Langston Hughes



                            The Negro Speaks of Rivers


I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human
      blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to
      New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the
      sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994.