previous next

Mount Agiochook.

The Indians supposed the White Mountains were the residence of powerful spirits, and in consequence rarely ascended them.

Gray searcher of the upper air,
     There's sunshine on thy ancient walls,
A crown upon thy forehead bare,
     A flash upon thy waterfalls.
A rainbow glory in the cloud
     Upon thine awful summit bowed,
The radiant ghost of a dead storm!
     And music from the leafy shroud
Which swathes in green thy giant form,
     Mellowed and softened from above
Steals downward to the lowland ear,
     Sweet as the first, fond dream of love
That melts upon the maiden's ear.

The time has been, white giant, when
     Thy shadows veiled the red man's home,
And over crag and serpent den,
     And wild gorge where the steps of men
In chase or battle might not come,
     The mountain eagle bore on high
The emblem of the free of soul,
     And, midway in the fearful sky,
Sent back the Indian battle cry,
     And answered to the thunder's roll

The wigwam fires have all burned out,
     The moccasin has left no track;
Nor wolf nor panther roam about
     The Saco and the Merrimac.
And thou, that liftest up on high
     Thy mighty barriers to the sky,
Art not the haunted mount of old,
     Where on each crag of blasted stone
Some dreadful spirit found his throne,
     And hid within the thick cloud fold, [348]
Heard only in the thunder's crash,
     Seen only in the lightning's flash,
When crumbled rock and riven branch
     Went down before the avalanche!

No more that spirit moveth there;
     The dwellers of the vale are dead;
No hunter's arrow cleaves the air;
     No dry leaf rustles to his tread.
The pale-face climbs thy tallest rock,
     His hands thy crystal gates unlock;
From steep to steep his maidens call,
     Light laughing, like the streams that fall
In music down thy rocky wall,
     And only when their careless tread
Lays bare an Indian arrow-head,
     Spent and forgetful of the deer,
Think of the race that perished here.

Oh, sacred to the Indian seer,
     Gray altar of the men of old!
Not vainly to the listening ear
     The legends of thy past are told,—
Tales of the downward sweeping flood,
     When bowed like reeds thy ancient wood;
Of armed hands, and spectral forms;
     Of giants in their leafy shroud,
And voices calling long and loud
     In the dread pauses of thy storms.
For still within their caverned home
     Dwell the strange gods of heathendom!


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Gray (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: