- ELIZA CROSSING THE RIVER
by: Harriet Beecher Stowe
- ROM her resting-place by the trader
- Through the winter evening cold,
- Eliza came with her boy at last,
- Where a broad deep river rolled.
- Great blocks of the floating ice were there,
- And the water's roar was wild,
- But the cruel trader's step was near,
- Who would take her only child.
- Poor Harry clung around her neck,
- But a word he could not say,
- For his very heart was faint with fear,
- And with flying all that day.
- Her arms about the boy grew tight,
- With a loving clasp, and brave;
- "Hold fast! Hold fast, now, Harry dear,
- And it may be God will save."
- From the river's bank to the floating ice
- She took a sudden bound,
- And the great block swayed beneath her feet
- With a dull and heavy sound.
- So over the roaring rushing flood,
- From block to block she sprang,
- And ever her cry for God's good help
- Above the waters rang.
- And God did hear that mother's cry,
- For never an ice-block sank;
- While the cruel trader and his men
- Stood wondering on the bank.
- A good man saw on the further side,
- And gave her his helping hand;
- So poor Eliza, with her boy,
- Stood safe upon the land.
- A blessing on that good man's arm,
- On his house, and field, and store;
- May he never want a friendly hand
- To help him to the shore!
- A blessing on all that make such haste,
- Whatever their hands can do!
- For they that succor the sore distressed,
- Our Lord will help them too.
MORE POEMS BY HARRIET BEECHER STOWE
"Eliza Crossing the River"
is reprinted from Pictures and Stories from Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: John P. Jewett & Company,