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

Western States: Mississippi, the River

On the Bluff

By John Hay (1838–1905)

O GRANDLY flowing river!

O silver-gliding river!

Thy springing willows shiver

In the sunset as of old;

They shiver in the silence

Of the willow-whitened islands,

While the sun-bars and the sand-bars

Fill air and wave with gold.

O gay, oblivious river!

O sunset-kindled river!

Do you remember ever

The eyes and skies so blue

On a summer day that shone here,

When we were all alone here,

And the blue eyes were too wise

To speak the love they knew?

O stern impassive river!

O still unanswering river!

The shivering willows quiver

As the night-winds moan and rave.

From the past a voice is calling,

From heaven a star is falling,

And dew swells in the bluebells

Above her hillside grave.