A Poem by George Marion McClellan

The sun went down in beauty
Beyond the Mississippi side,
As I stood on the banks of the river
And watched its waters glide;
Its swelling currents resembling
The longing restless soul,
Surging, swelling, and pursuing
Its ever receding goal.

The sun went down in beauty,
But the restless tide flowed on,
And the phantom of absent loved ones
Danced on the waves and were gone;
Fleeting phantoms of loved ones,
Their faces jubilant with glee,
In the spray seemed to rise and beckon,
And then rush on to the sea.

The sun went down in beauty,
While I stood musing alone,
Stood watching the rushing river
And heard its restless moan;
Longings, vague, intenable,
So far from speech apart,
Like the endless rush of the river,
Went surging through my heart.

The sun went down in beauty,
Peacefully sank to rest,
Leaving its golden reflection
On the great Mississippi’s breast;
Gleaming on the turbulent river,
In the coming gray twilight,
Soothing its restless surging,
And kissing its waters goodnight.