Most Cordially I Hate You

In honor of the Humboldt river, which my fictional family is approaching, I leave you with two poems written by emigrants to honor the Humboldt:

Meanest and muddiest, filthiest stream, most cordially I hate you;
Meaner and muddier still you seem since the first day I met you.
Your namesake better was no doubt, a truth, the scriptures tell,
Her seven devils were cast you, but yours are in you still.
What mean these graves so fresh and new along your banks on either side?
They've all been dug and filled by you, though guilty wretch, thou homicide.
Now fare thee well, we here shake hands and part (I hope) to meet no more,
I rather die in happier lands than longer live upon your shore.
Dr. Horace Belknap, 1850
Farewell to Thee
Farewell to thee! thou Stinking turbid stream
Amid whose waters frogs and Serpents gleam
Thou putrid mass of filth farewell forever.
For here again I'll tempt my fortunes never
Saltpletre, Salt and Sulphur all combine,
With carrion and matters alkaline
I enrich the "broth" that in thy current flows
And make a savory odor for the nose.
Von Humboldt! thou disgraced will be,
This mass of filth to bear the name of thee.
Far better call it Styx, or Pluto's river,
Than thus belie the name of science ever
For sixteen gloomy, sad & weary days,
'Mid burning sands, and sols more burning rays
I've wandered on thy grassless sagy plain
And took thy putrid current to my veins
Drank by compulsion of the brothy mass
That in these deserts must for water pass
But now more welcome deserts rise to view
And Carsons river just beyond so true
Whose mountain waters, pure and clear & bright
Rise like a welcome vision to my sight.
Adison Crane, 1852

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