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: Philadelphia, Pa.
Chalkley Hall
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892)
 
(Excerpt)

HOW bland and sweet the greeting of this breeze
      To him who flies
From crowded street and red wall’s weary gleam,
Till far behind him like a hideous dream
      The close dark city lies!        5
 
Here, while the market murmurs, while men throng
      The marble floor
Of Mammon’s altar, from the crush and din
Of the world’s madness let me gather in
      My better thoughts once more.        10
 
O, once again revive, while on my ear
      The cry of Gain
And low hoarse hum of Traffic die away,
Ye blessed memories of my early day
      Like sere grass wet with rain!—        15
 
Once more let God’s green earth and sunset air
      Old feelings waken;
Through weary years of toil and strife and ill,
Oh, let me feel that my good angel still
      Hath not his trust forsaken.        20
 
And well do time and place befit my mood:
      Beneath the arms
Of this embracing wood, a good man made
His home, like Abraham resting in the shade
      Of Mamre’s lonely palms.        25
 
Here, rich with autumn gifts of countless years,
      The virgin soil
Turned from the share he guided, and in rain
And summer sunshine throve the fruits and grain
      Which blessed his honest toil.        30
 
Here, from his voyages on the stormy seas,
      Weary and worn,
He came to meet his children and to bless
The Giver of all good in thankfulness
      And praise for his return.        35
 
And here his neighbors gathered in to greet
      Their friend again,
Safe from the wave and the destroying gales,
Which reap untimely green Bermuda’s vales,
      And vex the Carib main.
*        *        *        *        *
        40
Oh, far away beneath New England’s sky,
      Even when a boy,
Following my plough by Merrimac’s green shore,
His simple record I have pondered o’er
      With deep and quiet joy.        45
 
And hence this scene, in sunset glory warm,—
      Its woods around,
Its still stream winding on in light and shade,
Its soft green meadows and its upland glade,—
      To me is holy ground.
*        *        *        *        *
        50
 
 
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