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.
 
Middle States: Genesee, the River, N. Y.
My Own Dark Genesee
William Henry Cuyler Hosmer (1814–1877)
 
THEY told me southern land could boast
  Charms richer than mine own:
Sun, moon, and stars of brighter glow,
  And winds of gentler tone;
And parting from each olden haunt,        5
  Familiar rock and tree,
From that sweet vale I wandered far—
  Washed by the Genesee.
 
I pined beneath a foreign sky,
  Though birds, like harps in tune,        10
Lulled Winter on a couch of flowers
  Clad in the garb of June.
In vain on reefs of coral broke
  The glad waves of the sea;
For, like thy voice they sounded not,        15
  My own dark Genesee!
 
When Christmas came, though round me grew
  The lemon-tree and lime,
And the warm sky above me threw
  The blue of summer-time;        20
I thought of my loved northern home,
  And wished for wings to flee
Where frost-bound, between frozen banks,
  Lay hushed the Genesee.
 
For the gray, mossed paternal roof        25
  My throbbing bosom yearned,
And ere the flight of many moons
  My steps I homeward turned;
My heart, to joy a stranger long,
  Was tuned to rapture’s key,        30
When ear the murmur heard once more
  Of my own Genesee.
 
Ambition from the scenes of youth
  May others lure away
To chase the phantom of renown        35
  Throughout their little day;
I would not, for a palace proud
  And slave of pliant knee,
Forsake a cabin in thy vale,
  My own dark Genesee.        40
 
 
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