Monday, 23 April 2018

To Leven-Water

    18th century author and poet Tobias Smollet was born in Dumbartonshire, Scotland. A place with picturesque scenery and one of the most beautiful lochs in Scotland, Loch Lomond, is located. The River Leven, which Smollet features in the following poem flows into the loch and his words bring the poem alive. I can nearly hear the ripples of the water and see the trout and salmon leaping as they make there way up river.

Loch Lomond

To Leven-Water

On Leven's banks, while free to rove
And tune the rural pipe to love
I envied not the happiest swain
That ever trod the Arcadian plain
Pure stream! In whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I want to lave
No torrents stain they limpid source
No rocks impede they dimpling course
That sweetly warbles over its bed
With white, round, polished pebbles spread
While, lightly poised, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave thy crystal flood
The springing trout, in speckled pride
The salmon monarch of the tide
The ruthless pike, intent on war
The silver eel, and mottled par 
Devolving from thy parent lake
A charming maze thy waters make
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine
And hedges flowered with eglantine
Still on thy banks, so gaily green
May numerous hers and flocks be seen
And lasses chanting over the pail
And shepherd piping in the dale
And ancient faith that knows no guile
And industry enbrowned with toil
And hands resolved, and hands prepared
The blessings they enjoy to guard

Eglantine (Briar)

                       By Tobias Smollet  1721-1771

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