Speke and Burton ventured up the Nile
to seek its source. They quarreled on the Nile
among the fever-trees and lion’s dens,
the tropic grasslands that surround the Nile.
It’s every pilgrim’s dream to find the source
of something—maybe smaller than the Nile
or than a breadbox—still, a worthy goal.
But dangers line the edges of the Nile,
as these adventurers had found out. Pride
can dog your footsteps all along the Nile
with crocodile teeth and stinking breath.
Do not imagine you can claim the Nile
as your discovery. It’s been there since
before you looked at any map. The Nile
will be there long after you’re gone. Remember
you’re not here to find and name the Nile,
but witness to the strength of water. Drink
and praise God for the beauty of the Nile.