Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
New England: White Mountains, N. H.
Lake of the Clouds, Mt. Washington
Henry Clay Henderson
 
QUEEN of the clouds! afar from crowds
  Thou reignest all alone,
In solitude which few intrude
  To bow at thy high throne.
 
On either hand the mountains grand        5
  Their giant shoulders lift
To bear thee up like God’s sweet cup,
  Brimmed with his precious gift!
 
Shrined mid the haunts of Alpine plants
  That wreathe thy rocky rim,        10
Like clustered vines the graver twines
  About the beaker’s brim,
 
With what delight I caught the sight
  Of thee I came to seek,
At peace and rest beneath the crest        15
  Of Monroe’s splintered peak;
 
Where naught is heard of beast or bird
  Save the lone eagle’s cry,
Whose lordly flight eludes the sight,
  Lost in the deepening sky;        20
 
And where no sound disturbs the round
  Of thy unruffled sleep,
But bolts that flash and roar and crash
  And leap from steep to steep.
 
O, what an hour to feel His power        25
  Who said, and it was done;
And huge and vast these hills stood fast,
  Eternal as the sun!
 
By thy low brink I knelt to drink
  Thy waters clear and cold,        30
As the last ray that shuts the day
  Flushed thy fair face with gold.
 
Below in light the valley bright
  In softened beauty shone,
While o’er me rose in grand repose        35
  The dome of Washington.
 
The soft green moss I stept across
  With wary feet and slow,
Crept in and out and all about
  The shattered rocks below;        40
 
And wee bright flowers through sun and showers
  Peered out with sparkling eyes,
As in the wild some unkempt child
  Looks up in shy surprise.
 
O lovely lake, for thy sweet sake        45
  The powers of earth and air,
That desolate all else, create
  For thee a garden fair,
 
That mid the breath of gloom and death
  Seems let down from above        50
To give us cheer where all is drear,
  Like God’s abounding love.
 
Mid city heats I tread the streets
  And think of thee afar,
As of one gone whose love beams on        55
  Like light from some lost star.
 
O mighty mount, O crystal fount,
  O hills and lakes and streams,
How dear thou art to all my heart,
  How near in all my dreams.
*        *        *        *        *
        60
 
 
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