Among the "Breaks" of Big Sandy River

Effie Waller Smith

Among the "Breaks" of Big Sandy

October 1902.

The "Breaks" are a picturesque gorge about
five miles long in the Cumberland Mountains,
through which the beautiful Sandy river flows.

One halcyon day in Autumn
Upon a wave-washed stone
I sat beside the river's edge,
Musing, and all alone.

On either side of the river rose
High towering towards the sky
The rugged, rock bound hills whereon
I heard the spruce pines sigh.

The pipe reeds withered, brown and sere,
The partridge, mellow drumming,
The many colored flying leaves
Foretold of Winter's coming.

Above me calm and still there stretch
A lovely lakelet blue,
Upon its shallow water swam
Wild ducks of somber hue.

The gaudy crested pheasant bird
Made low a whirring sound;
I heard a cataract that fell
On boulders huge and round.

I watched the white and billowy clouds
That floated lazily
With sun encircled edges through
The purple tinted sky.

I never knew a sweeter look
Of Nature ever wearing,
I never saw her more sublime,
With more grand awesome bearing

Than when among Big Sandy's "Breaks"
October last upon
That long-to-be-remembered day
I spent with her alone.

My soul was thrilled with rhapsodies
And filled with thoughts I can't express
O'er her grandeur, sublimity,
And her simple loveliness.

Methought as on that stone I sat
In wandering reverie,
"Were I a hermit, sure this place
My hermitage would be."