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

New England: Holyoke, the Mountain, Mass.

Sunday on Mount Holyoke

By James Freeman Colman

I ’VE climbed, with slippery, toiling feet,

The cliff, beneath whose verge,

Far down, wide-waving woodlands beat

Their greenly rippling surge.

With rustling skirts the zephyr treads

The undulating trees,

And azure harebells nod their heads,

Rung by the passing breeze.

Mid fields of variegated grain

The river lies asleep,

While the stern mountains to the plain

With softened outline sweep.

And, hand in hand, around the vale,

Clad in blue autumn-mist,

They stand, that naught the spot assail

The loving sun hath kissed.

On the green hillside lowing kine

Are heard, and bleating flocks,

And, where the farmyard roofings shine,

The shrilly crowing cocks.

But naught of sight or sound doth mar

The holy Sabbath-time,

Where the white belfry gleams afar

Whispers the village-chime.

Like a fond mother’s kiss, the scene

Soothes the unrestful brain;

Earth’s love, so smilingly serene,

Wins the sick soul from pain.

Here are no traces to record

Man’s crimes or his distress;

The brooding spirit looks abroad

In happy loneliness.

How spiritual seems the place!

The blue, unclouded skies

Look down, as when a thoughtful face

To yearning dreams replies.

’T is well to kneel in pillared aisle,

And swell prayer’s choral tone;

But holiest feelings crave awhile

To find themselves alone.

And as the landscape, viewed from hence,

Dwindles in sight and sound,

While heaven, in still magnificence,

Spreads broader arms around;

So, from this lofty mountain-goal

To which my feet have trod,

Life’s objects lessen,—and the soul

Seemeth more near to God.