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.
 
Middle States: Erie, the Lake, N. Y.
Lake Erie
Ephraim Peabody (1807–1856)
 
THESE lovely shores! how lone and still,
  A hundred years ago,
The unbroken forest stood above,
  The waters dashed below,—
The waters of a lonely sea,        5
  Where never sail was furled,
Embosomed in a wilderness,
  Which was itself a world.
 
A hundred years! go back, and lo!
  Where, closing in the view,        10
Juts out the shore, with rapid oar
  Darts round a frail canoe,—
’T is a white voyager, and see,
  His prow is westward set
O’er the calm wave: Hail to thy bold,        15
  World-seeking barque, Marquette!
 
The lonely bird, that picks his food
  Where rise the waves and sink,
At their strange coming, with shrill scream,
  Starts from the sandy brink;        20
The fishhawk, hanging in mid sky,
  Floats o’er on level wing,
And the savage from his covert looks,
  With arrow on the string.
 
A hundred years are past and gone,        25
  And all the rocky coast
Is turreted with shining towns,
  An empire’s noble boast;
And the old wilderness is changed
  To cultured vale and hill;        30
And the circuit of its mountains
  An empire’s numbers fill!
 
 
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