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I Beheld the Rocky Mountains

from Songs of Lewis & Clark by Sara Bouchard



Lewis: Sunday May 26th 1805

In the after part of the day
I walked out and ascended the river hills
which I found sufficiently fortiegueing.
on arriving to the summit
[of] one of the highest points in the neighbourhood
I thought myself well repaid for my labour;
as from this point I beheld the Rocky Mountains for the first time,

I could only discover
a few of the most elivated points above the horizon,
these points of the Rocky Mountains were covered with snow
and the sun shone on it
in such manner as to give me the most plain and satisfactory view.

while I viewed these mountains
I felt a secret pleasure
in finding myself so near the head
of the heretofore conceived boundless Missouri;
but when I reflected on the difficulties
which this snowey barrier would most probably
throw in my way to the Pacific,
and the sufferings and hardships
of myself and party in them,
it in some measure counterballanced
the joy I had felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them;

but as I have always held it a crime to anticipate evils
I will believe it a good comfortable road
untill I am compelled to believe differently.


from Songs of Lewis & Clark, released November 8, 2008


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Sara Bouchard Richmond, Virginia

I am a multi-disciplinary artist and songwriter with a strong foothold in American roots. As an artist, I investigate ways to interact with and represent the American landscape through song. As a musician, I perform original and traditional tunes - drawn from bluegrass, old-time, jazz, country and blues - with my band SALT PARADE. ... more

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