A Mystery

By J. G. Whittier

The river hemmed with leaving trees
Wound through the meadows green,
A low blue line of mountain showed
The open pines between
One sharp tall peak above them all
Clear into sunlight sprang,
I saw the river of my dreams
The mountain that I sang.

No clue of memory led me on
But well the ways I knew,
A feeling of familiar things
With every footstep grew.

Yet ne’er before that river’s rim
Was pressed by feet of mine.
Never before mine eyes had crossed
That broken mountain line.

A presence strange at once and known
Walked with me as my guide,
The skirts of some forgotten life
Trailed noiseless at my side.

Was it a dim-remembered dream
Or glimpse through aeons old?
The secret which the mountains kept
The river never told.