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4. Samuel L. Simpson, "Beautiful Willamette"

The Gold-Gated West, Songs and Poems by Samuel L. Simpson, Philadelphia & London, J.B. Lippincott Company 1910.


From the Cascades’ frozen gorges,
Leaping like a child at play,
Winding, widening through the valley,
Bright Willamette glides away;
Onward ever,
Lovely river,
Softly calling to the sea,
Time, that scars us,
Maims and mars us,
Leaves no track or trench of thee.

Spring’s green witchery is weaving
Braid and border for thy side;
Grace forever haunts thy journey,
Beauty dimples on thy tide;
Through the purple gates of morning
Now thy roseate ripples dance,
Golden then, when day, departing,
On thy waters trails his lance.
Waltzing, flashing,
Tinkling, splashing,
Limpid, volatile, and free—
Always hurried
To be buried
In the bitter, moon-mad sea.

In thy crystal deeps inverted
Swings a picture of the sky,
Like those wavering hopes of Aidenn,
Dimly in our dreams that lie;
Clouded often, drowned in turmoil,
Faint and lovely, far away—
Wreathing sunshine on the morrow,
Breathing fragrance round to-day.
Love would wander
Here and ponder.
Hither poetry would dream;
Life’s old questions,
Sad suggetions,
Whence and whither? throng thy stream.

On the roaring waste of ocean
Shall thy scattered waves be tossed,
‘Mid thy surge’s rhythmic thunder
Shall thy silver tongues be lost.
Of thy glimmering rush of gladness
Mocks this turbid life of mine!
Racing to the wild Forever
Down the sloping paths of Time.
Onward ever,
Lovely River,
Softly calling to the sea;
Time that scars us,
Maims and mars us,
Leaves no track or trench on thee.

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