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: Casco Bay, Me.
White Head
Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)
FROM the pleasant paths I used to tread
  Full many a mile away,
I dream of the rocks of old White Head,
  And the billows of Casco Bay.
I sit once more on the island beach,        5
  Where the waves dash glad and high,
And listen again their mystic speech,
  As the murmurous ranks go by;
While, lying here on my tiresome bed,
  I cheat the dreary day        10
By fondly picturing old White Head
  And the waters of Casco Bay.
Beyond it the laden ships go out,
  Out into the open sea,
To battle with danger, and storm, and doubt,        15
  And the ocean’s treachery;
And the homeward vessels, which long have sped
  Through tempest and spray and foam,
Catch first a glimmer of old White Head,
  And are sure they are almost home;        20
And many a homesick tear is shed
  By wanderers miles away,
As memory whispers of old White Head,
  And the islands of Casco Bay.
Ah, rarest mosses that ever were seen        25
  Grow brightly on old White Head;
Orange, and russet, and emerald green
  Wide over the rocks are spread;
And when the sweet June sunlight shines,
  The gossiping zephyr tells        30
Where ruby and golden columbines
  Are swinging their myriad bells.
Ah, thus, as I lie on my tiresome bed,
  I cheat the dreary day
By summer pictures of old White Head,        35
  And the billows of Casco Bay.
Did I forget? It is winter now
  On the islands and old White Head.
The snow lies deep on the cliff’s high brow,
  And the lichens and blooms are dead;        40
Under the ice, with sob and sigh,
  The prisoned billows heave,
And the clouds hang dark, and the sea-bird’s cry,
  And the winds complain and grieve,—
Yet, lying here on my tiresome bed,        45
  It cheers me to think alway
That the summer is shining on old White Head,
  And the islands of Casco Bay!

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