By Sam G. Goodrich
Father of Lakes! thy waters bend,
Beyond the eagle’s utmost view,
When, throned in heaven, he sees thee send
Back to the sky its world of blue.
Boundless and deep the forests weave
Their twilight shade thy borders o’er,
And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave
Their rugged forms along thy shore.
Nor can the light canoes, that glide
Across thy breast like things of air,
Chase from thy lone and level tide,
The spell of stillness deepening there.
Yet round this waste of wood and wave,
Unheard, unseen, a spirit lives,
That, breathing o’er each rock and cave,
To all, a wild, strange aspect gives.
The thunder-riven oak, that flings
Its grisly arms athwart the sky,
A sudden, startling image brings
To the lone traveller’s kindled eye.
The gnarled and braided boughs that show
Their dim forms in the forest shade,
Like wrestling serpents seem, and throw
Fantastic horrors through the glade.
The very echoes round this shore,
Have caught a strange and gibbering tone,
For they have told the war-whoop o’er,
Till the wild chorus is their own.
Wave of the wilderness, adieu-
Adieu, ye rocks, ye wilds, ye woods!
Roll on, thou Element of blue,
And fill these awful solitudes!
Thou hast no tale to tell of man.
God is thy theme. Ye sounding caves,
Whisper of Him, whose mighty plan,
Deems as a bubble all your waves!