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

New England: Cummington, Mass.

Bryant’s Birthplace

By Charlotte Fiske Bates (1838–1916)

AMID these haunts a poet’s boyhood drew

The inspiring breath of Nature and of God;

On his young vision broke divinely true,

While through these very woodland ways he trod,

That view of death that soothes the spirit so,

That perfect work of life’s imperfect age;

In this doth Genius clearly, grandly show

How soon her own may claim their heritage.

Here myriad thought-tones swept his being through,

Which, linked and blended in some after time

Midst the world’s noise, to finished music grew,

Rolling forth chords, now tender, now sublime.

Here the fringed gentian of the poet blows;

Yielding dim odor, yellow violets still

Jewel Spring’s naked bosom till it glows,

While yet the air holds fast its wintry chill.

Nature, as grateful for her true son’s love,

At his return seems pouring out her joy;

Shows him new blossoms in some leafy cove,

Yet shares with him far memories of the boy;

And here the laurelled poet loves to come,

And finds his soul, despite the years, at home.