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

Introductory to New England

Our Neighbor

By Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835–1921)

OLD neighbor, for how many a year

The same horizon, stretching here,

Has held us in its happy bound

From Rivermouth to Ipswich Sound!

How many a wave-washed day we ’ve seen

Above that low horizon lean,

And marked within the Merrimack

The selfsame sunset reddening back,

Or in the Powow’s shining stream,

That silent river of a dream!

Where Craneneck o’er the woody gloom

Lifts her steep mile of apple-bloom;

Where Salisbury Sands, in yellow length,

With the great breakers measure strength;

Where Artichoke in shadow slides,

The lily on her painted tides,—

There ’s naught in the enchanted view

That does not seem a part of you:

Your legends hang on every hill,

Your songs have made it dearer still.

Yours is the river-road; and yours

Are all the mighty meadow floors

Where the long Hampton levels lie

Alone between the sea and sky.

Sweeter in Follymill shall blow

The Mayflowers, that you loved them so;

Prouder Deer Island’s ancient pines

Toss to their measure in your lines;

And purpler gleam old Appledore,

Because your foot has trod her shore.

Still shall the great Cape wade to meet

The storms that fawn about her feet,

The summer evening linger late

In many-rivered Stackyard-Gate,

When we, when all your people here,

Have fled. But, like the atmosphere,

You still the region shall surround,

The spirit of the sacred ground,

Though you have risen, as mounts the star,

Into horizons vaster far!