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The Flow of the River

From The Birmingham Age-Herald, February 9, 1913.
 By Dr. W. E. Evans.

 I have followed the flow of the river
 From the springs and the rills, where at first
 Through the grasses and ferns all entangled
 As a stream into sunlight is burst;
 I have followed its devious windings
 ‘Neath the bending of boughs interlaced
 And have marked how it deepened and widened
 As its course to the ocean was traced:
 And so wide and so deep is the river
 As it surges and flows to the sea
 That the springs and the rills are forgotten—
 E’en the place where it first came to be.
 I had often o’erbounded the river,
 With a sportive and boyishlike pride
 But today only line as of shadow
 Marks the far away opposite side.
 We were children, and stood by the river,
 Then a narrow and silvery band—
 I suggested we follow the water
 While we held one another by hand:
 Through the tall tangled grasses we wandered
 By the banks of the musical stream
 As it tinkled, and murmured, and cadenced
 Like the mystical tones in a dream:
 Ah, the day was so fair! I remember
 It was early in blossoming June
 And the soft vernal zephyrs were fragrant—
 All the world with its God was in tune!
 And I loved her—as man loves a woman—
 Not as boys often love and forget;
 I was old for my years and was thoughtful
 And I fancied she loved me, and yet—
 Through the tall tangled grasses we wandered
 As we each kept an opposite side—
 Loosing hands just a little-by-little
 Where the water was swifter and wide;
 Till at last only tips of the fingers
 Could be touched—then the hands idly fell
 And she merrily said as we parted—
 “We shall meet nevermore,” and “Farewell!”
 O, the long, lonesome walk by the margin!
 O, the piteous call to return
 To the spot where the stream had beginning
 ‘Mid the grass, and the vine, and the fern!
 But away in the distance she faded—
 Where the river drops into the sea
 And dividing us rolled the wide waters
 Leaving memory and heartache to me.

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