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.
 
Western States: Superior, the Lake
Lake Superior
Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793–1860)
 
FATHER of Lakes! thy waters bend
  Beyond the eagle’s utmost view,
When, throned in heaven, he sees thee send
  Back to the sky its world of blue.
 
Boundless and deep, the forests weave        5
  Their twilight shade thy borders o’er,
And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave
  Their rugged forms along thy shore.
 
Pale Silence, mid thy hollow caves,
  With listening ear, in sadness broods;        10
Or startled Echo, o’er thy waves,
  Sends the hoarse wolf-notes of thy woods.
 
Nor can the light canoes, that glide
  Across thy breast like things of air,
Chase from thy lone and level tide        15
  The spell of stillness reigning there.
 
Yet round this waste of wood and wave,
  Unheard, unseen, a spirit lives,
That, breathing o’er each rock and cave,
  To all a wild, strange aspect gives.        20
 
The thunder-riven oak, that flings
  Its grisly arms athwart the sky,
A sudden, startling image brings
  To the lone traveller’s kindled eye.
 
The gnarled and braided boughs, that show        25
  Their dim forms in the forest shade,
Like wrestling serpents seem, and throw
  Fantastic horrors through the glade.
 
The very echoes round this shore
  Have caught a strange and gibbering tone;        30
For they have told the war-whoop o’er,
  Till the wild chorus is their own.
 
Wave of the wilderness, adieu!
  Adieu, ye rocks, ye wilds and woods!
Roll on, thou element of blue,        35
  And fill these awful solitudes!
 
Thou hast no tale to tell of man,—
  God is thy theme. Ye sounding caves,
Whisper of Him, whose mighty plan
  Deems as a bubble all your waves!        40
 
 
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