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: Pocantico, the River, N. Y.
The Pocantico
Stephen Henry Thayer (1839–1919)
 
Solitude

WILD waters of Pocantico!
  Stray rivulet of wood and glen!
Thy murmuring laughters, soft and low,
  Elude the alien ears of men.
 
O’er broader bosoms than thy own        5
  The fleeting wings of commerce glide;
Hid in thy sylvan haunts alone
  The nymphs of fairy-land abide.
 
The azure blue of summer’s sky
  Scarce mirrors in thy crystal sheen;        10
The lover draws his tenderest sigh
  Far in thy shadowy dells unseen.
 
Along thy gently coursing stream
  The huntsman, heedless, loves to roam;
The poet dreams his fondest dream        15
  Within thy solitary home.
 
Thou art well guarded by a host,
  For on thy sloping ’bankments stand
Such gnarléd sentinels as boast
  A lineage aged as the land.        20
 
No hardy woodman dare intrude
  To rob thee of thy ancient shade,
Thy mimic cliffs have long withstood
  The furrowing plough and vassal spade.
 
The wild thrush wings its reedy note        25
  Through thy lone forest, liquid clear,
Whose answering echoes, far remote,
  Fling back a dim and plaintive cheer.
 
No tone enslaved in silvery string
  Or sense-enrapturing voice is heard        30
To match thy melodies, or sing
  A challenge to thy minstrel bird.
 
Here sovereign Nature teaches rest;
  The quiet mosses on the stone
Weave o’er its silent, flinty breast        35
  An emerald softness all their own.
 
The pebbly sands along thy shore
  Lie mutely, lulled by babbling waves;
The fringéd fern and gentian flower
  On thy low margin make their graves:        40
 
And through thy valley’s dusky shade
  In ceaseless murmurings, ages long,
Shall mingle with the flowers that fade
  Thy endless infancy of song.
 
O waters of Pocantico!        45
  Wild rivulet of wood and glen!
May thy glad laughters, sweet and low,
  Long, long outlive the sighs of men!
 
 
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