Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Balmaha
Summer Memories
Andrew James Symington (1826–1898)
 
THE SUN sinks in the west: rich orange hues
Change into purple, and a mellow haze
Falls on the mountains. Solemnly they lie,
In silent grandeur, mirrored on the lake,
Those heights majestic! Nearing Balmaha,        5
The water-lilies, rocking on the swell
Made by the oars, have sunset’s rosy blush
Upon their snow-white chalices. Broad leaves
Of glossy green that on the surface float,
As oar-blades lift their long elastic stems,        10
Flap on the water.
*        *        *        *        *
  The veil of evening falls. A mighty calm
Pervades the landscape. In the gloaming, even
The rugged heights, with outline softened, yield
To charméd sleep. All breathing deep repose,        15
There is a summer softness in the air;
And sweet that dewy fragrance from the flowers
We know are springing all around our feet,
Although we cannot see their loveliness.
Yon scarlet flakes hung low in amber air,        20
Beyond the purple peaks, intensely burn,
Till each streak, waxing thread-like, disappears,
Foretelling bright to-morrow. From lone cots,
Hid by the trees, thin columns of blue smoke,
Ascending, mingle with the twilight shades,        25
And die in blue mid-air. Wending along
By wooded promontories, overhead
Far-stretching branches interlace, and cast
Their dusky shadows on our path. We meet
The herd-boy bringing home the lowing kine,        30
And, gazing, follow him, till all the train,
Last he himself, in windings of the way
Is lost.
*        *        *        *        *
                            Full orbed,
In mild effulgence from the dim blue hills,
The fair moon rises, shedding o’er the world        35
A wild romantic beauty. On the lake
Her yellow lustre glimmers, taking all
The gentle ripples by the pebbly marge;
While rising terraces of dark green trees
Repose in silence, bronze-like, touched with gold;        40
And island groups clothed to the water’s brink,
Each mirrored double in the clear blue deep,
Seem ever varying as we walk along.
We mark rude bridges, torrents, mountain bourns,
Lone paths into the woods, and, through the leaves,        45
Steep cataracts dashing, in white silvery foam;
The hushed air, fragrant with the tedded hay;
And dew-drops sparkling on each blade of grass.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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