Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Americas: Vol. XXX. 1876–79.

British America: Quebec, Canada


By Alfred Billings Street (1811–1881)

(From Frontenac)

IN the rich pomp of dying day

Quebec, the rock-throned monarch, glowed,—

Castle and spire and dwelling gray

The batteries rude that niched their way

Along the cliff, beneath the play

Of the deep yellow light, were gay,

And the curved flood, below that lay,

In flashing glory flowed;

Beyond, the sweet and mellow smile

Beamed upon Orleans’ lovely isle;

Until the downward view

Was closed by mountain-tops that, reared

Against the burnished sky, appeared

In misty, dreamy hue.

West of Quebec’s embankments rose

The forests in their wild repose.

Between the trunks, the radiance slim

Here came with slant and quivering blaze;

Whilst there, in leaf-wreathed arbors dim,

Was gathering gray the twilight’s haze.

Where cut the boughs the background glow

That striped the west, a glittering belt,

The leaves transparent seemed, as though

In the rich radiance they would melt.

Upon a narrow, grassy glade,

Where thickets stood in grouping shade,

The light streaked down in golden mist,

Kindled the shrubs, the greensward kissed,

Until the clover-blossoms white

Flashed out like spangles large and bright.