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Poems About Mountains

Table of Contents

Landscape of the Swiss Alps
Landscape of the Swiss Alps
by Ferdinand Hodler
  1. The Mountain by Emily Dickinson
  2. In lands I never saw, they say by Emily Dickinson
  3. Swiss Mountains by Night by F.B. Money-Coutts
  4. A Mountain Storm by Katharine Lee Bates
  5. To the Apennines by William Cullen Bryant
  6. Ode to Mt. Blanc by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  7. Mount Olivet by Hannah Flagg Gould
  8. Alpine Glow by Emily Dickinson
  9. Alpine Song by William W. Story
  10. Sunshine From Mount Washington by Rufus Dawes
  11. A Mountain Gateway by Bliss Carman
  12. The Hills by Madison Cawein
  13. Morning in the Hills by Bliss Carman
  14. The Cry of the Hillborn by Bliss Carman
  15. Climbing Song by Ruby Archer
  16. In Covert by Ruby Archer
  17. Rainbow on the Mountain by Ruby Archer
  18. To a Mountain Stream by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  19. In the Green Mountains by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  20. Unveiled by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  21. Vision by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  22. After Sunset by Grace Hazard Conkling
  23. The Camp-Fire by Ruby Archer
  24. March in the Mountains by Ada A. Mosher
  25. Hills of Maine by Annie Zilpha Marshall Plummer


There is a spirit of energy and vigor in mountains, and they impart it to all who approach their presence.

– Francis Parkman, Jr.
The Oregon Trail
  1. The Mountain

    by Emily Dickinson

    The mountain sat upon the plain
    In his eternal chair,
    His observation omnifold,
    His inquest everywhere.

    The seasons prayed around his knees,
    Like children round a sire:
    Grandfather of the days is he,
    Of dawn the ancestor.

  2. In lands I never saw, they say

    by Emily Dickinson

    In lands I never saw, they say,
    Immortal Alps look down,
    Whose bonnets touch the firmament,
    Whose sandals touch the town, —

    Meek at whose everlasting feet
    A myriad daisies play.
    Which, sir, are you, and which am I,
    Upon an August day?

  3. Swiss Mountains by Night

    by F.B. Money-Coutts

    Ye lonely peaks, with brows of ice!
    Ye lonely peaks, with breasts of snow!
    Like nuns remote from worlds below,
    Pale with the pain of sacrifice!

    Like novice clinging in a swoon
    Repentant of renouncèd love,
    Lies at your feet the lake; above
    Leans forth the white disdainful moon!

  4. A Mountain Storm

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    Our blue sierras shone serene, sublime,
    When ghostly shapes came crowding up the air,
    Shadowing the landscape with some vast despair;

    And all was changed as in weird pantomime,
    Transfigured into vague, fantastic form
    By that tremendous carnival of storm.

    Pilgrim processions of bowed trees that climb
    To sacred summits, in the clashing hail
    Shuddered like flagellants beneath the flail.

    Most gracious hills, in that tempestuous time,
    Went wild as angered bulls, with bellowing cry
    And goring horns that strove to charge the sky.

    Masses of rock, long gnawed by stealthy rime,
    With sudden roar that made our bravest blanch,
    Came volleying down in fatal avalanche.

    All nature seemed convulsed in some fierce crime,
    And then a rainbow, and behold! the sun
    Went comforting the harebells one by one;

    And all was still save for the vesper chime
    From far, faint belfry bathed in creamy light,
    And the soft footfalls of the coming night.

  5. To the Apennines

    by William Cullen Bryant

    Your peaks are beautiful, ye Apennines!
    In the soft light of these serenest skies;
    From the broad highland region, black with pines,
    Fair as the hills of Paradise they rise,
    Bathed in the tint Peruvian slaves behold
    In rosy flushes on the virgin gold.

    There, rooted to the aerial shelves that wear
    The glory of a brighter world, might spring
    Sweet flowers of heaven to scent the unbreathed air,
    And heaven's fleet messengers might rest the wing,
    To view the fair earth in its summer sleep,
    Silent, and cradled by the glimmering deep.

    Below you lie men's sepulchres, the old
    Etrurian tombs, the graves of yesterday;
    The herd's white bones lie mixed with human mould—
    Yet up the radiant steeps that I survey
    Death never climbed, nor life's soft breath, with pain,
    Was yielded to the elements again.

