Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > America
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX.  1876–79.
 
New England: Mount Desert, Me.
Echo Notch
Anonymous
 
GRIM mountain Sprite! that, robed in woods,
  Dost sit among these hills, their rightful king,
Forgive the wight who rashly dares
  To vex thy silence with his questioning.
 
Adown thy steep and rugged flanks        5
  The black fir glooms and the pale aspens quiver,
And o’er thy glistening, wind-swept cliffs
  The mossy, perfumed streamlets leap forever.
 
We call to thee: our feeble cry
  Dies ’gainst the rocky faces of thy throne;        10
And from thy shaggy bosom comes
  Thine answer, deep-voicéd as an organ-tone.
 
In that broad breast no human heart
  To human pulses answereth again:
The wandering wretch, in wood-paths lost,        15
  To thy stern face for pity looks in vain.
 
Within that sphinx-like face we fain
  Would read the riddle of life’s fleeting story,—
Thy calm eternal would we grasp,
  And gild our gloom with thy far-shining glory.        20
 
But thou! thou gazest on the sea,
  With fir-crowned, stony brow that changes never:
We leave thee, in dumb mystery,
  Dread sprite! to heave that hoary bulk forever.
 
 
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