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Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers, Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.
And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,
Have crossed the bridge since then.
I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
And the old subdued and slow!
And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows,
As long as life has woes ;
The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear, As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.
TO THE DRIVING CLOUD.
Gloomy and dark art thou, O chief of the mighty
Omawhaws; Gloomy and dark, as the driving cloud, whose
name thou hast taken ! Wrapt in thy scarlet blanket, I see thee stalk
through the city's Narrow and populous streets, as once by the mar
gin of rivers
Stalked those birds unknown, that have left us
only their footprints. What, in a few short years, will remain of thy
race but the footprints ?
How canst thou walk in these streets, who hast
trod the green turf of the prairies ? How canst thou breathe in this air, who hast
breathed the sweet air of the mountains Ah! 't is in vain that with lordly looks of disdain
thou dost challenge Looks of dislike in return, and question these
walls and these pavements, Claiming the soil for thy hunting-grounds, while
down-trodden millions Starve in the garrets of Europe, and cry from its
caverns that they, too, Have been created heirs of the earth, and claim
its division !
Back, then, back to thy woods in the regions west
of the Wabash! There as a monarch thou reignest. In autumn
the leaves of the maple Pave the floors of thy palace-halls with gold, and
in summer Pine-trees waft through its chambers the odorous
breath of their branches. There thou art strong and great, a hero, a tamer
of horses ! There thou chasest the stately stag on the banks
of the Elk-horn, Or by the roar of the Running-Water, or where
the Omawhaw Calls thee, and leaps through the wild ravine like
a brave of the Blackfeet !
Hark! what murmurs arise from the heart of those
mountainous deserts ?