My Brook

By George Sterling

A Glorious jest my brook has found,
And earth is gladder for the sound.
All day and night the silver throat
Is joyous with a gurgling note.

The very jays slink near to guess
The reason of that roguishness—
The pleasantry that, summer-long,
Hides, yet is patent, in its song.

I wish that I had only half
The mirth implicit in its laugh;
But how shall mortal be as gay
When men are what they are to-day?

Who taught the nimble waters all
The secret merriment they drawl?
The mother rain? The wayward breeze?
The winking stars? The comrade trees?

Who was the teacher? What the jest
So cryptic yet so manifest?
Something, perhaps, a faun once said
To set a dryad blushing red.

Or something deeper, yet as bright
as aught that gave the nymph delight—
Some drollery devised by Pan,
But not to be revealed to man;

Or some innate, essential mirth,
Drawn from the Attic salt of earth,
An element to give the heart
With nature its intrinsic part.

I do not know; I cannot tell
What entertains my brook so well.
It chuckles, chuckles to the wood—
I wish I knew a joke as good!

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