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

New England: Moshassuck, the River, R. I.

A September Evening on the Banks of the Moshassuck

By Sarah Helen Whitman (1803–1878)

AGAIN September’s golden day,

Serenely still, intensely bright,

Fades on the umbered hills away,

And melts into the coming night.

Again Moshassuck’s silver tide

Reflects each green herb on its side,

Each tasselled wreath and tangling vine

Whose tendrils o’er its margin twine.

And, standing on its velvet shore,

Where yesternight with thee I stood,

I trace its devious course once more,

Far winding on through vale and wood.

Now glimmering through yon golden mist,

By the last glinting sunbeams kissed,

Now lost where lengthening shadows fall

From hazel-copse and moss-fringed wall.

Near where yon rocks the stream inurn

The lonely gentian blossoms still,

Still wave the star-flower and the fern

O’er the soft outline of the hill;

While far aloft, where pine-trees throw

Their shade athwart the sunset glow,

Thin vapors cloud the illumined air,

And parting daylight lingers there.

But, ah, no longer thou art near

This varied loveliness to see,

And I, though fondly lingering here,

To-night can only think on thee;—

The flowers thy gentle hand caressed

Still lie unwithered on my breast,

And still thy footsteps print the shore

Where thou and I may rove no more.

Again I hear the murmuring fall

Of water from some distant dell,

The beetle’s hum, the cricket’s call,

And, far away, that evening bell,—

Again, again those sounds I hear,

But, oh, how desolate and drear

They seem to-night,—how like a knell

The music of that evening bell!

Again the new moon in the west,

Scarce seen upon yon golden sky,

Hangs o’er the mountain’s purple crest

With one pale planet trembling nigh,—

And beautiful her pearly light

As when we blessed its beams last night,

But thou art on the far blue sea,

And I can only think of thee.