Songo River


    Nowhere such a devious stream,
    Save in fancy or in dream,
    Winding slow through bush and brake
    Links together lake and lake.

    Walled with woods or sandy shelf,
    Ever doubling on itself
    Flows the stream, so still and slow
    That it hardly seems to flow.

    Never errant knight of old,
    Lost in woodland or on wold,
    Such a winding path pursued
    Through the sylvan solitude.

    Never school-boy in his quest
    After hazel-nut or nest,
    Through the forest in and out
    Wandered loitering thus about.

    In the mirror of its tide
    Tangled thickets on each side
    Hang inverted, and between
    Floating cloud or sky serene.

    Swift or swallow on the wing
    Seems the only living thing,
    Or the loon, that laughs and flies
    Down to those reflected skies.

    Silent stream! thy Indian name
    Unfamiliar is to fame;
    For thou hidest here alone,
    Well content to be unknown.

    But thy tranquil waters teach
    Wisdom deep as human speech,
    Moving without haste or noise
    In unbroken equipoise.

    Though thou turnest no busy mill,
    And art ever calm and still,
    Even thy silence seems to say
    To the traveller on his way:--

    "Traveller, hurrying from the heat
    Of the city, stay thy feet!
    Rest awhile, nor longer waste
    Life with inconsiderate haste!

    "Be not like a stream that brawls
    Loud with shallow waterfalls,
    But in quiet self-control
    Link together soul and soul"


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add Songo River to your own personal library.

Return to the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; Sonnet On Mrs. Kemble's Readings From Shakespeare

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson