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

New England: Pawtucket Falls, R. I.

Pawtucket Falls

By Job Durfee (1790–1847)

(From Whatcheer, Canto II)

AT last a sound, like murmurs from the shore,

Of far-off ocean when the storm is bound,

Grows on his ear, and still increases more

As he advances, till the woods resound,

And seem to tremble with the constant roar

Of many waters. Ay, the very ground

Begins to shake, when ’neath the arching trees,

Bright glimmering, and fast gliding down, he sees

Broad rushing waters,—to their dizzy steep

Hither they come; thence, glimmering far as sight,

Up ’twixt the groves can trace their coming sweep;

Here, from the precipice all frothy white,

Uttering an earthquake in their headlong leap,

And flinging sunbows o’er their showery flight,

And bursting wild,—down, down, all foam they go

To the dark gulf, and smoke and boil below.

Thence, hurrying onward through the narrow bound

Of banks precipitous, they murmuring go,

Till by the jutting cliffs half wheeling round,

They leave the view among the hills below.

There paused our father, ravished with the sound

Of the wild waters, and their rapid flow;

And there, all lonely, joyed that he had found

Thy Falls, Pawtucket, and where Seekonk wound.