Rivers

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A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr..

A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river.

Sourced[edit]

Generally[edit]

  • A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure. It offers a necessity of life that must be rationed among those who have power over it.

Two Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation[edit]

The flood carrying all before it
like merchants, caravans
loaded with gold, pearls,
peacock feathers and rows
of white tusk and fragrant woods.
It floods, it runs over
its continents like the fame
of a great king, upright,
infallible, reigning by the Laws
under cool royal umbrellas.
They pour like a generous giver
giving all he has,
remembering and reckoning
all he has.
Bending to a curve, the river,
surface colored by petals,
gold yellow pollen, honey,
the ochre flow of elephant lust,
looked much like a rainbow.
Stealing milk and buttermilk,
guzzling on warm ghee and butter
straight from the pots on the ropes,
leaning the marutam tree on the kuruntam
carrying away the clothes and bracelets
of goatherd girls at water games,
like Krsna dancing
on the spotted snake,
the waters are naughty.

Kampan quoted in: A. K. Ramanujan in: Two Three Hundred Ramayanas: Five Examples and Three Thoughts on Translation, UC Press E-Books Collection, 1982-2004

  • The River
  • The cloud, wearing white
    on white like Siva,
    making beautiful the sky
    on his way from the sea
    grew dark
    as the face of the Lord
    who wears with prideon his right the Goddess
    of the scented breasts.
  • They pour like a generous giver
    giving all he has,
    remembering and reckoning
    all he has.
  • It floods, it runs over
    its continents like the fame
    of a great king, upright,
    infallible, reigning by the Laws
    under cool royal umbrellas.
  • Concubines caressing
    their lovers' hair, their lovers'
    bodies, their lovers' limbs,
    take away whole hills
    of wealth yet keep little
    in their spendthrift hands
    as they move on: so too
    the waters flow from the peaks
    to the valleys,
    beginning high and reaching low.
  • The flood carrying all before it
    like merchants, caravans
    loaded with gold, pearls,
    peacock feathers and rows
    of white tusk and fragrant woods.
  • Bending to a curve, the river,
    surface colored by petals,
    gold yellow pollen, honey,
    the ochre flow of elephant lust,
    looked much like a rainbow.
  • Ravaging hillsides, uprooting trees,
    covered with fallen leaves all over,
    the waters came,
    like a monkey clan
    facing restless seas
    looking for a bridge.
  • Thick-faced proud elephants
    ranged with foaming cavalier horses
    filling the air with the noise of war,
    raising banners,
    the flood rushes
    as for a battle with the sea.
  • Stream of numberless kings
    in the line of the Sun,
    continuous in virtue:
    the river branches into deltas,
    mother's milk to all lives
    on the salt sea-surrounded land.
  • Scattering a robber camp on the hills
    with a rain of arrows,
    the sacred women beating their bellies
    and gathering bow and arrow as they run,
    the waters assault villages
    like the armies of a king.
  • Stealing milk and buttermilk,
    guzzling on warm ghee and butter
    straight from the pots on the ropes,
    leaning the marutam tree on the kuruntam
    carrying away the clothes and bracelets
    of goatherd girls at water games,
    like Krsna dancing
    on the spotted snake,
    the waters are naughty.
  • Turning forest into slope,
    field into wilderness,
    seashore into fertile land,
    changing boundaries,
    exchanging landscapes,
    the reckless waters
    roared on like the pasts
    that hurry close on the heels
    of lives.
  • Born of Himalayan stone
    and mingling with the seas,
    it spreads, ceaselessly various,
    one and many at once,
    like that Original
    even the measureless Vedas
    cannot measure with words.
  • Through pollen-dripping groves,
    clumps of champak,
    lotus pools,
    water places with new sands,
    flowering fields cross-fenced
    with creepers,
    like a life filling and emptying
    a variety of bodies,
    the river flows on.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 675-676.

  • 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!
  • The fountains of sacred rivers flow upwards, (i.e. everything is turned topsy turvy).
  • 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.
  • By shallow rivers, to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.
    • Christopher Marlowe, The Passionate Shepherd to His Love; same idea in Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, Scene 1; said to be written by Shakespeare and Marlowe.
  • Les rivières sent des chemins qui marchant et qui portent où l'on veut aller.
    • Rivers are roads that move and carry us whither we wish to go.
    • Blaise Pascal, Pensées (1669), VII. 38.
  • Viam qui nescit qua deveniat ad mare
    Eum oportet amnem quærere comitem sibi.
    • He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.
    • Plautus, Pœnulus, III. 3. 14.
  • 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.
  • From Stirling Castle we had seen
    The mazy Forth unravelled;
    Had trod the banks of Clyde and Tay,
    And with the Tweed had travelled;
    And when we came to Clovenford,
    Then said "my winsome marrow,"
    "Whate'er betide, we'll turn aside,
    And see the braes of Yarrow."

