Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Poems of Nature
Mountain Pictures
I. Franconia from the Pemigewasset
 
ONCE more, O Mountains of the North, unveil
  Your brows, and lay your cloudy mantles by!
And once more, ere the eyes that seek ye fail,
  Uplift against the blue walls of the sky
Your mighty shapes, and let the sunshine weave        5
  Its golden net-work in your belting woods,
  Smile down in rainbows from your falling floods,
And on your kingly brows at morn and eve
  Set crowns of fire! So shall my soul receive
Haply the secret of your calm and strength,        10
  Your unforgotten beauty interfuse
  My common life, your glorious shapes and hues
  And sun-dropped splendors at my bidding come,
  Loom vast through dreams, and stretch in billowy length
From the sea-level of my lowland home!        15
 
They rise before me! Last night’s thunder-gust
Roared not in vain: for where its lightnings thrust
Their tongues of fire, the great peaks seem so near,
Burned clean of mist, so starkly bold and clear,
I almost pause the wind in the pines to hear,        20
The loose rock’s fall, the steps of browsing deer.
The clouds that shattered on yon slide-worn walls
  And splintered on the rocks their spears of rain
Have set in play a thousand waterfalls,
Making the dusk and silence of the woods        25
Glad with the laughter of the chasing floods,
And luminous with blown spray and silver gleams,
While, in the vales below, the dry-lipped streams
  Sing to the freshened meadow-lands again.
So, let me hope, the battle-storm that beats        30
  The land with hail and fire may pass away
  With its spent thunders at the break of day,
Like last night’s clouds, and leave, as it retreats,
  A greener earth and fairer sky behind,
  Blown crystal-clear by Freedom’s Northern wind!        35
 
 
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