Night on the Arkansas

Albert Pike

Night comes upon the Arkansas, with long stride,
Its dark and turbid waters roll along,
Bearing wrecked trees and drift, deep, red, and wide;
The heavy forest sleeps on either side,
To the water's edge low-stooping; and among
The patient stars the moon her lamp has hung,
Fed with the spirit of the buried sun.
No blue waves dance the stream's dark mass upon,
Glittering like Beauty's sparkling, starry tears;
No crest of foam, crowning the river dun,
Its misty ridge of frozen light uprears;
One sole relief in the great void appears:
A dark blue ridge, set sharp against the sky,
Beyond the forest's utmost boundary.