View of "Lone Bluff"... an awing, and unforgettable, river landmark
towering about 100 feet above the OUACHITA.
Weathered, native pines, growing atop of this impressive bluff
shelters the unmarked grave of a young woman buried there in the
early 1800's; the subject of poems and stories passed down for
over 150 years ...
Lone Bluff is a clay and sand-stone cliff located on the OUACHITA
about ten miles above Columbia, Louisiana . Lone Bluff Cliff is
a very prominent point of interest. At the north base of this
cliff, Lone Grave Bayou emptys into the river. The juncture at
this point forms one of the deepest holes in the OUACHITA...,
recently, measured at eighty-five feet deep.
of Lone Bluff Grave
Written in 1844 by Judge A.A. Gunby of Monroe, Louisiana
In the early 1800's there was a large
plantation on the OUACHITA situated
across the river from Lone Bluff.
A sad, tragic, death on this plantation
inspired the late, Judge A. A. Gunby,
to write a stirring poem in 1844,
revealing the story of how this death
led to the placement of a solitary grave
on top of this majestic bluff.
The Indians called it Ouachita,
a lovely sweet and peaceful name,
that brings no mention of war
or gorey chieftain's fame.
The fairest stream e'er met my eyes...
there I lived and hoped to die,
And in my humble dwelling lie.
I lay it down as fact and law
No traveler ever saw
A lovelier stream than the Ouachita...
But to my story...far down south
Not very far from the river's mouth,
A bluff or hill that's steep and high
Its waters lave on the western shore...
'Tis indeed a splendid ledge,
With pine trees on its summit growing
And on its side, to the river's edge,
The wildflowers are freely blowing...
This bluff is called lone grave mound,
For on its dizzy top is found
Some feet back from its steep confines
Jus' at the roots of the lofty pines,
A lone grave, without a stone
Or other marks to make known
What friendless one sleeps there alone...
No residence or rustic road
Or path for man exists for miles
About this lonesome drear abode
Except across the river, where...
An old plantation, broad and fair,
Spreads its corn and cotton fields...
T'was on this place nearly forty years ago,
An overseer lived, whose life
Was gladened by a fair young wife...
Her form was frail, ... her name was Ruth,
He married her in tender youth,
And ere the bridal year had flown
Consumption's fatal seed was sown;
That wrecking, wasting, wan disease...
And so Ruth languished day by day
And from her window often gazed
To where the bluff's summit raised;
At length a wish or fancy rose
To rest up there... at life's close
Taking her husband's hand in own,
Her wish she thus made known:
"My love", she said, "when, I am dead,
"Place me on yonder hill, in sight of my dear home,
Where I can see thee still...
Her husband promised to comply
with her fond wish... if she should die
Thro' Autumn's months she lingered low,
But seemed at times to better grow;
And friends began new hopes to weave,
And, then, she died on Christmas eve.
Alas! when, all should be bright and gay...
Her funeral came on Christmas day.
They said no prayers, they sang no songs,
But, brawny blacks, on shoulders strong
Carried their kind mistress up hill,
And silently, laid her down...
There fair Ruth sleeps in love and awe
Above the placid Ouachita.
Edited version of Original lengthy poem