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Water wept from every quarter of the hollow, from under the roots of trees… or it welled up within the channel as dancing lenses of water swelling over bright holes in the [riverbed]… And where [it] spilled over […] shelves of stones, it spoke. As I write these words I hear the soft noise of the river – the only sound I was aware of at the time – and the long drawn-out wail of a police siren. It doesn’t come closer or recede, but is there, welded as it were into the softer sound of the [river]. It has often occurred to me these times when I have explored the river, when I have stood on bridges over it unable to hear the water for the traffic at my back, or when I have sat beside it in quiet corners and even there found the river silent and the rush of the roads ever present, that this ancient voice of the valley has been drowned by cars, trucks and asphalt, drowned as surely as if a dam of concrete had been built between the hills and the old river now lay ten fathoms down… p. 126-7 Silt Road – The Story of a River by Charles Rangeley-Wilson (Photo of River Derwent, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire by Nick Holt August 2013)
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