RIVER NAMES

The Source of the River Severn in the Cambrian Mountains.
The Source of the River Severn in the Cambrian Mountains.

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The stream away from the source.

 


For Avon, think Afon, itself ‘river’
flowing from the source in Brythonic Abona

For Severn, think Sæfern, and before that Sabrina
or Habrena, then Hafren, today’s Welsh river.

Brythonic ‘flowing’ is heard in Thames, Tavy,
Team, Tame and Tamar; Tawe, Taf and Teifi.

These speak of a common spring far back, streams
of speech that still resonate in the veins

of the land, sources that leak silver ore
from the age of Iron, and before

through the valleys of Ynys Prydain.
Dubris > dwfr > dŵr, delving through terrains

of rock and soil, dark waters with names like this:
Dulas, Dowlais, Douglas, Dawlish, Divelish

from Dubglas, source of all Blackwater streams,
the Island’s diversity diverging in these names.

And so to Dee / Dyfrdwy, the Goddess Dēuā,
‘Divine Water’ flooding to fill the lake at Bala,

Aerfen’s waters, Tegid’s lake, Ceridwen’s cauldron.
In Wales and in Scotland this holy river runs.