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(after George Turberville)
You mongrel stream with often moody tide
In Cotswold hills from silken springs do rise
Meand’ring meadows where the cowslips hide
By drooping trees that cramp your flowing sides.
Flow sweetly till the furious sea you meet
Will stain your pristine flow with brackish look
And hurl you back upstream in forced retreat,
Mix salt into the sweetness of your brook.
While you your watery wars do thus pursue
You split the town in two – to north and south
Londoners know themselves by where they grew
As you can tell as soon they open mouth
But they all know what lies behind each squall
Without a Thames there’d be no town at all.