, but its initials parts got deleted as my total poems crossed 200 numbers and I was not aware about that. Love and best wishes ......Ravindra..E. W