O RIVER! gently as a wayward child
I saw thee mid the moonlight hills at rest;
Capricious thing, with thine own beauty wild,
How didst thou still the throbbings of thy breast!
Rude headlands were about thee, stooping round,
As if amid the hills to hold thy stay;
But thou didst hear the far-off ocean sound
Inviting thee from hill and vale away,
To mingle thy deep waters with its own;
And, at that voice, thy steps did onward glide,
Onward from echoing hill and valley lone.
Like thine, oh, be my course--nor turned aside,
While listening to the soundings of a land,
That like the ocean call invites me to its strand.