'Rivers Unknown to Song' James Thomson

WIDE waters in the waste; or, out of reach,
Rough Alpine falls where late a glacier hung;
Or rivers groping for an alien beach,
Through continents, unsung.
Nay, not these nameless, these remote, alone;
But all the streams from all the watersheds —
Peneus, Danube, Nile — are the unknown,
Young in their ancient beds.
Man has no tale for them. Oh! travelers swift
From secrets to oblivion! Waters wild
That pass in act to bend a flower or lift
The bright limbs of a child!
For they are new, they are fresh; there’s no surprise
Like theirs on earth. Oh, strange forevermore!
This moment’s Tiber with his shining eyes
Never saw Rome before.
Man has no word for their eternity —
Rhine, Avon, Arno, younglings, youth uncrowned!
Ignorant, innocent, instantaneous, free,
Unwelcomed, unrenowned.