Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
T. S. Eliot
Walking along the river Thames every day provides me with an opportunity to observe its constant changes. Its beauty is very understated. At first sight its waters seem to be murky, brown and dirty. Until you start looking. Properly. Deeply. Under the surface. Every day the light and the weather change, and with them the reflections, textures, shapes, ripples and colours. You just have to learn to appreciate the ever-changing faces the river reveals.
Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other bards may see
As lovely visions by thy side
As now, fair river! come to me.
O glide, fair stream! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow
As thy deep waters now are flowing…
Men’s evil manners live in brass; their virtues we write in water.
There are two things scarce matched in the Universe –
the sun in heaven and the Thames on earth!
Sir Walter Raileigh
The River Thames, that by our door doth pass,
His first beginning is but small and shallow:
Yet keeping on his course, grows to a sea.