Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Middle States
New York
Anonymous
 
        
Hendrik’s Prophecy
  The words of the refrain in this song are those used by Henry Hudson himself, when he first brought his ship through the Narrows, and saw the bay of New York.

FLOW fair beside the Palisades, flow, Hudson, fair and free,
By proud Manhattan’s shore of ships and green Hoboken’s tree;
So fair yon haven clasped its isles, in such a sunset gleam,
When Hendrik and his sea-worn tars first sounded up the stream,
And climbed this rocky palisade, and resting on its brow,        5
Passed round the can and gazed awhile on shore and wave below;
And Hendrik drank with hearty cheer, and loudly then cried he:
“’T is a good land to fall in with, men, and a pleasant land to see!”
 
Then something—ah, ’t was prophecy!—came glowing to his brain:
He seemed to see the mightier space between the oceans twain,        10
Where other streams by other strands run through their forests fair,
From bold Missouri’s lordly tide to the leafy Delaware;
The Sacramento, too, he saw, with its sands of secret gold,
And the sea-like Mississippi on its long, long courses rolled;
And great thoughts glowed within him;—“God bless the land,” cried he;        15
“’T is a good land to fall in with, men, and a pleasant land to see!
 
“I see the white sails on the main, along the land I view
The forests opening to the light and the bright axe flashing through;
I see the cots and village ways, the churches with their spires,
Where once the Indians camped and danced the war-dance, round their fires;        20
I see a storm come up the deep,—’t is hurrying, raging, o’er
The darkened fields,—but soon it parts, with a sullen, seaward roar.
’T is gone; the heaven smiles out again—God loves the land,” cried he;
“’T is a good land to fall in with, men, and a pleasant land to see!
 
“I see the white sails on the main, I see, on all the strands,        25
Old Europe’s exiled households crowd, and toil’s unnumbered hands—
From Hessenland and Frankenland, from Danube, Drave, and Rhine,
From Netherland, my sea-born land, and the Norseman’s hills of pine,
From Thames, and Shannon, and their isles—and never, sure, before,
Invading host such greeting found upon a stranger shore.        30
The generous Genius of the West his welcome proffers free:
‘’T is a good land to fall in with, men, and a pleasant land to see!’
 
“They learn to speak one language; they raise one flag adored
Over one people evermore, and guard it with the sword.
In festive hours, they look upon its starry folds above,        35
And hail it with a thousand songs of glory and of love.
Old airs of many a fatherland still mingle with the cheer,
To make the love more loving still, the glory still more dear—
Drink up-sees out! join hands about! bear chorus all,” chants he;
“’T is a good land to fall in with, men, and a pleasant land to see!”        40
 
 
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