Nymphs of the Stream

They hide in the brook when I seek to draw nearer,
Laughing amain when I feign to depart;

Oceanides, York House Gardens, Twickenham, TW1

Often I hear them, now faint and now clearer—
Innocent bold or so sweetly discreet.

Oceanides, York House Gardens, Twickenham, TW1

Are they Nymphs of the Stream at their playing
Or but the brook I mistook for a voice?

Oceanides, York House Gardens, Twickenham, TW1

Little care I; for, despite harsh Time’s flaying,
Brook voice or Nymph voice still makes me rejoice.

From Ellis Parker Butler’s The Water Nymphs

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