Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Trenton Falls, near Utica
By Anthony Bleecker (1770–1827)
 
YE hills, who have for ages stood
Sublimely in your solitude,
  Listening the wild water’s roar,
As thundering down, from steep to steep,
Along your wave-worn sides they sweep,        5
  Dashing their foam from shore to shore.
 
Wild birds, that loved the deep recess,
Fell beast that roved the wilderness,
  And savage men once hover’d round:
But startled at your bellowing waves,        10
Your frowning cliffs, and echoing caves,
  Affrighted fled the enchanted ground.
 
How changed the scene!—your lofty trees,
Which bent but to the mountain breeze,
  Have sunk beneath the woodman’s blade;        15
New sun-light through your forest pours,
Paths wind along your sides and shores,
  And footsteps all your haunts invade.
 
Now boor, and beau, and lady fair,
In gay costume each day repair,        20
  Where thy proud rocks exposed stand,
While echo, from her old retreats,
With babbling tongue strange words repeats,
  From babblers on your stony strand.
 
And see—the torrent’s rocky floor,        25
With names and dates all scribbled o’er,
  Vile blurs on nature’s heraldry;
O bid your river in its race,
These mean memorials soon efface,
  And keep your own proud album free.        30
 
Languid thy tides, and quell’d thy powers,
But soon Autumnus with his showers,
  Shall all thy wasted strength restore;
Then will these ramblers down thy steep,
With terror pale their distance keep,        35
  Nor dare to touch thy trembling shore.
 
But spare, Oh! river, in thy rage,
One name upon thy stony page;
  ’Tis hers—the fairest of the fair;
And when she comes these scenes to scan,        40
Then tell her, Echo, if you can,
  His humble name who wrote it there.
 
 
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