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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 Upper Saranac

By Alfred Billings Street (1811–1881)

WILD forest lake, thy waters spread

A mirror for the welkin’s bound!

Thy breezes glide with rippling tread;

Thy linking brooks send tinkling sound.

Down to thy wave the fish-hawk swoops;

The wood-duck floats within thy bays;

Its trunks the water-maple groups

Along thy banks of leafy maze.

The gull darts by, a flash of snow;

Deep from thy brink green pictures gleam;

The loon shouts o’er, and shoots below;

The soft haze folds thee in a dream.

The lily lifts its creamy cup

In thy broad shallows, amber clear;

And there the thatch shoots bristling up,

And there steals down the drinking deer.

On thy bright breast each fairy isle

Strews its rock-vase, with foliage brimmed;

And from thee grandly, pile on pile,

Soar the steep crags with thunders rimmed.

In thy smooth glades the camp-fire flames;

The hunter’s light boat tracks thy wave;

Thy ooze in caves the muskrat frames;

The otter in thee loves to lave.

Wild forest lake! oh, would my home,

My happy home, were reared by thee!

Thence would my full heart never roam,

From care and trouble ever free.