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.
 
Occasional Poems
Norumbega Hall
 
          Norumbega Hall at Wellesley College, named in honor of Eben Norton Horsford, who has been one of the most munificent patrons of that noble institution, and who had just published an essay claiming the discovery of the site of the somewhat mythical city of Norumbega, was opened with appropriate ceremonies, in April, 1886. The following sonnet was written for the occasion, and was read by President Alice E. Freeman, to whom it was addressed.

NOT on Penobscot’s wooded bank the spires
Of the sought City rose, nor yet beside
The winding Charles, nor where the daily tide
Of Naumkeag’s haven rises and retires,
The vision tarried; but somewhere we knew        5
The beautiful gates must open to our quest,
Somewhere that marvellous City of the West
Would lift its towers and palace domes in view,
And, lo! at last its mystery is made known—
Its only dwellers maidens fair and young,        10
Its Princess such as England’s Laureate sung;
And safe from capture, save by love alone,
It lends its beauty to the lake’s green shore,
And Norumbega is a myth no more.
 
 
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