Come to the river’s side, my love,
My light canoe is by the shore,—
We’ll float upon the tide my love,
And thou shalt hold the dripping oar.
Methinks thy hand could guide so well
The tiny vessel on its course;
The waves would smooth their crests to thee
As I have done my spirit’s force.
How calmly will we glide my love,
Through moonlight floating on the deep,
Or, loving yet the safer shore,
Beneath the fringing willows weep.
Again, like some wild duck, we’ll skim,
And scarcely touch the water’s face,
While silver streaks our way shall mark,
And circling lines of beauty trace!
And then the stars shall shine above
In harmony with those below,
And gazing up, and looking down,
Give glance for glance, and glow for glow!
And then their light shall be our own,
Commingled with our souls!—and sweet
As those bright stars of Heaven shall be
Our hearts, which then shall melting meet.
At last we’ll reach yon silent isle,
So calm and green amidst the waves;
So peaceful too, it does not spurn
The friendly tide its shore that laves.
We’ll draw our vessel on the sand,
And seek the shadow of those trees,
Where all alone, and undisturbed,
We’ll talk and love as we may please!
And then thy voice shall be so soft,
’Twill match the whisper of the leaves,
And then thy breast shall yield its sigh
So like the wavelet as it heaves!
And oh that eye, so dark and free,
So like a spirit in itself!
And then that hand so white and small
It would not shame the loveliest elf!
The world might perish all, for me,
So that it left that little isle!
The human race might pass away
If thou wert left me with thy smile!
Then, to the river’s side, my love,
My boat is waiting on its oar—
We’ll float upon the tide, my love,
And gaily reach that islet’s shore.