To the Delaware River

O. M. Livingston

 Thou brightly flowing Delaware,
Whose waters kiss the hill and lea,
And, sweeping onward, wind afar
To mingle with the deep blue sea--
How strange the scenes that skirt thy brink,
How beautiful they seem combined!
Bright Autumn's hues their splendor link
With evergreens that tower behind!
Thy overhanging rocks sublime,
Thy wooded hills in Autumn's sheen,
Their sylvan echoes varied chime,
Are parts of thy impressive scene.
Oft here, the wild deer on thy brink,
From yon green hillock's sloping side,
Bent down its graceful neck to drink
The cooling waters of thy tide.
Forms queenly by thy margin's strayed--
With foot light-moccasin'd they came--
Whose jetty eyes like lightning played
Glances of Love's bewitching flame.
The dusky children of the wild
Say Wequehhalah owned thy shores:
A noble chief, alas! beguiled--
And memory still his fate deplores.
Wayula here may oft have played--
Wayula, daughter of that chief--
Here, by thy margin careless strayed,
Nor dreamed her childhood's bitter grief.
Down yon green vale the council fire
With fearful flame may oft have burned,
And war whoops rung with thunder dire,
Ere foe on foe the battle turned.
Thy caverns many a tomb may be
Of thy rude children now forgot,
Who rushed on death from ills to free,
That bliss beyond might be their lot.
Poor victims! their untutored minds
Dreamed fondly of some brighter shore--
Some fairy isle, or flowery land,
And death the spirit's welcome door.
Roll on, thou shining Delaware,
Long consecrate this quiet vale;
Glide on, through plain and wood afar,
And tell thine own historic tale.
Glide on to yon eternal deep,
And beauteous isles of ocean lave;
But oh! thy song of freedom keep
To teach the everlasting wave--
Till echoed back from eastern thrones,
From every isle that gems the sea,
From every spot where slavery moans,
Or base oppression bows the knee.