ELIZA CROSSING THE RIVER
Harriet Beecher Stowe
From her resting-place by the trader chased,
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.