Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

New England: York, Me.


By Anonymous

  • Sir Ferdinando Gorges looked with special interest upon the pleasantly located little settlement of Agamenticus. On the first of March, 1642, he erected the borough into a city, extending the charter over a region embracing twenty-one square miles. This forest city was on the north side of the river, and extended seven miles back from the river’s mouth.

  • WHERE rises grand, majestic, tall,

    As in a dream, the towering wall

    That scorns the restless, surging tide,

    Once spanned the mart and street and mall,

    And arched the trees on every side

    Of this great city, once in pride.

    For hither came a knightly train

    From o’er the sea with gorgeous court;

    The mayors, gowned in robes of state,

    Held brilliant tourney on the plain,

    And massive ships within the port

    Discharged their load of richest freight.

    Then when at night, the sun gone down

    Behind the western hill and tree,

    The bowls were filled,—this toast they crown,

    “Long live the City by the Sea!”

    Now sailless drift the lonely seas,

    No shallops load at wharves or quays,

    But hulks are strewn along the shore,—

    Gaunt skeletons indeed are these

    That lie enchanted by the roar

    Of ocean wave and sighing trees!

    Oh, tell me where the pompous squires,

    The chant at eve, the matin prayers,

    The knights in armor for the fray?

    The mayors, where, and courtly sires,

    The eager traders with their wares,—

    How went these people hence away?

    And when the evening sun sinks down,

    Weird voices come from hill and tree,

    Yet tell no tales,—this toast they crown,

    “Long live the Spectre by the Sea!”