Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




In joy and gladness on ye go
    My country’s pleasant streams;
And oft through scenes as fair ye flow
    As bless the Poet’s dreams.
From hills, where stately forests rear
    Their heads in the breeze to brave—
From dark morass, or fountain clear,
    You roll to ocean’s wave. [Page 62]

The noble Lakes your strength supply,
    And now the crystal spring,
Where undisturb’d the wild birds fly,
    Or bathe the weary wing.
Through narrow gorges here you foam,
    There down the valley rove,
Like youths who leave a quiet home,
    The world’s delights to prove.

A thousand ceaseless hymns of praise,
    With music in each tone,
In mystic harmony you raise,
    And heard by God alone.
But though to us it is not given,
    The blended song to know,
Sweet sounds, that have the air of Heav’n
    Delight us as ye go.

The granite cliff its shadow flings
    Far down into the tide,
To deck your banks the flow’ret springs,
    And scents ye as ye glide.
As through the spreading intervals
    Your devious course you steer,
The waving grain your passage hails,
    And flocks and herds appear.

And there the graceful Elms are found,
    Your own peculiar tree;
And there stout hearted men abound—
    The happy and the free. [Page 63]
And childhood’s merry laugh is heard
    Along the hills to float,
As, by the gentle breezes stirr’d,
    You waft his tiny boat.

Where youthful forms at eve repose.
    And tales of passion tell,
While Beauty’s cheek more beauteous grows,
    And snowy bosoms swell—
In joy and gladness there ye go,
    My country’s pleasant streams;
And oft through scenes as fair ye flow,
    As bless the Poet’s dreams. [Page 64]