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

New England: Pemigewasset, the River, N. H.

My Mountain

By Lucy Larcom (1826–1893)

I SHUT my eyes in the snow-fall

And dream a dream of the hills.

The sweep of a host of mountains,

The flash of a hundred rills,

For a moment they crowd my vision;

Then, moving in troops along,

They leave me one still mountain-picture,

The murmur of one river’s song.

’T is the musical Pemigewasset,

That sings to the hemlock-trees

Of the pines on the Profile Mountain,

Of the stony Face that sees,

Far down in the vast rock-hollows

The waterfall of the Flume,

The blithe cascade of the Basin,

And the deep Pool’s lonely gloom.

All night, from the cottage-window

I can hear the river’s tune;

But the hushed air gives no answer

Save the hemlocks’ sullen rune.

A lamb’s bleat breaks through the stillness,

And into the heart of night.—

Afar and around, the mountains,

Veiled watchers, expect the light.

Then up comes the radiant morning

To smile on their vigils grand;

Still muffled in cloudy mantles

Do their stately ranges stand?

It is not the lofty Haystacks

Piled up by the great Notch-Gate,

Nor the glow of the Cannon Mountain,

That the Dawn and I await,

To loom out of northern vapors;

But a shadow, a pencilled line,

That grows to an edge of opal

Where earth-light and heaven-light shine.

Now rose-tints bloom from the purple;

Now the blue climbs over the green;

Now, bright in its bath of sunshine,

The whole grand Shape is seen.

Is it one, or unnumbered summits,—

The Vision so high, so fair,

Hanging over the singing River

In the magical depths of air?

Ask not the name of my mountain!

Let it rise in its grandeur lone;

Be it one of a mighty thousand,

Or a thousand blent in one.

Would a name evoke new splendor

From its wrapping and folds of light,

Or a line of the weird rock-writing

Make plainer to mortal sight?

You have lived and learnt this marvel:

That the holiest joy that came

From its beautiful heaven to bless you,

Nor needed nor found a name.

Enough, on the brink of the river

Looking up and away, to know

That the Hill loves the Pemigewasset

And broods o’er its murmurous flow.

Perhaps, if the Campton meadows

Should attract your pilgrim feet

Up the summer road to the mountains,

You may chance my dream to meet:—

Either mine, or one more wondrous.

Or perhaps you will look, and say

You behold only rocks and sunshine,

Be it dying or birth of day.

Though you find but the stones that build it,

I shall see through the snow-fall still,

Hanging over the Pemigewasset,

My glorified, dream-crowned Hill.