Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: St. Lawrence (Cadaraqui), the River


By Helen Hinsdale Rich (b. 1827)

O FRIEND, amid the stately pines

That murmurous music yield to thee,

Recall’st thou the enchanted climes,

St. Lawrence, broad and clear and free?

What time we sailed in summer calm,

With moonlight glinting wave and beach,

To meet the south-wind’s kiss of balm,

Surpassing melody of speech?

At night when the Nevada gleams,

Like castle turrets, white and cold,

And all the azure archway streams

With oriflamme of gems and gold;

Upon thy lovely snow-crowned beat,

Where foams and falls the mountain rill,

Come visions of our voyage sweet,

By sheltered bay and wooded hill?

And fairy isles that slept serene

Upon the river’s peaceful breast,

While cloth of gold some naiad queen

Trailed regally along the west!

With furrows left by gliding keel,

And lilies clasping to their hearts,

The golden secrets stars reveal

When rosy day at length departs?

Still on and on, as spirits float,

Through waves of ether opal-rifted,

Too blest, enrapt, to even note

If down to death we slowly drifted;

Now sighing faint, with clover gales,

The distant bells rang out delight,

Anon the dusky grotto vales,—

A fitting scene for such a night.

Ah! from thy lips that keep for me

Poems no bard hath ever sung,

Still falls the entrancing melody

Of Grecian isle, when Time was young!

Fair River, clasp unto thy breast

Our love,—nay, tell it to the main!

Old Ocean, bear it to the West!

And wake his smile for me again.