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There together we sat by the beautiful stream;

We had nothing to do but to love and to dream,

In the days that have gone on before.

These are not the same days, though they bear the same


With the ones I shall welcome no more.

But it may be that angels are calling them o'er,
For a Sabbath and summer forever,

When the years shall forget the Decembers they wore,
And the shroud shall be woven, no never!

In a twilight like that, Jennie June for a bride,

Oh! what more of the world could one wish for beside,
As we gazed on the river unrolled,

Till we heard, or we fancied its musical tide,
When it flowed through the gateway of gold!

"Jennie June," then I said, "let us linger no more On the banks of the beautiful river;

Let the boat be unmoored, and be muffled the oar,
And we'll steal into heaven together.

If the angel on duty our coming descries,

You have nothing to do but throw off the disguise
That you wore while you wandered with me,
And the sentry shall say, 'Welcome back to the skies,
We long have been waiting for thee.'"


Oh! how sweetly she spoke, ere she uttered a word,
With that blush, partly hers, partly even's,

And a tone, like the dream of a song we once heard,
As she whispered, “This way is ot heaven's:
For the River that runs by the realm of the blest,
Has no song on its ripple, no star on its breast;
Oh! that river is nothing like this,

For it glides on in shadow beyond the world's west,
Till it breaks into beauty and bliss."

I am lingering yet, but I linger alone,
On the banks of the beautiful river;

'Tis the twin of that day, but the wave where it shone Bears the willow-tree's shadow forever.


Rhymes of the River.

River far-flowing,


How broad thou art growing!

And the sentinel headlands wait grimly for thee;
And Euroclydon urges

The bold-riding surges

That in white-crested lines gallop in from the sea!

O bright-hearted river,
With crystalline quiver,

Like a sword from its scabbard, far-flashing abroad !
And I think, as I gaze

On the tremulous blaze,

That thou surely wert drawn by an angel of God!

Through the black heart of night,
Leaping out to the light,

Thou art reeking with sunset, and dyed with the dawn;

Cleft the emerald sod

Cleft the mountains of God

And the shadows of roses yet rusted thereon!

Where willows are weeping,

Where shadows are sleeping,

Where the frown of the mountain lies dark on thy crest;

Arcturus now shining,

Arbutus now twining,

And "my castles in Spain" gleaming down in thy breast;


Then disastered and dim,
Swinging sullen and grim,

Where the old ragged shadows of hovels are shed;
Creeping in, creeping out,

As in dream, or in doubt,

In the reeds and the rushes slow rocking the dead.

When all crimson and gold,
Slowly home to the fold

Do the fleecy clouds flock to the gateway of even,
Then, no longer brook-born,
But a way paved with morn,

Ay, a bright golden street to the city of Heaven!

In the great stony heart
Of the feverish mart,

Is the throb of thy pulses pellucid, to-day;

By gray mossy ledges,

By green velvet edges,

Where the corn waves its sabre, thou glidest away.

Broad and brave, deep and strong,
Thou art lapsing along;

And the stars rise and fall in thy turbulent tide,
As light as the drifted

White swan's breast is lifted,

Or a June fleet of lilies at anchor may ride.

And yet, gallant river,
On-flashing forever,

That hast cleft the broad world on thy way to the main,

I would part from thee here,

With a smile and a tear,

And a Hebrew, read back to thy fountains again.


Ah, well I remember,
Ere dying December

Would fall like a snow-flake, and melt on thy breast,
O'er thy waters so narrow
The little rown sparrow

Used to send his low song to his mate on the nest.

With a silvery skein

Wove of snow and of rain,

Thou didst wander at will through the bud-laden land,—
All the air a sweet psalm,

And the meadow a palm,—

As a blue vein meanders a liberal hand.

When the school-master's daughter
With her hands scooped the water,

And laughingly proffered the crystal to me,
O, there ne'er sparkled up

A more exquisite cup

Than the pair of white hands that were brimming with thee!

And there all together,

In bright summer weather,

Did we loiter with thee, along thy green brink;

And how silent we grew,

If the robin came too,

When he looked up to pray, and then bent down to drink!

Ah, where are the faces,

From out thy still places,

That so often smiled back in those soft days of May?

As we bent hand in hand,

Thou didst double the band,

As idle as daisies—and fleeting as they!

Like the dawn in the cloud,
Lay the babe in its shroud,

And a rose-bud was clasped in its frozen white hand:
At the mother's last look
It had opened the book,

As if sweet-breathing June were abroad in the land!



In the Gardens of Paradise, hard by the throne!

For on thy far shore,

Gently drifted before,

find the lost blossoms that once were our own.


O pure placid river,

Make music forever

Ah, beautiful river,

Flow onward forever!

Thou art grander than Avon, and sweeter than Ayr;

If a tree has been shaken,

If a star has been taken,

In thy bosom we look-bud and Pleiad are there!

I take up the old words,

Like the song of dead birds,

That were breathed when I stood farther off from the sea: When I heard not its hymn,

When the headlands were dim:

Shall I ever again weave a rhythm for thee?



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