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[ Also see Afton River Alph River Arno River Ayr River Bronx River Brooks Cam River Chattahoochee River Clyde River Congo River Dee River Doon River Dove River Isar River Keedron River Lee River Leven River Niagara Nile River Po River Potomac River Rhine River Rhone River Scheld River Schuylkill River Swanee River Teviot River Thames River Tiber River Water Yvette River ]

At last the Muses rose, . . . And scattered, . . . as they flew,
  Their blooming wreaths from fair Valclusa's bowers
    To Arno's myrtle border.
      - Mark Akenside,
        Pleasures of the Imagination (II)

Oh, river! darkling river! what a voice
  Is that thou utterest while all else is still--
    The ancient voice that, centuries ago,
      Sounded between thy hills, while Rome was yet
        A weedy solitude by Tiber's stream!
      - William Cullen Bryant

Oh, river, gentle river! gliding on
  In silence underneath this starless sky!
    Thine is a ministry that never rests
      Even while the living slumber.
 * * * * *
Thou pausest not in thine allotted task,
  Oh, darkling river!
      - William Cullen Bryant

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes,
  Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise.
      - Robert Burns, Flow Gently, Sweet Afton

Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!
  My peace with these, my love with those.
    The bursting tears my heart declare;
      Farewell, the bonnie banks of Ayr.
      - Robert Burns, The Banks of Ayr

Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
  O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green;
    The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar
      Twined amorous round the raptures scene.
      - Robert Burns, To Mary in Heaven

A little stream came tumbling from the height,
  And struggling into ocean as it might.
    Its bounding crystal frolick'd in the ray,
      And gush'd from cliff to crag with saltless spray.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
  A stately pleasure-dome decree;
    Where Alph, the sacred river ran,
      Through caverns measureless to man
        Down to a sunless sea.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

Yet I will look upon thy face again,
  My own romantic Bronx, and it will be
    A face more pleasant than the face of men.
      Thy waves are old companions, I shall see
        A well remembered form in each old tree
          And hear a voice long loved in thy wild minstrelsy.
      - Joseph Rodman Drake, Bronx

And see the rivers how they run
  Through woods and meads, in shade and sun,
    Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,--
      Wave succeeding wave, they go
        A various journey to the deep,
          Like human life to endless sleep!
      - John Dyer, Grongar Hill (l. 93)

The river knows the way to the sea:
  Without a pilot it runs and falls,
    Blessing all lands with its charity.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The fountains of sacred rivers flow upwards (i.e., everything is turned topsy turvy.)
      - Euripides, Medea (409)

See the rivers, how they run,
  Changeless to the changeless sea.
      - Charles Kingsley

"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
  And call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
      Across the sands o' Dee;"
        The western wind was wild and dank wi' foam
          And all alone went she.
      - Charles Kingsley, The Sands o' Dee

Out of the hills of Habersham,
  Down the valleys of Hall,
    I hurry amain to reach the plain;
      Run the rapid and leap the fall,
        Split at the rock, and together again
          Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
            And flee from folly on every side
              With a lover's pain to attain the plain,
                Far from the hills of Habersham,
                  Far from the valleys of Hall.
      - Sidney Lanier,
        The Song of the Chattahoochee

Then I saw the Congo, creeping through the black,
  Cutting through the jungle with a golden track.
      - Nicholas Vachel Lindsay, The Congo

Two ways the rivers
  Leap down to different seas, and as they roll
    Grow deep and still, and their majestic presence
      Becomes a benefaction to the towns
        They visit, wandering silently among them,
          Like patriarchs old among their shining tents.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Golden Legend (pt. V)

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
  I am haunted by waters.
      - Norman Fitzroy Maclean,
        A River Runs Through It

On the Big Blackfoot River above the mouth of Belmont Creek the banks are fringed by large Ponderosa pines. In the slanting sun of late afternoon the shadows of great branches reached across the river, and the trees took the river in their arms.
      - Norman Fitzroy Maclean,
        A River Runs Through It

By shallow rivers, to whose falls
  Melodies birds sing madrigals.
      - Christopher Marlowe,
        The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

How sweet to move at summer's eve
  By Clyde's meandering stream,
    When Sol in joy is seen to leave
      The earth with crimson beam;
        When islands that wandered far
          Above his sea couch lie,
            And here and there some gem-like star
              Re-opes its sparkling eye.
      - Andrew Park, The Banks of Clyde

He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.
  [Fr., Les rivieres sont des chemins qui marchant et qui portent ou l'on veut aller.]
      - Blaise Pascal, Pensees (VII, 38)

Rivers are roads that move and carry us whither we wish to go.
  [Fr., Les rivieres sont des chemins qui marchant et qui portent ou l'on veut aller.]
      - Blaise Pascal, Pensees (VII, 38)

Now scantier limits the proud arch confine,
  And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine;
    A small Euphrates thro' the piece is roll'd,
      And little eagles wave their wings in gold.
      - Alexander Pope,
        Moral Essays--Epistle to Addison (l. 27)

Where stray ye, Muses! in what lawn or grove,
  . . . .
    In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides,
      Or else where Cam his winding vales divides?
      - Alexander Pope, Summer (l. 23)

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