The River and I

The River and I

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The River and I by John G. Neihardt

Published:

1910

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The River and I

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Book Excerpt

aughers at time and space. Plains limited only by the rim of sky; mountains severe, huge, tragic as fate; deserts for the trying of strong spirits; grotesque volcanic lands--dead, utterly ultra-human--where athletic souls might struggle with despair; impetuous streams with their rapids terrible as Scylla, where men might go down fighting: thus Nature built the stage and set the scenes. And that the arrangements might be complete, she left a vast tract unfinished, where still the building of the world goes on--a place of awe in which to feel the mighty Doer of Things at work. Indeed, a setting vast and weird enough for the coming epic. And as the essence of all story is struggle, tribes of wild fighting men grew up in the land to oppose the coming masters; and over the limitless wastes swept the blizzards.

I remember when I first read the words of Vergil beginning Ubi tot Simois, "where the Simois rolls along so many shields and helmets and strong bodies of brave men snatched beneath its floods." T