Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Written at Trenton Falls

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

Middle States: Trenton Falls, N. Y.

Written at Trenton Falls

By Frances Anne Kemble (1809–1893)

COME down! from where the everlasting hills

Open their rocky gates to let thee pass,

Child of a thousand rapid running rills,

And still lakes, where the skies their beauty glass.

With thy dark eyes, white feet, and amber hair,

Of heaven and earth thou fair and fearful daughter,

Through thy wide halls, and down thy echoing stair,

Rejoicing come,—thou lovely “Leaping Water!”

Shout! till the woods beneath their vaults of green

Resound, and shake their pillars on thy way;

Fling wide thy glittering fringe of silver sheen,

And toss towards heaven thy clouds of dazzling spray.

The sun looks down upon thee with delight,

And weaves his prism around thee for a belt;

And as the wind waves thy thin robes of light,

The jewels of thy girdle glow and melt.

Ah! where be they, who first with human eyes

Beheld thy glory, thou triumphant flood!

And through the forest heard with glad surprise

Thy waters calling like the voice of God?

Far towards the setting sun wandering they go,

Poor remnant! left from exile and from slaughter,

But still their memory, mingling with thy flow,

Lives in thy name,—thou lovely “Leaping Water.”