    Ages of war have filled these plains with fear;
    How oft the hind has started at the clash
    Of spears, and yell of meeting armies here,
    Or seen the lightning of the battle flash
    From clouds, that rising with the thunder's sound,
    Hung like an earth-born tempest o'er the ground.

    Ah me! what armed nations—Asian horde,
    And Lybian host—the Scythian and the Gaul,
    Have swept your base and through your passes poured,
    Like ocean-tides uprising at the call
    Of tyrant winds—against your rocky side
    The bloody billows dashed, and howled, and died.

    How crashed the towers before beleaguering foes,
    Sacked cities smoked and realms were rent in twain;
    And commonwealths against their rivals rose,
    Trode out their lives and earned the curse of Cain!
    While in the noiseless air and light that flowed
    Round your far brows, eternal Peace abode.

    Here pealed the impious hymn, and altar flames
    Rose to false gods, a dream-begotten throng,
    Jove, Bacchus, Pan, and earlier, fouler names;
    While, as the unheeding ages passed along,
    Ye, from your station in the middle skies,
    Proclaimed the essential Goodness, strong and wise.

    In you the heart that sighs for freedom seeks
    Her image; there the winds no barrier know,
    Clouds come and rest and leave your fairy peaks;
    While even the immaterial Mind, below,
    And Thought, her winged offspring, chained by power,
    Pine silently for the redeeming hour.

  6. Ode to Mt. Blanc

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
    In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
    On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc!
    The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
    Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Form,
    Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines,
    How silently! Around thee and above,
    Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black—
    An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,
    As with a wedge! But when I look again,
    It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
    Thy habitation from eternity!
    O dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee
    Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
    Didst vanish from my thoughts: entranced in prayer,
    I worshiped the Invisible alone.

    Yet, like some sweet, beguiling melody,
    So sweet we know not we are listening to it,
    Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought—
    Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy
    Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused,
    Into the mighty vision passing—there,
    As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven!

    Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
    Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
    Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,
    Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
    Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.

    Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
    Oh, struggling with the darkness all the night,
    And visited all night by troops of stars,
    Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink—
    Companion of the morning star at dawn
    Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn
    Coherald—wake, oh wake, and utter praise!
    Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
    Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
    Who made thee parent of perpetual streams?

    And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!
    Who called you forth from night and utter death,
    From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
    Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
    Forever shattered, and the same forever?
    Who gave you your invulnerable life,
    Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
    Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam?
    And who commanded (and the silence came),
    Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?

    Ye icefalls! ye that from the mountain's brow
    Adown enormous ravines slope amain—
    Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
    And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge!
    Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
    Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven
    Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade the sun
    Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
    Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?
    God!—let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
    Answer! and let the ice plains echo, God!
    God! sing ye meadow streams with gladsome voice!
    Ye pine groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
    And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow,
    And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!

    Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost!
    Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest!
    Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
    Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
    Ye signs and wonders of the elements!
    Utter forth, God, and fill the hills with praise!

    Thou, too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks,
    Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
    Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene,
    Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast—
    Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! thou
    That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
    In adoration, upward from thy base,
    Slow traveling, with dim eyes suffused with tears,
    Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
    To rise before me.—Rise, oh ever rise!
    Rise like a cloud of incense from the Earth!
    Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
    Thou dread embassador from Earth to Heaven,
    Great Hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
    And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
    Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.

  7. Mount Olivet

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Thou sacred mount, on whose pale forehead now
    A desert quiet reigneth, ere the soul
    Goes up to sit in meditation there,
    She shall put off this world, with all its cares
    And fading glory, to commune alone
    With God, and with herself, on themes divine!
    Thought, on swift wing, darts o'er the dubious waves
    Where things promiscuous, by three thousand years,
    Are swept together in one shadowy deep,
    And rests on Olivet!

    She here beholds,
    Fleeing from refuge from a wicked son,
    And with a wounded spirit bowed to earth,
    The minstrel king, in bitter anguish come,
    Showering the mountain with a father's tears
    For his rebellious child!

