Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.



By William Blake Atkinson

  • Mongewell is a small and scattered village, delightfully situated on the banks of the Thames in Oxfordshire, about a mile from Wallingford.

  • THERE ’s a quiet place where I often go

    When the sun is in the west,

    And the evening breezes, as they blow

    O’er the trees above and the lake below,

    Seem sighing themselves to rest;

    Where under the bank beneath the feet

    There lies a hidden well;

    Where the hanging boughs the waters meet,

    And the moor-hen finds a safe retreat,

    And the white swan loves to dwell.

    For there have I heard the cuckoo’s call,

    And the lay of the nightingale,

    The cooing of doves in the tree-tops tall,

    And the distant sound of the waterfall

    Come creeping up the vale.

    And in the far-off haze I have seen

    The slopes of the circling hill,

    And, the arching boughs of the trees between,

    The broad expanse of the meadows green

    Lie peacefully and still.

    I have seen the water smooth as glass,

    Or the ripples o’er it fleet,

    When the winds that move it as they pass

    Bear the scent of dew-besprinkled grass

    And the odor of flowers sweet.

    I have watched the shades of twilight glide

    Over the peaceful scene,

    Till the stars stole forth on the heavens wide,

    And the moonbeams fell on the tranquil tide

    In floods of silver sheen.

    O, there is no vale that ever I knew

    That has such charms for me,

    Where the earth assumes a brighter hue,

    And the sky seems tinged with a deeper blue,

    And the flowers more fair to see.

    And still contented shall be my lot,

    Whether I laugh or weep,

    If, the busy cares of the world forgot,

    I may visit that sweet, secluded spot,

    Where the woods and waters sleep.