Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Ernest McGaffey (b. 1861)

BLUE as the sea, without a single flaw,

The azure sky reflected back the day,

And quietly, through drowsy summer air,

Magnolia-blossoms, beautiful and rare,

Came floating down and vanished far away

Upon the bosom of the Chickasaw.

The cotton-fields lay white as driven snow,

And wheat was draped in flowing cloth-of-gold,

While, wet with dew upon its blades of green,

The springing grass lay nestled in between,

O’erlooked by pines that, like the bards of old,

Sang rude, sweet music to the earth below.

And at the pine-tree’s feet the shining sand,

By Southern river sparkling in the sun,

Basked in the warm and perfumed tropic breath,

Till, ushered in past twilight’s shadowed death,

The glad gray stars came twinkling one by one,

And watched like sentinels o’er Dixie’s Land.