Dylan Thomas




My River

My river, even though it lifts
Ledges of waves high over your head,
Cannot wear your edge away,
Round it so smoothly,
Or rub your bright stone.

You stand a little apart,
Strong enough to tread on the sand
And leave a clear print,
Strong and beautiful enough 
To thrust your arm into the earth
And leave a tunnel
Looking up at you.
The metallic rain
Cannot dent your flanks;
The wind cannot blunt
The blade of your long foot,
Nor can the snow
Smooth the prisms of your breasts.
Sea, do not flow
Against this side.

You stretch out your hands
To touch the hydrangeas,
Then take them away quickly
As the mouth of the tiger-lily
Closes about your clasped fingers
With uneven, spiral teeth.
Your hands are beautiful hands
With slender fingers
And milk-white nails.
Your eyes can be the eyes
Of the nightingale,
Or the eyes of the eagle
Rising on black wings.
Your voice can be the voice
Of the sea under the hard sun,
The sea speaking keenly,
Or the voice of the river
Moving in one direction,
In a pattern like a shell
Lying upon the yellow beach.

My river cannot rub your bright stone,
Which cuts into the strength
And takes the heat away.
My river has high waves,
But your stone is many pointed,
And your side is steep.