Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
Western States: Kanawha, the River, West Va.
The Good Part That Shall Not Be Taken away
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)
SHE dwells by Great Kanawha’s side,
  In valleys green and cool;
And all her hope and all her pride
  Are in the village school.
Her soul, like the transparent air        5
  That robes the hills above,
Though not of earth, encircles there
  All things with arms of love.
And thus she walks among her girls
  With praise and mild rebukes;        10
Subduing e’en rude village churls
  By her angelic looks.
She reads to them at eventide
  Of One who came to save;
To cast the captive’s chains aside        15
  And liberate the slave.
And oft the blessed time foretells
  When all men shall be free;
And musical, as silver bells,
  Their falling chains shall be.        20
And following her beloved Lord,
  In decent poverty,
She makes her life one sweet record
  And deed of charity.
For she was rich, and gave up all        25
  To break the iron bands
Of those who waited in her hall,
  And labored in her lands.
Long since beyond the Southern Sea
  Their outbound sails have sped,        30
While she, in meek humility,
  Now earns her daily bread.
It is their prayers, which never cease,
  That clothe her with such grace;
Their blessing is the light of peace        35
  That shines upon her face.

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