The beauty of the Thames

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The Thames has often been a beautiful sight at sunrise or sunset. The very mistiness of the atmosphere lends an enchantment to the view. No wonder that poets have sung its praises, and painters loved it. With sights like the Bridge at Westminster with the statue of Boadicea who in the fargone days burnt this Roman City of Londinium.

In the old days the Palace of Whitehall, the stately town houses of the nobility embosomed in trees and with gardens coming down to the water's edge, the distant view of the picturesque city, with its vast gothic Cathedral towering high above the roofs, must truly have been a very beautiful sight, but not more beautiful than this.

On the opposite bank the houses were few and far between, and the flatness of the landscape was unrelieved. But now in these days that bank, with its factories and huge warehouses, its wharfs and barges moored alongside, the lofty shot towers, mean in detail but lovely in effect, serves but as a foil and foreground to the view beyond.

Let the eye travel round the curve and rest on the noble bridge at Waterloo, the river front of Somerset House, the foliage of the Embankment Gardens, the old-world Temple, with its lawns and trees, and look beyond at the view of that wondrously beautiful dome, lifting high above the city its golden cross, until the dim outline of the Tower Bridge closes the view.

Then let us cross Westminster bridge, and as the sun is sinking in the west, gaze at that fairy palace rising in shadow from the water's edge, with its pinnacles and spires, its colossal Victoria Tower, and the niches and statues "in whose folded sleeves birds build their nests" the glorious successor of the old Palace of our Saxon, Norman, Plantagenet, and Tudor Kings.

The long river front of St. Thomas' Hospital is lit up by the rays of the setting sun which deepen the colour of the red brick and gild the stone dressings, and make every window a flame of glory. Below it are the lines of the Albert Embankment, and beyond are the towers of Lambeth Palace. A beautiful sight.