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

New England: Wachusett, the Mountain, Mass.

To Wachusett

By Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)


WITH frontier strength ye stand your ground,

With grand content ye circle round.

Tumultuous silence for all sound,

Ye distant nursery of rills,

Monadnock, and the Peterboro’ hills;

Like some vast fleet,

Sailing through rain and sleet,

Through winter’s cold and summer’s heat;

Still holding on, upon your high emprise,

Until ye find a shore amid the skies;

Not skulking close to land,

With cargo contraband,

For they who sent a venture out by ye

Have set the sun to see

Their honesty.

Ships of line, each one,

Ye to the westward run,

Always before the gale,

Under a press of sail,

With a weight of metal all untold.

I seem to feel ye, in my firm seat here,

Immeasurable depth of hold,

And breadth of beam, and length of running gear.


But special I remember thee,

Wachusett, who like me

Standest alone without society.

Thy far blue eye,

A remnant of the sky,

Seen through the clearing or the gorge,

Or from the windows of the forge,

Doth leaven all it passes by.

Nothing is true,

But stands ’tween me and you,

Thou western pioneer,

Who know’st not shame nor fear,

By venturous spirit driven,

Under the eaves of heaven,

And canst expand thee there,

And breathe enough of air!

Upholding heaven, holding down earth,

Thy pastime from thy birth,

Not steadied by the one, nor leaning on the other;

May I approve myself thy worthy brother!