Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Here you will find the Poem Leudeman's-on-the-River of poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Toward even when the day leans down, 
To kiss the upturned face of night, 
Out just beyond the loud-voiced town 
I know a spot of calm delight. 
Like crimson arrows from a quiver 
The red rays pierce the water flowing, 
While we go dreaming, singing, rowing, 
To Leudeman's-on-the-River.

The hills, like some glad mocking-bird, 
Send back our laughter and our singing, 
While faint--and yet more faint is heard 
The steeple bells all sweetly ringing. 
Some message did the winds deliver 
To each glad heart that August night, 
All heard, but all heard not aright; 
By Leudeman's-on-the-River.

Night falls as in some foreign clime, 
Between the hills that slope and rise. 
So dusk the shades at landing time, 
We could not see each other's eyes. 
We only saw the moonbeams quiver 
Far down upon the stream! that night 
The new moon gave but little light 
By Leudeman's-on-the-River.

How dusky were those paths that led 
Up from the river to the hall. 
The tall trees branching overhead 
Invite the early shades that fall. 
In all the glad blithe world, oh, never 
Were hearts more free from care than when 
We wandered through those walks, we ten, 
By Leudeman's-on-the-River.

So soon, so soon, the changes came. 
This August day we two alone, 
On that same river, not the same, 
Dream of a night forever flown. 
Strange distances have come to sever 
The hearts that gayly beat in pleasure, 
Long miles we cannot cross or measure-- 
From Leudeman's-on-the-River.

We'll pluck two leaves, dear friend, to-day. 
The green, the russet! seems it strange 
So soon, so soon, the leaves can change! 
Ah, me! so runs all night away 
This night wind chills me, and I shiver; 
The summer time is almost past. 
One more good-bye--perhaps the last 
To Leudeman's-on-the-River.