follow after the poets who have lavished their wealth of fancy and richness of words, most undying of all the materials mortals may build with, on descriptions of its charm?
talks of people who must go over to the Alps
to learn of the divine silence of the snow, or to Italy
before they can recognize the daily miracle of the sunset; but he himself has done much to teach us better by such description as this, where he catches the shades of the marshes:
The Charles slipped smoothly through green and purple salt meadows, darkened here and there as with a stranded cloud shadow.
Over these marshes, level as water, but without its glare, and with softer and more soothing gradations of perspective, the eve is carried to a horizon of softly rounded hills.
More familiar still are the well known passages from “Under the Willows” :
The sliding Charles,
Blue towards the west, and bluer and more blue,
Living and lustrous, as a woman's eyes
Look once and look no more, with southward curve
Ran crinkling sunniness, like Helen's hair
Glimpsed in Elysium, insubstantial gold.
In how many of Longfellow
's poems do we trace this love for the river, which flows ever on past the windows from which he used to exult in its ever-changing, never-wearying beauty!
“The broad meadows and the steel-blue river remind me of the meadows of Unterseen and the river Aar
; and beyond them rise magnificent snow-white clouds, piled up like Alps
Thus the shades of George Washington
and William Tell
seem to walk together on these Elysian fields.”
Dearer was the river to the poet for the name, which reminded him of “three friends, all true and ”