    But richer drops,
    From purer eyes, and by a mightier One,
    For thousands sunk in sin, have since been shed,
    Where David mourned the guilt of Absalom!
    The King of kings stood here; and looking down,
    Wept o'er Jerusalem! Here, too, he led,
    From the last supper, when the hymn was sung,
    His few grieved followers out, in that drear night,

    When, in the garden, on the mountain's slope,
    His agony wrung forth the crimson drops!
    While these sad pictures, hung upon thy sides,
    Thou consecrated height, dissolve the heart
    In pious sorrow; yet thy brow is crowned
    With a bright, glorious scene!

    Now, O my soul,
    On the blest summit light a holy flame!
    From the last foot-print of the Prince of peace,
    The Conqueror of death, let incense rise,
    And enter heaven with thine ascending Lord!
    Shake off the chains and all the dust of earth!
    Go up and breathe in the sweet atmosphere
    His presence purified, as he arose!
    Come! from the Mount of Olives pluck thy branch,
    And bear it, like a dove, to yon bright ark
    Of rest and safety!

  8. Alpine Glow

    by Emily Dickinson

    Our lives are Swiss, —
    So still, so cool,
    Till, some odd afternoon,
    The Alps neglect their curtains,
    And we look farther on.

    Italy stands the other side,
    While, like a guard between,
    The solemn Alps,
    The siren Alps,
    Forever intervene!

  9. Alpine Song

    William W. Story

    With alpenstock and knapsack light,
    I wander o'er hill and valley;
    I climb the snow peak's flashing height,
    And sleep in the sheltered chalet,—
    Free in heart—happy and free—
    This is the summer life for me.

    The city's dust I leave behind
    For the keen, sweet air of the mountain,
    The grassy path by the wild rose lined,
    The gush of the living fountain,—
    Free in heart—happy and free—
    This is the summer life for me.

    High above me snow clouds rise,
    In the early morning gleaming;
    And the patterned valley beneath me lies
    Softly in sunshine dreaming,—
    Free in heart—happy and free—
    This is the summer life for me.

    The bells of wandering herds I list,
    Chiming in upland meadows;
    How sweet they sound, as I lie at rest
    Under the dark pine shadows—
    Glad in heart—happy and free—
    This is the summer life for me.

  10. Sunrise From Mount Washington

    by Rufus Dawes

    The laughing hours have chased away the night,
    Plucking the stars out from her diadem:
    And now the blue-eyed Morn, with modest grace,
    Looks through her half-drawn curtains in the east,
    Blushing in smiles and glad as infancy.
    And see, the foolish Moon, but now so vain
    Of borrowed beauty, how she yields her charms,
    And, pale with envy, steals herself away!
    The clouds have put their gorgeous livery on,
    Attendant on the day: the mountain tops
    Have lit their beacons, and the vales below
    Send up a welcoming: no song of birds,
    Warbling to charm the air with melody,
    Floats on the frosty breeze; yet Nature hath
    The very soul of music in her looks!
    The sunshine and the shade of poetry.

    I stand upon thy lofty pinnacle,
    Temple of Nature! and look down with awe
    On the wide world beneath me, dimly seen;
    Around me crowd the giant sons of earth,
    Fixed on their old foundations, unsubdued;
    Firm as when first rebellion bade them rise
    Unrifted to the Thunderer: now they seem
    A family of mountains, clustering round
    Their hoary patriarch, emulously watching
    To meet the partial glances of the day.
    Far in the glowing east the flickering light,
    Mellow'd by distance, with the blue sky blending,
    Questions the eye with ever-varying forms.

    The sun comes up! away the shadows fling
    From the broad hills; and, hurrying to the West,
    Sport in the sunshine till they die away.
    The many beauteous mountain streams leap down,
    Out-welling from the clouds, and sparkling light
    Dances along with their perennial flow.
    And there is beauty in yon river's path,
    The glad Connecticut! I know her well,
    By the white veil she mantles o'er her charms:
    At times she loiters by a ridge of hills,
    Sportfully hiding; then again with glee,
    Out-rushes from her wild-wood lurking-place,
    Far as the eye can bound, the ocean-waves,
    And hills and rivers, mountains, lakes, and woods,
    And all that hold the faculty entranced,
    Bathed in a flood of glory, float in air,
    And sleep in the deep quietude of joy.

