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: Boston, Mass.
Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871)
THROUGH Time’s dim atmosphere, behold
  Those ancient hills again,
Rising to Fancy’s eager view
  In solitude, as when
Beneath the summer firmament,        5
  So silently of yore,
The shadow of each passing cloud
  Their rugged bosoms bore!
They sloped in pathless grandeur then
  Down to the murmuring sea,        10
And rose upon the woodland plain
  In lonely majesty.
The breeze, at noontide, whispered soft
  Their emerald knolls among,
And midnight’s wind, amid their heights,        15
  Its wildest dirges sung.
As on their brow the forest-king
  Paused in his weary way,
From far below his quick ear caught
  The moaning of the bay;        20
The dry leaves, fanned by autumn’s breath,
  Along their ridges crept;
And snow-wreaths, like storm-whitened waves,
  Around them rudely swept.
For ages, o’er their swelling sides,        25
  Grew the wild flowers of spring,
And stars smiled down, and dew-founts poured
  Their gentle offering.
The moonbeams played upon their peaks,
  And at their feet the tide;        30
And thus, like altar-mounts, they stood,
  By nature sanctified.
Now, when to mark their beacon-forms
  The seaman turns his gaze,
It quails, as roof and spire and dome        35
  Flash in the sun’s bright rays.
On those wild hills a thousand homes
  Are reared in proud array,
And argosies float safely o’er
  That lone and isle-gemmed bay.        40
Those shadowy mounds, so long untrod,
  By countless feet are pressed;
And hosts of loved ones meekly sleep
  Below their teeming breast.
A world’s unnumbered voices float        45
  Within their narrow bound;
Love’s gentle tone, and traffic’s hum,
  And music’s thrilling sound.
There Liberty first found a tongue
  Beneath New England’s sky,        50
And there her earliest martyrs stood,
  And nerved themselves to die.
And long upon these ancient hills,
  By glory’s light enshrined,
May rise the dwellings of the free,        55
  The city of the mind.

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