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Poem of the Day > 270. The River Deben - Stevie Smith

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

The River Deben

All the waters of the River Deben
Go over my head to the last wave even
Such a death were sweet to seven times seven.

Death sits in the boat with me
His face is shrouded but he smiles I see
The time is not yet, he will not come so readily.

But he smiles and I smile it is pleasant in the boat
at night
There is no moon rising but from the east a light
Shines in the sky is it dawn or dawn's twilight?

Over here the waters are dark as a deep chasm
Shadowed by cliffs of volcanic spasm.
So dark so dark is the waves' fashion

But the oars dip I am rowing they dip and scatter
The phosphorescence in a sudden splatter
Of light that is more actual than a piece of matter.

Up the Deben we row I row towards Waldringfield
It is a long way yet, my arms ache but will not yield
In this physical tiredness there is a happy shield.

Oh happy Deben oh happy night and night's
companion Death
What exultation what ecstasy is in thy breath
It is as salt as the salt silt that lies beneath.

Flow tidal river flow, draw wind from the east,
Smile pleasant Death, smile Death in Darkness blest,
But tarry day upon the crack of dawn; thou comest

Stevie Smith

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

An odd, creepy and slightly disturbing poem - I like it though.

message 3: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments Very spooky - but yes I like it.

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