    There is an awful stillness in this place,
    A Presence, that forbids to break the spell,
    Till the heart pour its agony in tears.
    But I must drink the vision while it lasts;
    For even now the curling vapours rise,
    Wreathing their cloudy coronals, to grace
    These towering summits—bidding me away;
    But often shall my heart turn back again,
    Thou glorious eminence! and when oppress'd,
    And aching with the coldness of the world,
    Find a sweet resting-place and home with thee.

  11. A Mountain Gateway

    by Bliss Carman

    I Know a vale where I would go one day,
    When June comes back and all the world once more
    Is glad with summer. Deep in shade it lies
    A mighty cleft between the bosoming hills,
    A cool dim gateway to the mountains' heart.

    On either side the wooded slopes come down,
    Hemlock and beech and chestnut. Here and there
    Through the deep forest laurel spreads and gleams,
    Pink-white as Daphne in her loveliness.
    Among the sunlit shadows I can see
    That still perfection from the world withdrawn,
    As if the wood-gods had arrested there
    Immortal beauty in her breathless flight.

    The road winds in from the broad river-lands,
    Luring the happy traveller turn by turn
    Up to the lofty mountains of the sky.
    And as he marches with uplifted face,
    Far overhead against the arching blue
    Gray ledges overhang from dizzy heights,
    Scarred by a thousand winters and untamed.

    And where the road runs in the valley's foot,
    Through the dark woods a mountain stream comes down,
    Singing and dancing all its youth away
    Among the boulders and the shallow runs,
    Where sunbeams pierce and mossy tree trunks hang
    Drenched all day long with murmuring sound and spray.

    There light of heart and footfree, I would go
    Up to my home among the lasting hills.
    Nearing the day's end, I would leave the road,
    Turn to the left and take the steeper trail
    That climbs among the hemlocks, and at last
    In my own cabin doorway sit me down,
    Companioned in that leafy solitude
    By the wood ghosts of twilight and of peace,
    While evening passes to absolve the day
    And leave the tranquil mountains to the stars.

    And in that sweet seclusion I should hear,
    Among the cool-leafed beeches in the dusk,
    The calm-voiced thrushes at their twilight hymn.
    So undistraught, so rapturous, so pure,
    They well might be, in wisdom and in joy,
    The seraphs singing at the birth of time
    The unworn ritual of eternal things.

  12. The Hills

    by Madison Cawein

    There is no joy of earth that thrills
    My bosom like the far-off hills!
    Th' unchanging hills, that, shadowy,
    Beckon our mutability
    To follow and to gaze upon
    Foundations of the dusk and dawn.
    Meseems the very heavens are massed
    Upon their shoulders, vague and vast
    With all the skyey burden of
    The winds and clouds and stars above.

    Lo, how they sit before us, seeing
    The laws that give all Beauty being!
    Behold! to them, when dawn is near,
    The nomads of the air appear,
    Unfolding crimson camps of day
    In brilliant bands; then march away;
    And under burning battlements
    Of twilight plant their tinted tents.
    The truth of olden myths, that brood
    By haunted stream and haunted wood,
    They see; and feel the happiness
    Of old at which we only guess:
    The dreams, the ancients loved and knew,
    Still as their rocks and trees are true:
    Not otherwise than presences
    The tempest and the calm to these:
    One, shouting on them all the night;
    Black-limbed and veined with lambent light;
    The other with the ministry
    Of all soft things that company
    With music—an embodied form,
    Giving to solitude the charm
    Of leaves and waters and the peace
    Of bird-begotten melodies—
    And who at night cloth still confer
    With the mild moon, that telleth her
    Pale tale of lonely love, until
    Wan images of passion fill
    The heights with shapes that glimmer by
    Clad on with sleep and memory.

  13. Morning in the Hills

    by Bliss Carman

    How quiet is the morning in the hills!
    The stealthy shadows of the summer clouds
    Trail through the cañon, and the mountain stream
    Sounds his sonorous music far below
    In the deep-wooded wind-enchanted cove.

    Hemlock and aspen, chestnut, beech, and fir
    Go tiering down from storm-worn crest and ledge,
    While in the hollows of the dark ravine
    See the red road emerge, then disappear
    Towards the wide plain and fertile valley lands.

    My forest cabin half-way up the glen
    Is solitary, save for one wise thrush,
    The sound of falling water, and the wind
    Mysteriously conversing with the leaves.

