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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Earlier Poems

Sunrise on the Hills

I STOOD upon the hills, when heaven’s wide arch

Was glorious with the sun’s returning march,

And woods were brightened, and soft gales

Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.

The clouds were far beneath me; bathed in light,

They gathered midway round the wooded height,

And, in their fading glory, shone

Like hosts in battle overthrown,

As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance,

Through the gray mist thrust up its shattered lance,

And rocking on the cliff was left

The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft.

The veil of cloud was lifted, and below

Glowed the rich valley, and the river’s flow

Was darkened by the forest’s shade,

Or glistened in the white cascade;

Where upward, in the mellow blush of day,

The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.

I heard the distant waters dash,

I saw the current whirl and flash,

And richly, by the blue lake’s silver beach,

The woods were bending with a silent reach.

Then o’er the vale, with gentle swell,

The music of the village bell

Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills;

And the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,

Was ringing to the merry shout

That faint and far the glen sent out,

Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke,

Through thick-leaved branches, from the dingle broke.

If thou art worn and hard beset

With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,

If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep

Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,

Go to the woods and hills! No tears

Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.