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

British America: Quinte, the Bay, Canada

The Bay of Quinte

By Charles Sangster (1822–1893)


SPIRIT of Gentleness! what grace

Attends thy footsteps! Here thy face

With fine creative glory shone,

Like a mild seraph’s near the throne,

On that fair morn when first thy wing

Passed o’er the waters, brightening

The solemn shores that gravely lay

Far, far along the tranquil bay.

No lofty grandeur piled supreme,

But like a sweet, prophetic dream,

The landscape stretched, unfolding still,

In gently sloping vale and hill;

Bright woods of every shade of green;

And over all, the sun, serene,

Rolled back the shadowy mists of gray

That veiled the bosom of the bay.

What spirit of sublime repose

Was with thee when the forest rose

And flung its leafy mantle o’er

The changeful wild on either shore?

Spirits of Rest and Peace! for here

They build their bowers year by year,

Creating yet, from day to day,

Fresh graces for their favorite bay.

And still the charming landscape lies

The fairest ’neath Canadian skies,

Trembling with grace and beauty rare,

Blushing to know how sweet and fair

The lovely features all remain,

Untouched, untainted, free from stain;

The matchless face as warm and gay

As when first mirrored in the bay.

Broad, wavy grain-fields touch the shore,

Receding from the dash and roar

Of the hoarse billow from the deeps

Of the wide lake; rare woodland sweeps

Of upland wild and deep ravine,

In undulating swells of green;

And grassy banks that shoreward stray,

To toy with the delightful bay.

Fair meadows basking in the sun,

Dotted with stately herds that shun

The summer heats beneath the shade

Of some old remnant of the glade;

Or having sought the cooling stream,

Defy the sun’s intensest beam,

Fanned by the graceful airs that play

O’er the calm surface of the bay.