Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Lower Saranac

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

Middle States: Saranac, the Lakes, N. Y.

The Lower Saranac

By Alfred Billings Street (1811–1881)

LIGHTLY flies my fleet bark across the glittering water,

Sweetly talk the ripples before the furrowing prow,

Mellow streams the sunset within the skirting forest,

Mellow melts the west-wind in kisses on my brow.

Oh, this life is glorious, this life within the wildwood!

Far, oh, far away flee the troubles of our lot!

Wide expands the bosom, a boyish heart is dancing,

Dancing with the gladness o’erflowing every spot!

Dreamy like the past stands the distant blue Tahawhus;

Gleamy like the present old Moosehead rears his crest;

Filmy like the future in front the bowery island;

Sparkling like our wishes the water’s ripply breast.

Look, a wandering snowflake, the white gull in the distance!

Indian pink on pinions, the redbird’s darting glow!

Upward leaps the trout, and afar the loon is floating,

Dotting dark the sun-gleam, then flashing bright below.

Turn the buoyant bark through the elm’s cathedral archway!

Nestles cool the cove filled with babble of the brook,

Sunny specks, and spice from the lily’s pearly scallops;

So from glare of life hides some sweet domestic nook.

Onward then again, for the sunset now has kindled

Higher his grand camp-fire, and shines our tent before!

Crimson clouds are painting the purpled lake’s enamel,

Golden gauzes gleam in the glades along the shore.

Onward, onward, thus do we press upon our journey,

Moved by restless longing, Heaven calling us away;

Oh, may fading life be illumined like the sunset,

Beaming brighter, brighter, till darkness veils the day!