Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
Introductory to Western States
Tennessee
Albert Pike (1809–1891)
 
“My Native Land, My Tennessee!”
[Written for Mrs. W. Barrow]

THE SUNSET flings upon the sea
  Its golden gush of life and light;
The waves with pleasant melody
  On the white sands are sparkling bright;
Old Ocean, round his many isles,        5
Like a fair infant sleeping, smiles:
  So would I sleep, and dream of thee,
  My own, my native land, my Tennessee!
 
Tall mountains with their snowy cones,
  Far inland, bathed in sunshine, blaze;        10
Like gray-haired giants on their thrones,
  Crowned with the young dawn’s golden rays
Toward them I lean, and fain would lie
At the feet of those that pierce thy sky,
  Thou dearest land on earth to me,        15
  My own, my native land, my Tennessee!
 
Landward and swift the sea-bird flies,
  Dipping his strong and nervous wings
In the blue wave, as home he hies,
  A truant, from his wanderings.        20
He goes to seek his gentle mate,
His young, with longing eyes that wait:
  So would I fain haste home to thee,
  My own, my native land, my Tennessee!
 
Existence! ’t is but toil and strife,—        25
  Yet I ’ll not murmur or repine,
So that the sunset of my life,
  Sweet day, be clear and calm as thine;
So that I take my last, long rest,
Dear native land, in thy loved breast:        30
  Land of the gallant and the free!
  My native, native land, my Tennessee!
 
 
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