Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
New England: Otter, the River, Vt.
The River Otter
Julia C. R. Dorr (1825–1913)
(From Centennial Poem)

A HUNDRED times the Summer’s fragrant blooms
Have laden all the air with sweet perfumes,—
A hundred times along the mountain-side
Autumn has flung his crimson banners wide,—
A hundred times has kindly Winter spread        5
His snowy mantle o’er the violet’s bed,—
A hundred times has Earth rejoiced to hear
The Spring’s light footsteps in the forest sere,
Since on yon grassy knoll the quick, sharp stroke
Of the young woodman’s axe the silence broke.        10
Not then did these encircling hills look down
On quaint old farmhouse or on steepled town.
No church-spires pointed to the arching skies;
No wandering lovers saw the moon arise;
No childish laughter mingled with the song        15
Of the fair Otter, as it flowed along
As brightly then as now. Ah! little recked
The joyous river, when the sunshine flecked
Its dancing wavelets, that no human eye
Gave it glad welcome as it frolicked by!        20
The long, uncounted years had come and flown,
And it had still swept on, unseen, unknown,
Biding its time. No minstrel sang its praise,
No poet named it in immortal lays.
It played no part in legendary lore,        25
And young Romance knew not its winding shore.
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