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.
 
Southern States: Tallulah (Terrora), the River, Ga.
Tallulah
J. M. Legaré (1823–1859)
 
RECOLLECT thou, in thunder
How Tallulah spoke to thee,
When thy little face with wonder
Lifted upwards, rocks asunder
Riven, shattered,        5
Black and battered,
Thou aloft didst see?
 
Downward stalking through Tempesta,
Did a giant shape appear.
All the waters leaping after        10
Hound-like, with their thunder-laughter
Shook the valley
Teocalli,
Hill-top bleak and bare.
 
Vast and ponderous, of granite,        15
Cloud-enwrapt his features were.
In his great calm eyes emotion
Glimmered none; and like an ocean
Billowy, tangled,
Foam bespangled,        20
Backward streamed his hair.
 
On his brow like dandelions
Nodded pines: the solid floor
Rocked and reeled beneath his treading,
Black on high a tempest spreading,        25
Pregnant, passive,
As with massive
Portal, closed the corridor.
 
Frighted, sobbing, clinging to me
In an agony of dread,        30
Sawest thou this form tremendous
Striding down the steep stupendous
With the torrent:
Night abhorrent
Closing overhead.        35
 
Then my heart dissembling courage,
That thine own so loudly beat,
Comfort thee, I said, poor trembler:
Providence is no dissembler.
Higher power        40
Guards each flower
Blooming at thy feet.
 
Flushed and tearful from my bosom
Thereat thou didst lift thy face.
Blue and wide thy eyes resplendent        45
Turned upon the phantom pendent,
Whose huge shadow
Overshadowed
All the gloomy place.
 
Back revolving into granite,        50
Foam and fall and nodding pine,
Sank the phantom. Slantwise driven
Through the storm-cloud rent and riven,
Sunshine glittered,
And there twittered—        55
Birds in every vine.
 
Then sonorous from the chasm
Pealed a voice distinct and loud:
“Innocence and God-reliance
Set all evil at defiance.        60
Maiden, by these
(As by snow, trees)
Evil heads are bowed.”
 
 
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