    Here I abide unvisited by doubt,
    Dreaming of far-off turmoil and despair,
    The race of men and love and fleeting time,
    What life may be, or beauty, caught and held
    For a brief moment at eternal poise.

    What impulse now shall quicken and make live
    This outward semblance and this inward self?
    One breath of being fills the bubble world,
    Colored and frail, with fleeting change on change.

    Surely some God contrived so fair a thing
    In a vast leisure of uncounted days,
    And touched it with the breath of livng joy,
    Wondrous and fair and wise! It must be so.

  14. The Cry of the Hillborn

    by Bliss Carman

    I am homesick for the mountains—
    My heroic mother hills—
    And the longing that is on me
    No solace ever stills.

    I would climb to brooding summits
    With their old untarnished dreams,
    Cool my heart in forest shadows
    To the lull of falling streams;

    Hear the innocence of aspens
    That babble in the breeze,
    And the fragrant sudden showers
    That patter on the trees.

    I am lonely for my thrushes
    In their hermitage withdrawn,
    Toning the quiet transports
    Of twilight and of dawn.

    I need the pure, strong mornings,
    When the soul of day is still,
    With the touch of frost that kindles
    The scarlet on the hill;

    Lone trails and winding woodroads
    To outlooks wild and high,
    And the pale moon waiting sundown
    Where ledges cut the sky.

    I dream of upland clearings
    Where cones of sumac burn,
    And gaunt and gray-mossed boulders
    Lie deep in beds of fern;

    The gray and mottled beeches,
    The birches' satin sheen,
    The majesty of hemlocks
    Crowning the blue ravine.

    My eyes dim for the skyline
    Where purple peaks aspire,
    And the forges of the sunset
    Flare up in golden fire.

    There crests look down unheeding
    And see the great winds blow,
    Tossing the huddled tree-tops
    In gorges far below;

    Where cloud-mists from the warm earth
    Roll up about their knees,
    And hang their filmy tatters
    Like prayers upon the trees.

    I cry for night-blue shadows
    On plain and hill and dome,—
    The spell of old enchantments,
    The sorcery of home.

  15. Climbing Song

    by Ruby Archer

    Away, away,—to the mountains away,
    Where the pine trees murmur and sway,
    And the foamy waterfalls sing and spring
    Over the boulders gray.

    The hidden beauties will lure you on,
    'Till your heart from its dreaming is drawn,
    And your eyes are bright with the free delight
    Known to the fearless fawn.

    Fear not to weary—you never can tire,
    For the sunshine gives you its fire,
    And your feet will follow the breeze with ease,
    Higher and ever higher.

  16. In Covert

    by Ruby Archer

    O subtle valley, slipping in between
    The shoulders of great sentinel hills
    With smuggled silk of rainbow blossom sheen
    And contraband of jeweled rills,—
    We welcome you behind the pine-plumed ranks.—
    You barter beauty for our thanks.

    Dear lake-eyed valley, we will hide you here.
    The mountains will not turn to look.
    Fair fugitive, through hood of mist forth peer,
    And laugh in every dimpled nook.
    And if you feel sometime a timid mood,
    We'll wrap you in our gratitude.

  17. Rainbow on the Mountain

    by Ruby Archer

    See—the Sky has lent her jewel
    To the Mountain for an hour
    Has forgotten to be cruel
    In a kind caprice of power

    And the dusky bosom rounding
    Wears the opals with an air
    And a fine content abounding
    In the sense of looking fair.

    Now the Sky demands her crescent—
    Brightest bauble of her store;
    Slow it fadeth, evanescent,
    And the Mountain smiles no more.

  18. Green Mountains

    by James Russell Lowell

    Ye mountains, that far off lift up your heads,
    Seen dimly through their canopies of blue,
    The shade of my unrestful spirit sheds
    Distance-created beauty over you;
    I am not well content with this far view;
    How may I know what foot of loved one treads
    Your rocks moss-grown and sun-dried torrent beds?
    We should love all things better, if we knew
    What claims the meanest have upon our hearts;
    Perchance even now some eye, that would be bright
    To meet my own, looks on your mist-robed forms;
    Perchance your grandeur a deep joy imparts
    To souls that have encircled mine with light,—
    O brother-heart, with thee my spirit warms!

