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     But I envy not him whose lot has been cast there,
For oppression is there—and the hand of the spoiler,
     Regardless of justice or mercy, has past there,
And made him a wretched and indigent toiler.
     No—dearer to me are the scenes of my childhood,
The moss-cover'd bank and the breeze-wafted sail,
     The age-stinted oak and the green groves of wild-wood
That wave round the borders of Merrimac's vale!

Oh, lovely the scene, when the gray misty vapor
     Of morning is lifted from Merrimac's shore;
When the fire-fly, lighting his wild gleaming taper,
     Thy dimly seen lowlands comes glimmering o'er;
When on thy calm surface the moonbeam falls brightly,
     And the dull bird of night is his covert forsaking,
When the whippoorwill's notes from thy margin sound lightly,
     And break on the sound which thy small waves are making,
O brightest of visions! my heart shall forever,
     Till memory shall perish and reason shall fail,
Still preference give to my own native river,
     The home of my fathers, and Merrimac's vale!


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