Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Mississippi

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

Western States: Mississippi, the River

The Mississippi

By Edward Reynolds

THE MISSISSIPPI of the North! bright stream

On whose fair bosom first of all their race,

Marquette and Joliet float, and fondly dream

Of empires new and heathen brought to grace.

How pride and wonder lighted up each face

While down the stream the brave explorers sped,

Marking the devious windings as they trace

The noble river’s wood-environed bed

To where Missouri’s waves the gentle waters wed.


Untamed and restless river! in thy bed,

From Cape Girardeau to the delta’s verge,

Vibrating waywardly; thy wild waves fed

With spoil of shores down-fallen in the surge,

And floating forests, which thy waters urge

In endless drift into the distant sea,

Where thou and all thy hundred confluents merge;

In thy long reaching flow still shalt thou be

From man’s restraining masonry forever free!