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

New England: Mount Desert, Me.

Echo Notch

By Anonymous

GRIM mountain Sprite! that, robed in woods,

Dost sit among these hills, their rightful king,

Forgive the wight who rashly dares

To vex thy silence with his questioning.

Adown thy steep and rugged flanks

The black fir glooms and the pale aspens quiver,

And o’er thy glistening, wind-swept cliffs

The mossy, perfumed streamlets leap forever.

We call to thee: our feeble cry

Dies ’gainst the rocky faces of thy throne;

And from thy shaggy bosom comes

Thine answer, deep-voicéd as an organ-tone.

In that broad breast no human heart

To human pulses answereth again:

The wandering wretch, in wood-paths lost,

To thy stern face for pity looks in vain.

Within that sphinx-like face we fain

Would read the riddle of life’s fleeting story,—

Thy calm eternal would we grasp,

And gild our gloom with thy far-shining glory.

But thou! thou gazest on the sea,

With fir-crowned, stony brow that changes never:

We leave thee, in dumb mystery,

Dread sprite! to heave that hoary bulk forever.