  19. To a Mountain Stream

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    Glad as childish laughter
    From a childish throng,
    Sweet as bird voice after
    Daybreak is your song.

    Racing down the mountain
    On your shining feet,
    Waltzing at the fountain
    To its love song sweet.

    On and on you travel,
    Leaving me behind,
    Like a silken ravel
    With the weeds you wind.

    Laughing at distresses;
    Braving battles, too;
    Who your trouble guesses,
    And your sorrow—who?

    Tell me as you hurry
    Through the stubble field,
    Why not stop to worry—
    But no frown’s revealed.

    Sometime you must weary
    Of this constant strife;
    When the clouds are dreary,
    Tire you not of life?

    Of the dead leaves drifted
    On your saddened face,
    And the snow flakes sifted
    From the cloudland place?

    Yet you ne’er repineth,
    But alike content
    With the sun that shineth,
    And the rainstorm sent.

    Teach me half the beauty
    That your heart must know,
    And through fields of duty
    Like you, will I go.

  20. In the Green Mountains

    Green Mountains, Vermont
    Green Mountains, Vermont
    by Julian Rix
    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    I dare not look away
    From beauty such as this,
    Lest, while my glance should stray,
    Some loveliness I miss.

    The trees might choose to print
    Their shadow on the lake;
    The windless air might glint
    With aspen leaves that shake.

    Over the mountains there
    A thin blue veil might drift;
    Then in a moment rare
    This thin blue veil might lift.

    Ah, I must pay good heed
    To beauty such as this,
    Lest, in some hour of need,
    Its loveliness I miss.

  21. Unveiled

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    To-day the hills put off their haze
    And stand so green and clear
    That every peak remote and strange
    Is intimate and near.

    I can make out the very trees
    That mass upon their sides,
    And look deep into the white cloud
    That swift above them rides.

    But, oh, I would not have them stand
    Unveiled by blowing air;
    Give me the blue, blue mists again
    That make them far and fair!

  22. Vision

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    I came to the mountains for beauty,
    And I find here the toiling folk,
    On sparse little farms in the valleys,
    Wearing their days like a yoke.

    White clouds fill the valleys at morning;
    They are round like great billows at sea,
    And roll themselves up to the hill-tops,
    Still round as great billows can be.

    The mists fill the valleys at evening;
    They are blue as the smoke in the fall,
    And spread all the hills with a tenuous scarf
    That touches the hills not at all.

    These lone folk have looked on them daily.
    Yet I see in their faces no light;
    Oh, how can I show them the mountains
    That are round them by day and by night!

  23. After Sunset

    by Grace Hazard Conkling

    I have an understanding with the hills
    At evening when the slanted radiance fills
    Their hollows, and the great winds let them be,
    And they are quiet and look down at me.
    Oh, then I see the patience in their eyes
    Out of the centuries that made them wise.
    They lend me hoarded memory and I learn
    Their thoughts of granite and their whims of fern,
    And why a dream of forests must endure
    Though every tree be slain: and how the pure
    Invisible beauty has a word so brief,
    A flower can say it or a shaken leaf,
    But few may ever snare it in a song,
    Though for the quest a life is not too long.
    When the blue hills grow tender, when they pull
    The twilight close with gesture beautiful,
    And shadows are their garments, and the air
    Deepens, and the wild veery is at prayer,
    Their arms are strong around me: and I know
    That somehow I shall follow when you go
    To the still land beyond the evening star,
    Where everlasting hills and valleys are,
    And silence may not hurt us any more,
    And terror shall be past, and grief, and war.

  24. The Camp-Fire

    by Ruby Archer

    In a gulch among the mountains,
    Red and golden creeps the flicker,
    All impatient to be monarch
    Of the quivering pine-tree branches.
    Now the wind between the boulders
    Shrieks incentive to the flame-king,
    And with mighty roar and crackling
    And with flourishing of smoke-flags,
    Leaps the fire to meet the moonlight.—
    Fire of earth and fire of heaven
    Mingle weirdly, mingle wildly,
    As the motives in men's bosoms—
    Heavenly hopes and earthly longings.
    From the shadows on the hillside
    Comes the whinnying of horses,
    Where we left them deep in grasses
    To the quiet peace of roving.
    Gladly crowd we to the circle
    Of the eerie flaming branches.
    Who so joyous or contented
    As our merry little party
    Horseback faring o'er the mountains?
    We are glad with every valley
    Smiling faintly in the moonlight.
    We are full of conquering triumph
    In the pride of every summit.
    But the camp-fire 'mong the boulders,
    Flinging high its burning banner,
    Laughing gleeful to the moonlight,—
    Sings the spirit of our freedom,
    Sings our liberty incarnate,
    All our full warm love of living!

