How beautiful the river banks,
Each a slick and shining brown.
The tide now slackens out through town
Past railway sidings, standing tanks.
Here reeds are stained and standing thick,
The ducks and gulls squat on the mud
And later comes the brackish flood
But now the silt is dark and slick,
Here interrupted by a pile
Half-rotted, stained with grey and green,
There lies a tire, half-sunk, half-seen,
And so on down the winding mile.
All the way, from here to the sea,
The Thames retreats from its own bed,
Its mind is changed, intentions fled,
So changeful as the moon we flee.