On the Mississippi

Hamlin Garland

THROUGH wild and tangled forests
  The broad, unhasting river flows--
  Spotted with rain-drops, gray with night;
    Upon its curving breast there goes
A lonely steamboat's larboard light,
    A blood-red star against the shadowy oaks;
Noiseless as a ghost, through greenish gleam
Of fire-flies, before the boat's wild scream--
      A heron flaps away
      Like silence taking flight.