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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Mesopotamia: Euphrates, the River

The Euphrates

By James Montgomery (1771–1854)

(From The World before the Flood)

THERE on Euphrates, in its ancient course,

Three beauteous rivers rolled their confluent force,

Whose streams, while man the blissful garden trod,

Adorned the earthly Paradise of God.

But since he fell, within their triple bound

Fenced a lone region of forbidden ground;

Meeting at once, where high athwart their bed

Repulsive rocks a curving barrier spread,

The embattled floods, by mutual whirlpools crossed,

In hoary foam and surging mist were lost;

Thence, like an Alpine cataract of snow,

White down the precipice they dashed below;

There in tumultuous billows broken wide,

They spent their rage, and yoked their fourfold tide;

Through one majestic channel, calm and free,

The sister-rivers sought the parent-sea.