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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

To Seneca Lake

By James Gates Percival (1795–1856)

[From Poetical Works. Collection of 1859.]

ON thy fair bosom, silver lake,

The wild swan spreads his snowy sail,

And round his breast the ripples break,

As down he bears before the gale.

On thy fair bosom, waveless stream,

The dipping paddle echoes far,

And flashes in the moonlight gleam,

And bright reflects the polar star.

The waves along thy pebbly shore,

As blows the north-wind, heave their foam,

And curl around the dashing oar,

As late the boatman hies him home.

How sweet, at set of sun, to view

Thy golden mirror spreading wide,

And see the mist of mantling blue

Float round the distant mountain’s side.

At midnight hour, as shines the moon,

A sheet of silver spreads below,

And swift she cuts, at highest noon,

Light clouds, like wreaths of purest snow.

On thy fair bosom, silver lake!

O, I could ever sweep the oar,

When early birds at morning wake,

And evening tells us toil is o’er.