To the Connecticut River
From that lone lake, the sweetest of the chain
That links the mountain to the mighty main,
Fresh from the rock and swelling by the tree,
Rushing to meet and dare and breast the sea -
Fair, noble and glorious river! In thy wave
The sunniest slopes and sweetest pastures lave;
The mountain torrent, with its wintery roar
Springs from its home and leaps upon thy shore: -
The promontories love thee - and for this
Turn their rough cheeks and stay thee for thy kiss.
The young oak greets thee at the water's edge,
Wet by the wave, though anchored in the ledge.
- 'Tis there the otter dives, the beaver feeds,
Where pensive oziers dip their willowy weeds,
And there the wild cat purrs amid her brood,
And trains them in the sylvan solitude,
To watch the squirrel's leap, or mark the mink
Paddling the water by the quiet brink; -
Or to out-gaze the gray owl in the dark,
Or hear the young fox practising to bark.
Thou dost not stay, when Winter's coldest breath
Howls through the woods and sweeps along the heath -
One mighty sigh relieves thy icy breast,
And wakes thee from the calmness of they rest.
Down sweeps the torrent ice - it may not stay
By rock or bridge, in narrow or in bay -
Swift, swifter to the heaving sea it goes,
And leaves thee dimpling in they sweet repose.
Yet as the unharmed swallow skims his way,
And lightly drops his pinion in thy spray,
So the swift sail shall seek they inland seas,
And swell and whiten in thy purer breeze,
New paddles dip thy waters, and strange oars
Feather thy waves and touch thy noble shores.- Brainard (1797 - 1828)