Contoocook River

Edith Willis Linn Forbes

Fair Contoocook, singing river,
Flowing over granite ledges,
With a fringe of tall, brown sedges,
Golden-rod with yellow hair,
Meadow's queen so stately fair,
Cardinal flowers of brilliant hue,
Pickerel-weed with blossoms blue.
Ah! you are a generous giver
Of such sweets, Contoocook River.
Like a brook through forests gushing,
Under pines that whisper lowly;
Through broad meadows flowing slowly,
Where the cattle stoop to drink,
Bending o'er your flower-fringed brink;
And the bird to lave his wing
In your wave forgets to sing.
Where the silver birches quiver
Flowing on, Contoocook River.
Gentle stream you are, O river!
High the mountains tower above you,
And the hills as if they love you,
Watch your narrow, winding track
As toward the Merrimac,
Gently, like some dear old song,
That the heart remembers long,
Through New Hampshire's valley's flowing,
Are your rippling waters glowing.
Gay and sweet your song O river!
Sweetest where the rough stones meet you.
Gladdest where the boulders greet you.
Never stone so hard and brown
But your flowing wore it down.
Onward, onward in your song,
Nothing can delay you long.
Forward, forward, on forever,
Type of life, fair singing river.