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.
 
Middle States: Lehigh, the River, Pa.
The Lehigh
Augusta Moore
 
AND this is Lehigh. Once again
My wearied feet are taking
The well-known path along thy brink,
And memory is waking,—
Sad harp of mine, awake, awake,        5
And sing the pensive story,
That sighs and murmurs through my head
Beneath this forest hoary.
 
Oh! thou bright river, dost thou know
The pilgrim late returning        10
To view once more the autumn fires
Along thy valley burning?
To view her father’s heritage,
That father lowly sleeping,
Far from the green and lonely grave        15
In the old hemlock’s keeping.
 
Thy mountain still is standing firm,
Its shadows o’er thee bending,
Its lofty pines, its laurel blooms,
Their sweet enchantment lending.        20
Along thy banks the wandering vine,
Its purple fruit untasted,
Still casts upon thy careless tide
Its clustered treasures, wasted.
 
And still the timid deer come down        25
To drink, at eve and morning;
And still the laurel blooms as bright
As in my life’s glad dawning.
Thy gray rocks seem no older grown,
Thy beauties fresh and tender        30
As when we came, a frolic band,
Our childhood’s praise to render.
 
For Lehigh was our joy and pride,
Our glad, beloved river;
And all around was charmed ground,        35
Our home! delightful ever.
Our nightingale the whippoorwill,
The water-elves our cronies,
Their camp-fire smoke of mist we knew;
Our game the trout and conies.        40
 
Lehigh, I dream that in thy voice
I catch a tone of gladness,
That yearning love is in thy touch,
That thou wouldst soothe my sadness.
Only in dreams for thirty years        45
Have I beheld thee flowing,—
Whither away so fast, dear stream?
Why dost thou moan in going?
 
I see the unforgotten grave!
Moan on, O faithful river!        50
Where all the lights of home went out,
To shine no more forever.
But stay, and tell me where are they
That, in the years long vanished,
Beside thy waters played with me,—        55
Hast thou their memory banished?
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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