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.
 
Western States: Ohio, the River
The Beautiful River
Edward Reynolds
 
  AN OLD, familiar friend! I saw the flow
  Of wayward Wabash to Ohio’s flood,
  Long leagues away from where I learned to know
  And love the stream; and on its banks I stood
  As friend meets friend in some familiar wood,        5
  Its ripples, wrought to flecks of ashy foam;
  Its bright, clay-tinted waves; its finny brood;
  And even the shells half-buried in the loam,—
All came to me like welcome messages from home.
 
  Here meet and mingle genially in one        10
  The Wabash with Ohio’s silver wave.
  The Beautiful River! How its waters run,
  Inspiring joy and plenty as they lave
  The smiling land they irrigate to save.
  The Beautiful River!—gentle, clear, and bright,—        15
  Beloved now as when the ancient brave
  Propelled his swift canoe athwart the light,
Where gorgeous palace boats now break upon the sight.
 
  Green islands gem the bosom of the stream;
  Their sandy slopes beneath the waters dip;        20
  And on the wooded banks the sunbeams gleam,
  Reflected in the dew-drops as they drip
  From oaks and elms, and clinging vines that grip
  The leafy boughs with loving tendrils strong;
  The trumpet-flowers smile with ruddy lip;        25
  The mistletoe extends the boughs along,
And wooes the graceful jay-bird’s hoarse but cheerful song.
 
 
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