Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  At Winnipesaukee

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

New England: Winnipesaukee, the Lake, N. H.

At Winnipesaukee

By Lucy Larcom (1826–1893)


O SILENT hills across the lake,

Asleep in moonlight, or awake

To catch the color of the sky,

That sifts through every cloud swept by,—

How beautiful ye are, in change

Of sultry haze and storm-light strange;

How dream-like rest ye on the bar

That parts the billow from the star;

How blend your mists with waters clear,

Till earth floats off, and heaven seems near.

Ye faint and fade, a pearly zone,

The coast-line of a land unknown.

Yet that is sunburnt Ossipee,

Plunged knee-deep in the limpid sea:

Somewhere among these grouping isles,

Old White-Face from his cloud-cap smiles,

And gray Chocorua bends his crown,

To look on happy hamlets down;

And every pass and mountain-slope

Leads out and on some human hope.

Here the great hollows of the hills

The glamour of the June day fills.

Along the climbing path the brier,

In rose-bloom beauty beckoning higher,

Breathes sweetly the warm uplands over

And, gay with buttercups and clover,

The slopes of meadowy freshness make

A green foil to the sparkling lake.

So is it with yon hills that swim

Upon the horizon, blue and dim:

For all the summer is not ours;

On other shores familiar flowers

Find blossoming as fresh as these,

In shade and shine and eddying breeze;

And scented slopes as cool and green,

To kiss of lisping ripples lean.