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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.


Summer Memories

By Andrew James Symington (1826–1898)

THE SUN sinks in the west: rich orange hues

Change into purple, and a mellow haze

Falls on the mountains. Solemnly they lie,

In silent grandeur, mirrored on the lake,

Those heights majestic! Nearing Balmaha,

The water-lilies, rocking on the swell

Made by the oars, have sunset’s rosy blush

Upon their snow-white chalices. Broad leaves

Of glossy green that on the surface float,

As oar-blades lift their long elastic stems,

Flap on the water.


The veil of evening falls. A mighty calm

Pervades the landscape. In the gloaming, even

The rugged heights, with outline softened, yield

To charméd sleep. All breathing deep repose,

There is a summer softness in the air;

And sweet that dewy fragrance from the flowers

We know are springing all around our feet,

Although we cannot see their loveliness.

Yon scarlet flakes hung low in amber air,

Beyond the purple peaks, intensely burn,

Till each streak, waxing thread-like, disappears,

Foretelling bright to-morrow. From lone cots,

Hid by the trees, thin columns of blue smoke,

Ascending, mingle with the twilight shades,

And die in blue mid-air. Wending along

By wooded promontories, overhead

Far-stretching branches interlace, and cast

Their dusky shadows on our path. We meet

The herd-boy bringing home the lowing kine,

And, gazing, follow him, till all the train,

Last he himself, in windings of the way

Is lost.

Full orbed,

In mild effulgence from the dim blue hills,

The fair moon rises, shedding o’er the world

A wild romantic beauty. On the lake

Her yellow lustre glimmers, taking all

The gentle ripples by the pebbly marge;

While rising terraces of dark green trees

Repose in silence, bronze-like, touched with gold;

And island groups clothed to the water’s brink,

Each mirrored double in the clear blue deep,

Seem ever varying as we walk along.

We mark rude bridges, torrents, mountain bourns,

Lone paths into the woods, and, through the leaves,

Steep cataracts dashing, in white silvery foam;

The hushed air, fragrant with the tedded hay;

And dew-drops sparkling on each blade of grass.