Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Song of the Chattahoochee
By Sidney Lanier (1842–1881)
  OUT of the hills of Habersham,
    Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
  Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,        5
  Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
  And flee from folly on every side,
With a lover’s pain to attain the plain
  Far from the hills of Habersham,
  Far from the valleys of Hall.        10
  All down the hills of Habersham,
    All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried, Abide, abide,
  The willful water-weeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,        15
  The ferns and the fondling grass said Stay,
  The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed, Abide, abide,
  Here in the hills of Habersham,
  Here in the valleys of Hall.        20
  High o’er the hills of Habersham,
    Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
  Fair tales of shade; the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold;        25
  The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
  O’erleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, Pass not, so cold, these manifold
  Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
  These glades in the valleys of Hall.        30
  And oft in the hills of Habersham,
    And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
  Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl;
And many a luminous jewel alone—        35
  Crystal clear or acloud with mist,
  Ruby, garnet, and amethyst—
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
  In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
  In the beds of the valleys of Hall.        40
  But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
    And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
  Downward the voices of duty call—
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main;        45
  The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
  And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
  Calls o’er the hills of Habersham,
  Calls through the valleys of Hall.        50

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