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

Middle States: Canepo, the Lake, N. Y.

Lake Canepo

By Henry Theodore Tuckerman (1813–1871)


WHEN cradled on thy placid breast,

In hushed content I loved to muse,

Too full the heart, too sweet the rest,

For thought and speech to interfuse.

But now, when thou art shrined afar,

Like Nature’s chosen urn of peace,

Remembrance, like the evening star,

Begins a vigil ne’er to cease.

Each mossy rock, each fairy isle,

Inlets with thickets overhung,

The cloud’s rose-tint or fleecy pile,

And Echo’s wildly frolic tongue;

The light and shade that o’er thee play,

The ripple of thy moonlit wave,

The long, calm, dreamy summer day,

The very stones thy waters lave;

The converse frank, the harmless jest,

The reverie without a sigh,

The hammock’s undulating rest,

With fair companions seated by;

Yet linger, as if near thee still,

I heard, upon the fitful breeze,

The locust and the whippoorwill,

Or rustle of the swaying trees.

Hills rise in graceful curves around,

Here dark with tangled forest shade,

There yellow with the harvest-ground,

Or emerald with the open glade;

Primeval chestnuts line the strand,

And hemlocks every mountain side,

While, by each passing zephyr fanned,

Azalea flowers kiss the tide.

We nestle in the gliding barge,

And turn from yon unclouded sky,

To watch, along the bosky marge,

Its image in thy waters nigh.

Or, gently darting to and fro,

The insects on their face explore,

With speckled minnows poised below,

And tortoise on the pebbly floor.

Or turn the prow to some lone bay,

Where thick the floating leaves are spread;

How bright and queen-like the array

Of lilies in their crystal bed!