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

Introductory to Western States


By Anonymous

LAND of Rivers! Moving down

Slow through forest, farm, and town,

With his tributary streams,

Beautiful in glooms and gleams,

Flows the Wabash! Yonder, see,

Sinking fathoms under ground,

The Lost River, lost and found,

From its grave beneath the plain

Springing into life again.

Land of Rivers! Hail to thee!

Land of Forests! Wide thy vast

Centennial oaks their shadows cast,

In whose gnarled and hollow trunks

Hive the bees, like cloistered monks,

Singing their low litany.

Through the openings far and near

Stalks, as through a park, the deer,

And in autumn fiery red

Glows the foliage overhead.

Land of Forests! Hail to thee!

Land of Meadows! where the flowers

On their dials count the hours,

And the lowland landscape breaks

Into little sylvan lakes,

Garlanded with shrub and tree;

Where the maize for miles and miles

Lifts its green, cathedral aisles,

And the endless fields of wheat

Ripen in the harvest heat.

Land of Meadows! Hail to thee!

Land of Caverns! Who knows not

Thy wondrous Cave of Wyandot?

Leagues of chambers glimmering far,

With their fretted roofs of spar.

What, compared with this, are ye,

Grottos of the Illyrian land?

Nature on a scale more grand

Laid the timbers of these floors,

Arched these halls and corridors.

Land of Caverns! Hail to thee!