The river itself portrays humanity precisely, with its tortuous windings, its accumulation of driftwood, its unsuspected depths, and its crystalline shallows, singing in the Summer sun. Barriers may be built across its path, but they bring only power, as the conquering of an obstacle is always sure to do. Sometimes when the rocks and stone-clad hills loom large ahead, and eternity itself would be needed to carve a passage, there is an easy way around. The discovery of it makes the river sing with gladness and turns the murmurous deeps to living water, bright with ripples and foam.
When Jordan was a baby he sat on top of me much as a fly rests on a hill of dung. And I nourished him as a hill of dung nourishes a fly, and when he had eaten his fill he left me. Jordan..I should have named him after a stagnant pond and then I could have kept him, but I named him after a river and in the flood-tide he slipped away.
Of four infernal rivers that disgorge/ Into the burning Lake their baleful streams; /Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,/Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep; /Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud/ Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegethon/ Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage./ Far off from these a slow and silent stream,/ Lethe the River of Oblivion rolls/ Her wat'ry Labyrinth whereof who drinks,/ Forthwith his former state and being forgets,/ Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.