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

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


By Oliver Wendell Withington (d. 1853)


By rock and river fell,

With tints of rose-veined marble

It glimmered through the dell.

Shadows on tree and river

In stately grandeur hung;

There Nature sings forever

What poets have not sung.

The dark rocks, proudly lifted,

Uprear their rugged form,

Like giants—nobly gifted

To breast the torrent’s storm.

Dim mystery forever

Here chants a song sublime,

While onward rolls the river,

Unchangeable as time.

From soul to soul is spoken

What lips cannot impart;

And the silence is but broken

By the throbbing of the heart.

The evening sky in glory

Lights the massy, rifted wall,

And, with many a wondrous story,

Fancy paints the waterfall:

Of the savage freely roving

In a scene as wild as he;

Of the Indian maiden loving

With a spirit full of glee.


Yet—though Indian maid and lover

Have forever passed away—

We may dream their visions over,

And may love as well as they!

On the borders of the river,

We may whisper ere we part,

Songs—whose music clings forever

Round the memories of the heart.

We may catch an inspiration

From dark river, rock, and fall,

And a higher adoration

For the Spirit over all!