Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THANK GOD FOR MOUNTAINS, by ACHSA W. SPRAGUE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

First Line: I see them in their beauty once again
Last Line: No more forever.
Subject(s): Mountains; Hills; Downs (great Britain)

I see them in their beauty once again—
The dear Green Mountains greet my eyes today,
Not black and bare as when they met my view
But one month since; but rich with foliage green,
As if they donned a festal robe to greet
My coming feet. How still the valley lies
Beneath their shade! as if protecting arms
Unseen, sustained it there and gave it rest,
How every leaf and flower and tiny bud
Looks up and smiles and thanks the sun's warm beams
That steal so lovingly into its heart,
To give it richer tints and fairer sheen!

I love the mountains grand;
For they have boldly stood confronting storms
And tempests in their wrath; and hurricanes
And whirlwinds beat their forms in vain.
They never cower when comes the blighting blast,
Or shrink when storm-clouds wrap them in their shrouds,
But rear their foreheads to the sky the same;
And when the cloudy veil is rent in twain,
Bright, living sunshine, like the smile of God,
Upon their summit rests. Alike in storm or calm
Immovable, fit emblem of the true
And loyal hearts that cling to truth and right,
Still firmly standing when the weaker fail,
And pointing, reaching still unerringly
Toward heaven. How can one human being live
Beneath their shade, unconscious of the truth,
The mighty lesson that they teach? How can
Disloyal hearts, disloyal to themselves,
Their God, their country, and their sense of right,
Grow up beneath their calm, unbending fronts,
And shame the soil from whence they sprung?

Thank God! a thousand times
Thank God for mountains! They have ever been
The exile's home, the outlaw's safe retreat,
The last resort of God's old martyr-saints
When men had cast them out as heretics,
Closing the temple-gates against their forms,
And hunting them with rack and torturing art,
E'en to their death.

Ah, once again
I welcome thee, old Mountains of my youth,
As thou dost welcome me, a wanderer!

I lean my head on thy unchanging breast,
And draw fresh strength through every vein, and life
In every pore. And all the murmur of
Thy sounding pines, thy trembling, sighing leaves,
Thrills every nerve with sudden joy. Thy breath
Steals soft o'er cheek and brow and lip, so full
Of fragrance, bringing back my childhood's days,
That I forget the weary midnight past
And dream I am a child again. Thy voice,
Thy touch, thy power win back to life once more.
I shall not die.

Teach me, sublime old mount,
To stand like thee, defying clouds and storms,
And wrap the snow-white mantle of a calm
And holy resignation round my soul,
When sorrow's dreary winter-time shall come!
And when 'tis past, like thee reclothe myself
In life's fresh verdure, till the hour shall come
To be reclothed in Higher Worlds, in robes
That young immortals wear, to lose their light
No more forever.

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