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.
 
Personal Poems
To Fredrika Bremer
 
          It is proper to say that these lines are the joint impromptus of my sister and myself. They are inserted here as an expression of our admiration of the gifted stranger whom we have since learned to love as a friend.

SEERESS of the misty Norland,
  Daughter of the Vikings bold,
Welcome to the sunny Vineland,
  Which thy fathers sought of old!
 
Soft as flow of Silja’s waters,        5
  When the moon of summer shines,
Strong as Winter from his mountains
  Roaring through the sleeted pines.
 
Heart and ear, we long have listened
  To thy saga, rune, and song;        10
As a household joy and presence
  We have known and loved thee long.
 
By the mansion’s marble mantel,
  Round the log-walled cabin’s hearth,
Thy sweet thoughts and northern fancies        15
  Meet and mingle with our mirth.
 
And o’er weary spirits keeping
  Sorrow’s night-watch, long and chill,
Shine they like thy sun of summer
  Over midnight vale and hill.        20
 
We alone to thee are strangers,
  Thou our friend and teacher art;
Come, and know us as we know thee;
  Let us meet thee heart to heart!
 
To our homes and household altars        25
  We, in turn, thy steps would lead,
As thy loving hand has led us
  O’er the threshold of the Swede.

  1849.
 
 
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