Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

Introductory to British America


By Alexander McLachlan (1820–1896)

(From Idyls of the Pioneers)

LAND of mighty lake and forest!

Where the winter’s locks are hoarest;

Where the summer’s leaf is greenest,

And the winter’s bite the keenest;

Where the autumn’s leaf is searest,

And her parting smile the dearest;

Where the tempest rushes forth

From his caverns in the north,

With the lightnings of his wrath

Sweeping forests from his path;

Where the cataract stupendous

Lifteth up his voice tremendous;

Where uncultivated Nature

Rears her pines of giant stature,—

Sows her jagged hemlocks o’er,

Thick as bristles on the boar,—

Plants the stately elm and oak

Firmly in the iron rock;

Where the crane her course is steering,

And the eagle is careering;

Where the gentle deer are bounding,

And the woodman’s axe resounding,—

Land of mighty lake and river,

To our hearts thou ’rt dear forever!