The Beautiful River

Edward Reynolds

An old, familiar friend! I saw the flow
Of wayward Wabash to Ohio's flood,
Long leagues away from where I learned to know
And love the stream; and on its banks I stood
As friend meets friend in some familiar wood.
Its ripples, wrought to flecks of ashy foam;
Its bright, clay-tinted waves; its finny brood;
Aud even the shells half-buried in the loam, —
All came to me like welcome messages from home.

Here meet and mingle genially in one
The Wabash with Ohio's silver wave.
The Beautiful River! How its waters run,
Inspiring joy and plenty as they lave
The smiling land they irrigate to save.
The Beautiful River!— gentle, clear, and bright,—
Beloved now as when the ancient brave
Propelled his swift canoe athwart the light,
Where gorgeous palace boats now break upon the sight.

Green islands gem the bosom of the stream;
Their sandy slopes beneath the waters dip;
And on the wooded banks the sunbeams gleam,
Reflected in the dew-drops as they drip
From oaks and elms, and clinging vines that grip
The leafy boughs witli loving tendrils strong;
The trumpet-flowers smile with ruddy lip;
The mistletoe extends the boughs along,
And wooes the graceful jay-bird's hoarse but cheerful song.