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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Middle States: Hudson, the River, N. Y.

A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson

By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

COOL shades and dews are round my way,

And silence of the early day;

Mid the dark rocks that watch his bed,

Glitters the mighty Hudson spread,

Unrippled, save by drops that fall

From shrubs that fringe his mountain wall;

And o’er the clear still water swells

The music of the Sabbath bells.

All, save this little nook of land,

Circled with trees, on which I stand;

All, save that line of hills which lie

Suspended in the mimic sky,—

Seems a blue void, above, below,

Through which the white clouds come and go;

And from the green world’s farthest steep

I gaze into the airy deep.

Loveliest of lovely things are they,

On earth, that soonest pass away.

The rose that lives its little hour

Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.

Even love, long tried and cherished long,

Becomes more tender and more strong,

At thought of that insatiate grave

From which its yearnings cannot save.

River! in this still hour thou hast

Too much of heaven on earth to last;

Nor long may thy still waters lie,

An image of the glorious sky.

Thy fate and mine are not repose,

And ere another evening close,

Thou to thy tides shalt turn again,

And I to seek the crowd of men.