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THE BEAUTIFUL RIVER.
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,
When the years shall forget the Decembers they wore,
In a twilight like that, Jennie June for a bride,
Oh! what more of the world could one wish for beside,
Till we heard, or we fancied its musical tide,
"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,
If the angel on duty our coming descries,
You have nothing to do but throw off the disguise
Oh! how sweetly she spoke, ere she uttered a word,
And a tone, like the dream of a song we once heard,
For it glides on in shadow beyond the world's west,
I am lingering yet, but I linger alone,
'Tis the twin of that day, but the wave where it shone Bears the willow-tree's shadow forever.
BENJAMIN F. TAYLOR.
Rhymes of the River.
How broad thou art growing!
And the sentinel headlands wait grimly for thee;
The bold-riding surges
That in white-crested lines gallop in from the sea!
O bright-hearted river,
Like a sword from its scabbard, far-flashing abroad !
On the tremulous blaze,
That thou surely wert drawn by an angel of God!
Through the black heart of night,
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;
RHYMES OF THE RIVER.
Then disastered and dim,
Where the old ragged shadows of hovels are shed;
As in dream, or in doubt,
In the reeds and the rushes slow rocking the dead.
When all crimson and gold,
Do the fleecy clouds flock to the gateway of even,
Ay, a bright golden street to the city of Heaven!
In the great stony heart
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,
And the stars rise and fall in thy turbulent tide,
White swan's breast is lifted,
Or a June fleet of lilies at anchor may ride.
And yet, gallant river,
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,
Would fall like a snow-flake, and melt on thy breast,
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,—
And the meadow a palm,—
As a blue vein meanders a liberal hand.
When the school-master's daughter
And laughingly proffered the crystal to me,
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,
And a rose-bud was clasped in its frozen white hand:
As if sweet-breathing June were abroad in the land!
RHYMES OF THE RIVER.
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?
BENJAMIN F. TAYLOR.