Prose & Poetry - The Muse in Arms - The River Bathe

"The River Bathe" by R. W. Sterling First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

Below is one of eight poems featured within the Chivalry of Sport section of the collection.

You can access other poems within the section via the sidebar to the right.

The River Bathe
by R. W. Sterling

When the messenger sunbeam over your bed
Silently creeps in the morn;
And the dew-drops glitter on flower and tree,
Like the tears of hope new-born;
When the clouds race by in the painted sky
And the wind has a merry tune:
Ah! then for the joy of an early dip
In the glorious pools of Lune!

Up! up from your bed! Let the sluggards lie
In an airy palace of dreams,
Respond to the joyous lapwing's call
And the song of the burbling streams!
Oh, balmy the air, and wondrous fair
Are the hills with sunlight crowned,
And all the voices of nature seem
To mingle in one glad sound.

Then hurry along, for as light as the heart
Are the feet on a morning in June,
To the banks that are speckled with sunshine and shade,
'Neath the guardian trees of Lune,
Where the eddies play with the rocks all day
In a whirl of fretful fun,
And the wavelet kisses the pebbly shore
With a mirrored smile from the sun.

A good brave plunge in the crystal cool
Of this grand primeval tub:
Then glowing you stand on the warm dry rocks
By the edge of the foaming Dub.
Then homeward along, like the soul of a song
That has every note in tune;
And dear will the memory always be
Of the glorious pools of Lune.

The "Red Baron" was the allied nickname for German air ace Manfred von Richthofen, the leading ace of the war.

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Muse in Arms

Chivalry of Sport