Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Lines on Revisiting the Country

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

New England: Cummington, Mass.

Lines on Revisiting the Country

By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

I STAND upon my native hills again,

Broad, round, and green, that in the summer sky,

With garniture of waving grass and grain,

Orchards, and beechen forests, basking lie;

While deep the sunless glens are scooped between,

Where brawl o’er shallow beds the streams unseen.

A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near,

And ever restless feet of one, who, now,

Gathers the blossoms of her fourth bright year;

There plays a gladness o’er her fair young brow,

As breaks the varied scene upon her sight,

Upheaved and spread in verdure and in light.

For I have taught her, with delighted eye,

To gaze upon the mountains,—to behold

With deep affection the pure ample sky,

And clouds along its blue abysses rolled,—

To love the song of waters, and to hear

The melody of winds with charméd ear.

Here I have ’scaped the city’s stifling heat,

Its horrid sounds, and its polluted air;

And, where the season’s milder fervors beat,

And gales, that sweep the forest borders, bear

The song of bird, and sound of running stream,

Am come awhile to wander and to dream.

Ay, flame thy fiercest, sun! thou canst not wake,

In this pure air, the plague that walks unseen.

The maize leaf and the maple bough but take,

From thy strong heats, a deeper, glossier green.

The mountain wind, that faints not in thy ray,

Sweeps the blue steams of pestilence away.

The mountain wind! most spiritual thing of all

The wide earth knows; when, in the sultry time,

He stoops him from his vast cerulean hall,

He seems the breath of a celestial clime!

As if from heaven’s wide-open gates did flow

Health and refreshment on the world below.