Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Greece
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Greece and Turkey in Europe: Vol. XIX.  1876–79.
 
Greece: Permessus, the River
Permessus
James Gates Percival (1795–1856)
 
(From Greece, from Mount Helicon)

                        THEN be my guide,
Wandering Termessus, upward through thy vale,
And let me find, beneath the twisted boughs
Of these old evergreens, coolness and shade,
To make my toil the easier. Darkly rolls        5
Thy current under them, and hollower sounds
Thy hidden roar. I just can catch a glimpse
Of yon deep pool, dark and mysterious,
Sunk in its well of rock; and now from out
A tuft of seeded fern I see thee plunge,        10
Tinted with golden green, for there a sunbeam
Strays through thy arch of shade. Still as I climb
Thy voice goes with me, like the laborer’s song,
To cheer me; and anon I see thee flashing
Through the laburnum thickets, rivalling        15
Their golden flowers; and then thou rushest by
Crested with foam, the whiter for the darkness
That covers thee; and then I pause and hang
Over a broad, smooth mirror, where the sky
Looks in, and sees itself, as purely blue,        20
As vast and round, and all its cloudy folds,
Their snowy bosses and their iris fringes
Are there, and all the circling rocks repeat
Their lights and shadows in that vacancy,
So clear, it seems but air. Thou rollest on        25
Thus brightly, and for ages thou hast kept
This ever-varying, yet eternal way;
And like the voice of a divinity
Thou pourest thy endless song. But now the rocks
That hemmed thee in recede, and, round and fair,        30
The open vale of Aganippe smiles
To greet me, as a fond and gentle mistress
Welcomes her weary lover, when he comes
At evening to her bower.
 
 
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