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.
 
Middle States: Red Mill, the River, N. Y.
The Red Mill Fall
Alfred Billings Street (1811–1881)
 
WITH one bold spring, the little streamlet sinks
Prostrate below, and slumbers still and pure,
Holding its silver mirror to the sun
And open sky. It rushes from its height,
Like some bold warrior to the gladdening fray;        5
Then rests like that same warrior in repose,
Smiling at victory won. When summer noon
Makes earth and air all drowsy with its heat,
Delicious is the rumble of the plunge
Sounding its grateful coolness to the ear,        10
And blending sweetly with the sighing tones
Born where the pine uplifts its dark blue spire,
And with the humming, like a giant bee,
The tall slim mill yields ever through the day.
Noon’s columned beams bring likewise out the hues        15
That shift and quiver upon the headlong sheet;
The emerald and the sapphire of its curve,
The diamond tremble of its glancing drops,
And all the tints that glitter in the threads—
Divided sunshine—of the opal bow        20
Gleaming and dancing in the snowy foam
Born at its tumbling foot. The afternoon
Steeps it in pleasant shadow, with a ring
Of radiance on the cedar’s slender tip
And mill’s sharp roof, and moonlight makes the pitch        25
One slope of silver. A delicious spot!
And lovers wander here in summer hours,
To gaze upon the scene, and, in the soft
And glowing day-dreams given by Hope and Love,
Muse on the things that meet their mingled sight.        30
In the swift plunging stream the youth beholds
The course of man,—his energy of will,
His rush of action, turbulence of soul;
While sees the maiden in the pool below
The life of woman,—gentle, sweet, and bright,        35
Receiving to her bosom reckless man,
Yet glassing in her crystal purity
The stars and sunshine of the heaven above her.
 
 
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