Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Hills of Santa Cruz

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

West Indies: Santa Cruz

The Hills of Santa Cruz

By Sarah Bridges Stebbins

SOLEMN and still beneath the deep blue sky

The island hills in billowy calm repose,

And all the splendor of the day and night

In quiet floods adown their surface flows.

Morn breaks across them ’twixt the waiting clouds,

As in the Temple, through the cherub wings

The glory of the Lord burst o’er the ark,

To his High Priest revealing sacred things.

Noon languid dreams upon the russet cones,

Spreading o’er verdant slopes her golden veil;

And hears the music of dell-hidden rills,

As through a sleep steal tones of lulling tale.

The sunset canopies with wreaths of flame

And rose-fringed floating fleece each curving height,

As shadows dark into the hollows fall,

While still the summits soar in glowing light.

The sable curtain of the sombre night

With awful blackness screens their stately heads,

Save when prismatic star-rays rend the gloom,

Or tropic moon a silver radiance sheds.

At every season they are grand and fair;

Storms leave no change upon their graceful steeps;

The majesty of silence crowns their brows,

The holiness of peace upon them sleeps.

For Nature’s adoration is in hills,—

Her mighty arms forever raised in prayer!

Earth’s very soul seems breathing from their lines,

And man is nearer God and Heaven there!