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

Middle States: Lehigh, the River, Pa.

The Lehigh

By Augusta Moore

AND this is Lehigh. Once again

My wearied feet are taking

The well-known path along thy brink,

And memory is waking,—

Sad harp of mine, awake, awake,

And sing the pensive story,

That sighs and murmurs through my head

Beneath this forest hoary.

Oh! thou bright river, dost thou know

The pilgrim late returning

To view once more the autumn fires

Along thy valley burning?

To view her father’s heritage,

That father lowly sleeping,

Far from the green and lonely grave

In the old hemlock’s keeping.

Thy mountain still is standing firm,

Its shadows o’er thee bending,

Its lofty pines, its laurel blooms,

Their sweet enchantment lending.

Along thy banks the wandering vine,

Its purple fruit untasted,

Still casts upon thy careless tide

Its clustered treasures, wasted.

And still the timid deer come down

To drink, at eve and morning;

And still the laurel blooms as bright

As in my life’s glad dawning.

Thy gray rocks seem no older grown,

Thy beauties fresh and tender

As when we came, a frolic band,

Our childhood’s praise to render.

For Lehigh was our joy and pride,

Our glad, beloved river;

And all around was charmed ground,

Our home! delightful ever.

Our nightingale the whippoorwill,

The water-elves our cronies,

Their camp-fire smoke of mist we knew;

Our game the trout and conies.

Lehigh, I dream that in thy voice

I catch a tone of gladness,

That yearning love is in thy touch,

That thou wouldst soothe my sadness.

Only in dreams for thirty years

Have I beheld thee flowing,—

Whither away so fast, dear stream?

Why dost thou moan in going?

I see the unforgotten grave!

Moan on, O faithful river!

Where all the lights of home went out,

To shine no more forever.

But stay, and tell me where are they

That, in the years long vanished,

Beside thy waters played with me,—

Hast thou their memory banished?