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

British America: St. Lawrence (Cadaraqui), the River

Lake of the Thousand Islands

By Charles Sangster (1822–1893)

HERE Nature holds her carnival of Isles,

Steeped in warm sunset all the merry day,

Each nodding tree and floating greenwood smiles,

And moss-crowned monsters move in grim array;

All night the fisher spears his finny prey,

The piny flambeaux reddening the deep

By the dim shore, or up some mimic bay

Like grotesque bandits as they boldly sweep

Upon the startled prey, and stab them while they sleep.

And many a tale of legendary lore

Is told of these romantic Isles. The feet

Of the red man impressed each wave-zoned shore,

And many an eye of beauty oft did greet

The painted warriors and their birchen fleet,

As they returned with trophies of the slain.

That race hath passed away: their fair retreat

In its primeval loneness smiles again,

Save where some vessel breaks the isle-enwoven chain;

Save where the echo of the huntsman’s gun

Startles the wild duck from some shallow nook,

Or the swift hounds’ deep baying as they run

Rouses the lounging student from his book;

Or where, assembled by some sedgy brook,

A picnic party, resting in the shade,

Springs forward hastily to catch a look

At the strong steamer, through the watery glade

Ploughing like a huge serpent from its ambuscade.