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 Ohio
Ephraim Peabody (1807–1856)
 
(Excerpt)

FLOW on, thou glorious river,
Thy mountain-shores between,
To where the Mexique’s stormy waves
Dash on savannas green.
Flow on, between the forests        5
That bend above thy side,
And ’neath the sky and stars, that lie
Mirrored within thy tide.
 
High in the distant mountains
Thy first small fountains gush,        10
And down the steep, through the ravine,
In shallow rills they rush;
Till in the level valley,
To which the hills descend,
Converging from the summits, meet        15
The thousand rills, and blend.
And soon the narrow mountain stream,
O’er which a child might leap,
Holds on its course with a giant’s force,
In a channel broad and deep.        20
 
High up among the mountains,
The fisher boy is seen,
Alone and lounging in the shade,
Along the margin green;
And not a sound disturbs him, save        25
A squirrel or a bird.
Or on the autumn leaves the noise
“Of dropping nuts is heard.”
But here the city crowds upon
The freedom of the wave,        30
And many a happy village bank
Thy flowing waters lave.
Upon thy tranquil bosom floats
An empire’s burdened keels,
And every tributary stream        35
An empire’s wealth reveals.
 
Flow on, thou mighty river!
High-road of nations, flow!
And thou shalt flow, when all the woods
Upon thy sides are low.        40
Yes, thou shalt flow eternally,
Though on thy peopled shore
The rising town and dawning state
Should sink to rise no more.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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