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

Introductory to Middle States


By Bayard Taylor (1825–1878)

(From Peach-Blossom)

NIGHTLY the hoar-frost freezes

The young grass of the field,

Nor yet have blander breezes

The buds of the oak unsealed;

Not yet pours out the vine

His airy resinous wine;

But over the southern slope

The wands of the peach-tree first

Into rosy beauty burst;

A breath, and the sweet buds ope!

A day, and the orchards bare,

Like maids in haste to be fair,

Lightly themselves adorn

With a scarf the Spring at the door

Has sportively flung before,

Or a stranded cloud of the morn!


Afar, through the mellow hazes

Where the dreams of June are stayed,

The hills, in their vanishing mazes,

Carry the flush, and fade!

Southward they fall, and reach

To the bay and the ocean beach,

Where the soft, half-Syrian air

Blows from the Chesapeake’s

Inlets, coves, and creeks

On the fields of Delaware!

And the rosy lakes of flowers,

That here alone are ours,

Spread into seas that pour

Billow and spray of pink,

Even to the blue wave’s brink,

All down the Eastern Shore!