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

Middle States: Hudson, the River, N. Y.

The Gates of the Hudson

By William Osborn Stoddard (1835–1925)

SO bright the day, so clear the sky,

So grand the scene before me,

My meaner life my soul puts by,

And a better mood comes o’er me.

From under trees whose rustling leaves

Wear all their autumn glory,

I watch the brown fields far below,

And the headlands, gray and hoary.

I see the beetling Palisades,

Whose wrinkled brows forever,

In calms and storms, in lights and shades,

Keep watch along the river.

Such watch, of old, the Magi kept

Along the sad Euphrates:—

Our eyeless ones have never slept,

And this their solemn fate is:

God built these hills in barrier long,

And then he opened through them

These gates of granite, barred so strong

He only might undo them;

Through them he lets the Hudson flow

For slowly counted ages,

The while the nations fade and grow

Around the granite ledges.

He bids these warders watch and wait,

Their vigil ne’er forsaking,

Forever standing by the gate,

Not moving and not speaking.

So, all earth’s day, till night shall fall,

When God shall send his orders,

And summon at one trumpet-call

The grim and patient warders.

The guards shall bow, the gates shall close

Upon the obedient river,

And then no more the Hudson flows,

Forever and forever.