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

New England: Piscataqua, the River, N. H.

Piscataqua River

By Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836–1907)

THOU singest by the gleaming isles,

By woods, and fields of corn,

Thou singest, and the heaven smiles

Upon my birthday morn.

But I within a city, I,

So full of vague unrest.

Would almost give my life to lie

An hour upon thy breast!

To let the wherry listless go,

And, wrapt in dreamy joy,

Dip, and surge idly to and fro,

Like the red harbor-buoy;

To sit in happy indolence,

To rest upon the oars,

And catch the heavy earthy scents

That blow from summer shores;

To see the rounded sun go down,

And with its parting fires

Light up the windows of the town

And burn the tapering spires;

And then to hear the muffled tolls

From steeples slim and white,

And watch, among the Isles of Shoals,

The Beacon’s orange light.

O River! flowing to the main

Through woods, and fields of corn,

Hear thou my longing and my pain

This sunny birthday morn;

And take this song which sorrow shapes

To music like thine own,

And sing it to the cliffs and capes

And crags where I am known!