Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • The Flow of the River

    From The Birmingham Age-Herald, February 9, 1913.
     By Dr. W. E. Evans.
     I have followed the flow of the river
     From the springs and the rills, where at first
     Through the grasses and ferns all entangled
     As a stream into sunlight is burst;
     I have followed its devious windings
     ‘Neath the bending of boughs interlaced
     And have marked how it deepened and widened
     As its course to the ocean was traced:
     And so wide and so deep is the river
     As it surges and flows to the sea
     That the springs and the rills are forgotten—
     E’en the place where it first came to be.
     I had often o’erbounded the river,
     With a sportive and boyishlike pride
     But today only line as of shadow
     Marks the far away opposite side.
     We were children, and stood by the river,
     Then a narrow and silvery band—
     I suggested we follow the water
     While we held one another by hand:
     Through the tall tangled grasses we wandered
     By the banks of the musical stream
     As it tinkled, and murmured, and cadenced
     Like the mystical tones in a dream:
     Ah, the day was so fair! I remember
     It was early in blossoming June
     And the soft vernal zephyrs were fragrant—
     All the world with its God was in tune!
     And I loved her—as man loves a woman—
     Not as boys often love and forget;
     I was old for my years and was thoughtful
     And I fancied she loved me, and yet—
     Through the tall tangled grasses we wandered
     As we each kept an opposite side—
     Loosing hands just a little-by-little
     Where the water was swifter and wide;
     Till at last only tips of the fingers
     Could be touched—then the hands idly fell
     And she merrily said as we parted—
     “We shall meet nevermore,” and “Farewell!”
     O, the long, lonesome walk by the margin!
     O, the piteous call to return
     To the spot where the stream had beginning
     ‘Mid the grass, and the vine, and the fern!
     But away in the distance she faded—
     Where the river drops into the sea
     And dividing us rolled the wide waters
     Leaving memory and heartache to me.