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

New England: Milton, Mass.

Sunday on the Hill-top

By William Channing Gannett (1840–1923)

ONLY ten miles from the city,—

And how I am lifted away

To the peace that passeth knowing,

And the light that is not of day!

All alone on the hill-top!

Nothing but God and me,

And the spring-time’s resurrection,

Far shinings of the sea,

The river’s laugh in the valley,

Hills dreaming of their past;

And all things silently opening,

Opening into the vast!

Eternities past and future

Seem clinging to all I see,

And things immortal cluster

Around my hended knee.

That pebble—is older than Adam!

Secrets it hath to tell;

These rocks—they cry out history,

Could I but listen well.

That pool knows the ocean-feeling

Of storm and moon-led tide;

The sun finds its east and west therein,

And the stars find room to glide.

That lichen’s crinkled circle

Still creeps with the Life Divine,

Where the Holy Spirit loitered

On its way to this face of mine,—

On its way to the shining faces

Where angel-lives are led;

And I am the lichen’s circle,

That creeps with tiny tread.

I can hear these violets chorus

To the sky’s benediction above;

And we all are together lying

On the bosom of Infinite Love.

I—I am a part of the poem,

Of its every sight and sound,

For my heart beats inward rhymings

To the Sabbath that lies around.

Oh, the peace at the heart of Nature!

Oh, the light that is not of day!

Why seek it afar forever,

When it cannot be lifted away?