“The Water” by Elizabeth Oakes Smith

by theliterarymaiden

The Water
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
From the Southern Literary Messenger, November, 1839

How beautiful the water is!
Didst ever think of it,
When down it tumbles from the skies
As in a merry fit?
It jostles, ringing as it falls,
On all that’s in its way—
I hear it dancing on the roof,
Like some wild thing at play.

‘Tis rushing now adown the spout
And gushing out below;
A happy thing the water is,
While sporting thus, I know.
The earth is dry, and parch’d with heat,
And it hath long’d to be
Releas’d from out the selfish cloud,
To cool the thirsty tree.

It washes, rather rudely too,
The flowret’s simple grace,
As if to chide the pretty thing
For dust upon its face.
It scours the tree, till every leaf
Is freed from dust or stain,
Then waits till leaf and branch are still’d
And showers them o’er again.

Drop after drop, is tinkling down,
To kiss the stirring brook,
The water dimples from beneath
With its own joyous look—
And then the kindred drops embrace,
And singing, on they go,
To dance beneath the willow tree,
And glad the vale below.

How beautiful the water is!
It loves to come at night,
To make you wonder in the morn
to see the earth so bright;
To find a youthful gloss is spread
On every shrub and tree,
And flowrets breathing on the air,
Their odors pure and free.

A dainty thing the water is,
It loves the flowret’s cup,
To nestle mid the odors there,
And fill its petals up—
It hangs its gems on every leaf,
Like diamonds in the sun;
And then the water wins the smile,
The flowret should have won.

How beautiful the water is!
To me ’tis wondrous fair—
No spot can ever lonely be,
If water sparkles there—
It hath a thousand tongues of mirth,
Of grandeur, or delight;
And every heart is gladder made,
When water greets the sight.