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

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

Lake Mahopac

By Caroline M. Sawyer (1812–1894)


LAKE of the soft and sunny hills,

What loveliness is thine!

Around thy fair, romantic shore

What countless beauties shine!

Shrined in their deep and hollow urn,

Thy silver waters lie,—

A mirror set in waving gems

Of many a regal dye.

Like angel faces in a dream,

Bright isles upon thy breast,

Veiled in soft robes of hazy light,

In such sweet silence rest,

The rustle of a bird’s light wing,

The shiver of the trees,

The chime of waves, are all the sounds

That freight the summer breeze.

Oh, beautiful it is along

Thy silver wave to glide,

And watch the ripples as they kiss

Our tiny vessel’s side;

While ever round the dipping oar

White curls the feathery spray,

Or from its bright suspended point

Drips tinklingly away.

And pleasant to the heart it is

In those fair isles to stray,

Or Fancy’s idle visions weave

Through all the golden day,

Where dark old trees, around whose stems

Caressing woodbines cling,

O’er mossy, flower-enamelled banks,

Their trembling shadows fling.

Oh, he who in his daily paths

A weary spirit bears,

Here in these peaceful solitudes

May he lay down his cares:

No echo from the restless world

Shall his repose invade,

Where the spectres of the haunted heart

By Nature’s self are laid.