Song of the Chattahoochee
    By Sidney Lanier  in 1877
    Out of the hills of Habersham,
    Down the valleys of Hall,
    I hurry amain to reach the plain,
    Run the rapid and leap the fall,
    Split at the rock and together again,
    Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
    And flee from folly on every side
    With a lover's pain to attain the plain
    Far from the hills of Habersham,
    Far from the valleys of Hall.
    All down the hills of Habersham,
    All through the valleys of Hall,
    The rushes cried Abide, abide,
    The willful water weeds held me thrall,
    The laving laurel turned my tide,
    The ferns and the fondling grass said Stay,
    The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
    And the little reeds sighed Abide, abide,
    Here in the hills of Habersham,
    Here in the valleys of Hall.
    High o'er the hills of Habersham,
    Veiling the valleys of Hall,
    The hickory told me manifold
    Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
    Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
    The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
    Overleaning with flickering meaning and sign,
    Said, Pass not, so cold, these manifold
    Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
    These glades in the valleys of Hall.
    And oft in the hills of Habersham,
    And oft in the valleys of Hall,
    The white quartz shone,
    and the smooth brook-stone
    Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
    And many a luminous jewel lone
    -Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
    Ruby, garnet, and amethyst-
    Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
    In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
    In the beds of the valleys of Hall.
    But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
    And oh, not the valleys of Hall
    Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
    Downward the voices of Duty call-
    Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main
    The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
    And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
    And the lordly main from beyond the plain
    Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
    Calls through the valleys of Hall.
Song of the Chattahoochee
This antique engraving titled "Lover's Leap, Chattahoochee River." 
was published in a collection of American and Canadian 
topographical views in 1854. 
It shows a group of young men fishing at the base of a set of rapids
in a lovely wooded setting. 
Fishing at its best!
Along the Chattahoochee River, north of the original city of Columbus, a series of hills climax in a high bluff; Lover’s Leap. This beautiful area has always attracted visitors. Native Americans certainly used this riverbank to manufacture tools, to hunt and, especially, to fish, even thought the major historic period Indian population centers (Coweta & Cusseta) were located south of the fall line, archaeologists found a “flint quarry” in the approximate area, and a spud or ceremonial axe head in the McKnight Collection in
 St. Louis museum is cited as being from Bibb City. Some residents insist that there is an Indian burial ground in the area, probably to the north of Bibb City. Indian legends form an important part of the local mythology. The most lasting is that association with Lover’s Leap, the rock bluff over the turbulent Chattahoochee. A frontier (or perhaps a high place) legend attributed the name of the pinnacle to Indian lovers who plunged to their deaths rather than live apart. While the Indians used this land, they probably did little to change the landscape.. The Europeans and Africans would transform the land in the 1850’s. John Winter, an important antebellum entrepreneur who also served as mayor of Columbus, harnessed a small portion of the river between an island (now in Bibb pond) and the Alabama shore. A small dam there powered his Rock Island Paper Mill, which also used water, from up river. Union troops destroyed this facility in 1865, and it was never rebuilt. This site is in the extreme northwest corner of the boundaries of Bibb City. The engraving above was printed in 1838. Overall the print size is 5 1/2”X71/2”
Shortly after the war, he finished writing his only novel, Tiger Lilies (1867), and married Mary Day. They took up residence in his hometown of Macon, and he began working in his father's law office. After taking and passing the Georgia bar, he practiced as a lawyer for several years. During this period he wrote a number of poems in the "cracker" and "negro" dialects of his day about poor white and black farmers in the Reconstruction South. He traveled extensively through southern and eastern portions of the United States in search of a cure for his tuberculosis.
While on one such journey in Texas, he rediscovered his native and untutored talent for the flute and decided to travel to the northeast in hopes of finding employment as a musician in an orchestra. Unable to find work in New York, Philadelphia or Boston, he signed on to play flute for the Peabody Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland shortly after its organization. He taught himself musical notation and quickly rose to the position of first flutist. He was famous in his day for his performances of a personal composition for the flute called "Black Birds," which mimics the song of that species.
Poet and scholar
In an effort to support Mary and their three sons, he also wrote poetry for magazines. His most famous poems were "Corn" (1875), "The Symphony" (1875), "Centennial Meditation" (1876), "The Song of the Chattahoochee" (1877), "The Marshes of Glynn" (1878) and "Sunrise" (1881). The latter two poems are generally considered his greatest works. They are part of an unfinished set of lyrical nature poems known as the "Hymns of the Marshes," which describe the vast, open salt marshes of Glynn County on the coast of Georgia. There is a historical marker in Brunswick, Georgia commemorating the writing of his poem The Marshes of Glynn. The largest bridge in Georgia (as of 2005) is a short distance from that location, and is named the Sidney Lanier Bridge.
Late in his life, he became a student, lecturer and, finally, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, specializing in the works of the English novelists, Shakespeare, the Elizabethan sonneteers, Chaucer and the Anglo-Saxon poets. He published a series of lectures entitled The English Novel (published posthumously in 1883) and a book entitled The Science of English Verse (1880), in which he developed a novel theory exploring the connections between musical notation and meter in poetry.
Later life
Putting these theories into practice, he developed a unique style of poetry written in logaoedic dactyls, which was strongly influenced by the works of his beloved Anglo-Saxon poets. He wrote several of his greatest poem in this meter, including " Revenge of Hamish" (1878), "The Marshes of Glynn" and "Sunrise." In Lanier's hands, the logaoedic dactylic meter led to a free-form, almost prose-like style of poetry that was greatly admired by Longfellow, Bayard Taylor, Charlotte Cushman and other leading poets and critics of the day. A similar poetical meter was independently developed by Gerard Manley Hopkins at about the same time (there is no evidence that they knew each other or that either of them had read any of the other's works).

Sidney Lanier
 Early life and war
Sidney Clopton Lanier was born February 3, 1842, in Macon, Georgia to parents Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson. He began playing the flute at an early age, and his love of that musical instrument continued throughout his life. He attended Oglethorpe University near Milledgeville, Georgia, graduating first in his class shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War.

He fought in the Civil War, primarily in the tidewater region of Virginia, where he served in the Confederate signal corps. Later, he and his brother Clifford served as pilots aboard English blockade runners. On one of these voyages, his ship was boarded. Refusing to take the advice of the British officers on board to don one of their uniforms and pretend to be one of them, he was captured. He was incarcerated in a military prison in Maryland, where he contracted tuberculosis (generally known as "consumption" at the time). He suffered greatly from this affliction for the rest of his life.