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The Two Streams by Oliver Wendell Holmes


"The Two Streams" is a poem written by Oliver Wendell Holmes. This poem can be taken both literally and metaphorically. Literally, it is talking specifically about two river streams running across Oregon and into the Pacific Ocean. Metaphorically, the poem is about two children going in different directions after leaving home.

"The Two Streams" is a four stanza poem with four lines in each stanza. The poem has a rhyme scheme of ABAB. The poem is written in both iambic-triameter and iambic-pentameter. All lines within each stanza are triameter except the third line which is pentameter.


The Two Streams

Behold the rocky wall
That down its sloping sides
Pours the swift rain-drops, blending, as they fall,
In rushing river-tides!

Yon stream, whose sources run
Turned by a pebble's edge,
Is Athabasca, rolling toward the sun
Through the cleft mountain-ledge.

The slender rill had strayed,
But for the slanting stone,
To evening's ocean, with the tangled braid
Of foam-flecked Oregon.

So from the heights of Will
Life's parting stream descends,
And, as a moment turns its slender rill,
Each widening torrent bends, --

From the same cradle's side,
From the same mother's knee, --
One to long darkness and the frozen tide,
One to the Peaceful Sea.

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