Specific rivers[edit]

For the Nile River, see Nile; for the Rhine, see Rhine.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 12.
  • 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.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 43.
  • Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,
    O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green;
    The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar
    Twined amorous round the raptured scene.
    • Robert Burns, To Mary in Heaven, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 53.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 53.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 84.
  • 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, line 23, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 109.
  • 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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 123.
  • Then I saw the Congo, creeping through the black,
    Cutting through the jungle with a golden track.
  • Flow on, lovely Dee, flow on, thou sweet river,
    Thy banks' purest stream shall be dear to me ever.
    • John Tait, The Banks of the Dee, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 184.
  • "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, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 184.
  • Ye banks and braes o' bonny Doon,
    How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair;
    How can ye chant, ye little birds,
    And I sae weary fu' o' care!
    • Robert Burns, The Banks o' Doon, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 200.
  • Oh, my beloved nymph, fair Dove,
    Princess of rivers, how I love
    Upon thy flowery banks to lie,
    And view thy silver stream,
    When gilded by a summer's beam!
    And in it all thy wanton fry,
    Playing at liberty;
    And with my angle, upon them
    The all of treachery
    I ever learned, industriously to try!
    • Charles Cotton, The Retirement, line 34, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 201.
  • On Linden, when the sun was low,
    All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
    And dark as winter was the flow
    Of Isar, rolling rapidly.
    • Thomas Campbell, Hohenlinden, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 401.
  • Thou soft-flowing Keedron by thy silver stream
    Our Saviour at midnight when Cynthia's pale beam
    Shone bright on the waters, would oftentimes stray
    And lose in thy murmurs the toils of the day.
    • Maria de Fleury, Thou soft-flowing Keedron, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 415.
  • On this I ponder
    Where'er I wander,
    And thus grow fonder,
    Sweet Cork, of thee,—
    With thy bells of Shandon,
    That sounds so grand on
    The pleasant waters
    Of the river Lee.
    • Father Prout (Francis Mahoney), The Bells of Shandon, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 415.
  • On Leven's banks, while free to rove,
    And tune the rural pipe to love,
    I envied not the happiest swain
    That ever trod the Arcadian plain.
    Pure stream! in whose transparent wave
    My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
    No torrents stain thy limpid source,
    No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
    That sweetly warbles o'er its bed,
    With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread.
    • Tobias Smollett, Ode to Leven Water, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 437.
  • And Potomac flowed calmly, scarce heaving her breast,
    With her low-lying billows all bright in the west,
    For a charm as from God lulled the waters to rest
    Of the fair rolling river.
    • Paul Hamilton Hayne, Beyond the Potomac, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 619.
  • Is it not better, then, to be alone,
    And love Earth only for its earthly sake?
    By the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone
    Or the pure bosom of its nursing lake.
  • Thou Royal River, born of sun and shower
    In chambers purple with the Alpine glow,
    Wrapped in the spotless ermine of the snow
    And rocked by tempests!
  • Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
    Or by the lazy Scheld or wandering Po!
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (1764), line 1, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 691.
  • Alone by the Schuylkill a wanderer rov'd,
    And bright were its flowery banks to his eye;
    But far, very far, were the friends that he lov'd,
    And he gaz'd on its flowery banks with a sigh.
    • Thomas Moore, Lines Written on Leaving Philadelphia, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 691.
  • Way down upon de Swanee Ribber,
    Far, far away,
    Dere's whar ma heart am turning ebber,
    Dere's whar de old folks stay.
    All up and down de whole creation,
    Sadly I roam,
    Still longing for de old plantation,
    And for de old folks at home.
    • Stephen Collins Foster, Old Folks at Home. (Swanee Ribber), reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 773.
  • Sweet Teviot! on thy silver tide
    The glaring bale-fires blaze no more;
    No longer steel-clad warriors ride
    Along thy wild and willow'd shore.
    • Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Canto IV, Stanza 1, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 785.
  • O, could I flow like thee! and make thy stream
    My great example, as it is my theme;
    Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull;
    Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
    • Sir John Denham, Cooper's Hill, line 189, regarding the River Thames. Latin prose with same idea found in a letter of Roger Ascham's to Sir William Petre. Epistles. P. 254. (Ed. 1590). reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 785.
  • Serene yet strong, majestic yet sedate,
    Swift without violence, without terror great.
    • Matthew Prior, Carmen Seculare, line 200. Imitation of Denham, regarding the River Thames, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 785.
  • Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames;
    Fair winding up to where the Muses haunt
    In Twit'nham bowers, and for their Pope implore.
    • James Thomson, The Seasons, Summer (1727), line 1,425, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 785.
  • Never did sun more beautifully steep
    In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
    Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
    The river glideth at his own sweet will.
    Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
    And all that mighty heart is lying still!
    • William Wordsworth, Sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, regarding the River Thames, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 785.
  • Thou hast fair forms that move
    With queenly tread;
    Thou hast proud fanes above
    Thy mighty dead.
    Yet wears thy Tiber's shore
    A mournful mien:-
    Rome, Rome, thou art no more
    As thou hast been.
    • Felicia Hemans, Roman Girl's Song, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 791.
  • Those graceful groves that shade the plain,
    Where Tiber rolls majestic to the main,
    And flattens, as he runs, the fair campagne.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XIV: Æneas Arrives in Italy, line 8; Sir Samuel Garth's trans, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 791.
  • Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
    Into the channel, till the lowest stream
    Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.
  • Thy braes were bonnie, Yarrow stream,
    When first on them I met my lover;
    Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream,
    When now thy waves his body cover!
  • O lovely river of Yvette!
    O darling river! like a bride,
    Some dimpled, bashful, fair Lisette,
    Thou goest to wed the Orge's tide.
    O lovely river of Yvette!
    O darling stream! on balanced wings
    The wood-birds sang the chansonnette
    That here a wandering poet sings.
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, To the River Yvette, Stanza 5, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 924.

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