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[285]

Norembega.

Norembega, or Norimbegue, is the name given by early French fishermen and explorers to a fabulous country south of Cape Breton, first discovered by Verrazzani in 1524. It was supposed to have a magnificent city of the same name on a great river, probably the Penobscot. The site of this barbaric city is laid down on a map published at Antwerp in 1570. In 1604 Champlain sailed in search of the Northern Eldorado, twenty-two leagues up the Penobscot from the Isle Haute. He supposed the river to be that of Norembega, but wisely came to the conclusion that those travellers who told of the great city had never seen it. He saw no evidences of anything like civilization, but mentions the finding of a cross, very old and mossy, in the woods.

the winding way the serpent takes
     The mystic water took,
From where, to count its beaded lakes,
     The forest sped its brook.

A narrow space 'twixt shore and shore,
     For sun or stars to fall,
While evermore, behind, before,
     Closed in the forest wall.

The dim wood hiding underneath
     Wan flowers without a name;
Life tangled with decay and death,
     League after league the same.

Unbroken over swamp and hill
     The rounding shadow lay,
Save where the river cut at will
     A pathway to the day.

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Antwerp, Paulding County, Ohio (Ohio, United States) (1)

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