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

New England: Mount Hope, R. I.

Mount Hope

By James Wallis Eastburn (1797–1819)

(From Yamoyden)

THE MORNING air was freshly breathing,

The morning mists were wildly wreathing;

Day’s earliest beams were kindling o’er

The wood-crowned hills and murmuring shore.

’T was summer; and the forests threw

Their checkered shapes of varying hue,

In mingling, changeful shadows seen,

O’er hill and bank, and headland green.

Blithe birds were carolling on high

Their matin music to the sky,

As glanced their brilliant hues along,

Filling the groves with life and song;

All innocent and wild and free

Their sweet, ethereal minstrelsy.

The dew-drop sparkled on the spray,

Danced on the wave the inconstant ray;

And moody grief, with dark control,

There only swayed the human soul!

With equal swell, above the flood,

The forest-cinctured mountain stood;

Its eastward cliffs, a rampart wild,

Rock above rock sublimely piled.

What scenes of beauty met his eye,

The watchful sentinel on high!

With all its isles and inlets lay

Beneath, the calm, majestic bay;

Like molten gold, all glittering spread,

Where the clear sun his influence shed;

In wreathy, crispéd brilliance borne,

While laughed the radiance of the morn.

Round rocks, that from the headlands far

Their barriers reared, with murmuring war,

The chafing stream, in eddying play,

Fretted and dashed its foamy spray;

Along the shelving sands its swell

With hushed and equal cadence fell;

And here, beneath the whispering grove,

Ran rippling in the shadowy cove.

Thy thickets with their liveliest hue,

Aquetnet green! were fair to view;

Far curved the winding shore, where rose

Pocasset’s hills in calm repose;

Or where descending rivers gave

Their tribute to the ampler wave.

Emerging frequent from the tide,

Scarce noticed mid its waters wide,

Lay flushed with morning’s roseate smile,

The gay bank of some little isle;

Where the lone heron plumed his wing,

Or spread it as in act to spring,

Yet paused, as if delight it gave

To bend above the glorious wave.