    In the years when recollection
    Fills the senses with contentment,
    And we yearn no more for doing,
    But to memory turn us musing,—
    Surely we that knew the camp-fire
    And that night among the mountains,
    Shall delight in this recalling,
    Shall delight and say that never
    Have we known a scene more wondrous,
    Awe-compelling, joy-commanding,
    Than that moonlight and that midnight
    In the mountains, by the camp-fire.

  25. March in the Mountains

    by Ada A. Mosher. This poem is about Mt. St. Joseph's, Emmitsburg.

    Hark, how in impotent rage old Euroclydon
    Scourges the bare-shouldered mountains to-night!
    While their low laughter doth answer to mock theone
    Wielding the lash that the lash is so light.

    Laugh they as laughed in his slumber old Ymir,
    When the great Norse giant's ponderous mace
    Smote his bare forehead, low muttered the dreamer,
    "Breezes must blow, I feel leaves on my face."

    So these grim giants that, hoary and battle-proof,
    Guard this old pass, spurn Euroclydon's guage;
    Laugh him to scorn while his anger doth but behoof
    Sport for these warriors who mock at his rage.

    Loose are his storm-steeds; the snap of his lariat
    Maddens to fury the pulse of their speed;
    Down the deep gorges on thunders his chariot
    Hot in pursuit of each mane-tossing steed.

  26. Hills of Maine

    by Annie Silpha Marshall Plummer

    Lofty, cloud-capped, rock-bound mountains,
    Bold ye tower in grandeur high,
    Till your bristling pine-tree summits
    Seem to reach the cloud-flecked sky,
    Seasons change from sun to shadow,
    And blossoms bud and fade again,
    But these bulwarks stand forever,
    They will always last the same.

    How sublime, how full of wonder
    Seem the marble piles of art,
    Yet in nature how much greater;
    All her works feed soul and heart.
    Hills and vales I love you fondly;
    Love the sound of every name,
    That each granite dome is christened,
    In the dear old State of Maine.

    Eloquent teachers are the mountains;
    What sermons preach they every day,
    And we need no written logic
    To decipher what they say.
    Grand, majestic, testifying
    In each rock and grain of sand,
    That like God they are everlasting,
    Built and fashioned by His hand.

    And the music of their brooklets,
    Rippling o'er low beds of green,
    Brings a soothing charm and restful,
    Like none other heard, I ween.
    Fond I cherish and revere you,
    For, linked firm in memory's chain,
    Are the glens and deep dense wildwoods
    Of the dear old State of Maine.

    Resting in their quiet beauty,
    See the silvery lakelets blue,
    Mirroring on their crystal bosoms
    Your tall peaks, each form and hue;
    And I reach, I long to clasp you,
    See your faces once again,
    Rearing high your heads so hoary;
    O ye grand old hills of Maine.

    I can see you when in autumn,
    Gauzy veils of haze seem swung
    O'er your scarred and rough-hewn boulders,
    Till the hills and sky seem one;
    And the tinted bow of promise
    Would seem faded now and pale,
    Seen beside the gorgeous colors,
    Painted over hill and vale.

    I can see you when the sunset
    Sheds a golden glory 'round,
    And amidst the twilight shadows,
    Reigns a stillness, deep, profound;
    Till your forms so kingly, regal,
    Stand like battlements on high,
    Fit to be a nation's strong-hold;
    "God's free hills!" the battle cry.

    When life's last sunset is fading,
    And the mists are gray and cold,
    Leave me where those cloud-wreathed mountains
    May their shadows round me fold;
    And, methinks, from out the silence
    I could hear the sweet refrain
    Of the pine-tree's low, sweet sighing
    From the dear old hills of Maine.