LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 181
" A young star ! which shone O'er life, — too sweet an image for such glass! A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded ; A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded."
The Mississippi! How, as by an enchanted wand, have its scenes been changed, since Chateaubriand wrote his prose - poetic description of it, as a river of mighty, unbroken solitudes, rolling amid undreamed wonders of vegetable and animal existence.
But, as in an hour, this river of dreams and wild romance has emerged to a reality scarcely less visionary and splendid. What other river of the world bears on its bosom to the ocean the wealth and enterprise of such another country ? — a country whose products embrace all between the tropics and the poles! Those turbid waters, hurrying, foaming, tearing along, an apt resemblance of that headlong tide of business which is poured along its wave by a race more vehement and energetic than any the world ever saw. Ah ! would that they did not also bear along a more fearful freight, — the tears of the oppressed, the sighs of the helpless, the bitter prayers of poor, ignorant hearts to an unknown God, — unknown, unseen, and silent, but who will yet " come out of his place to save ail the poor of the earth! "
The slanting light of the setting sun quivers on the sealike expanse of the river ; the shivery canes, and the tall, dark cypress, hung with wreaths of dark, funereal moss, glow in the golden ray, as the heavily laden steamboat marches onward.