Ray, H. Cordelia
|Among the Berkshire Hills|
The hills in emerald robes of richest dye,
Decked e'en most regally, slope to the sky
In daintiest curves and many a lakelet calm
Sleeps in the vale below, while like a psalm
The silv'ry waters murmur; all around
Majestic silence reigns, save when the sound
Of some fair warbler stirs the air with song,
Sweet as if they to Heav'n's isles did belong.
Yea, in eternal grandeur stand the hills
Wrapped oft in misty veils of blue; the rills
Trickle in motion musical, meanwhile
The landscape shimmers golden 'neath the smile
Of Nature in her kindest mood; she seems
Benignant to these peaceful slopes; rich gleams
Of sunshine flicker o'er them, shadows chase
In shapes fantastic and with rarest grace,
The light across these mountains; far and near,
Like to a silver ribbon winding clear,
The Housatonic mirrors back the skies,
And through the quiet meadows gently hies
To join the music of the solemn band,
Played by the sea. Touched by th' enchanted wand
Of magic beauty lies fair Stockbridge Bowl,--
A lake whose calm brings rest within the soul.64There Nature comes to us with ev'ry phase
Of loveliness, and charms away our days,
Until refreshed the wearied spirit grows,
Lulled to unwonted harmony nor knows
It aught of restlessness amid such peace;
Unrest and care have there a swift release:
Nature has vesture of a thousand hues,--
Skies sapphire blue, bright waters, pearly dews;
Her panorama changes with the hours.
'Twas morn: above the hills shell-tinted flow'rs
Were strewn along the pathway of the sun,
Just peeping o'er the slopes, his race begun.
'Twas noon: the leaves were dancing in the breeze;
Clouds clad in sheeny tissues, kissed the trees,
Crowning the summits, while to the glad gaze
Stretched out a rare perspective dim with haze.
And o'er the hills one fair cloud calmly slept,
Fair as an angel dreaming; blue mists crept
In sinuous curves above the stately heights,
Which gleamed resplendent in the shifting lights.
'Twas sunset when a charm the earth enshrouds;
A setting exquisite of tinted clouds
Illumined changing scenes of mount and glade;
And all the majesty of light and shade
Bewildered with its beauty, while afar
Looked o'er the heights one silver vesper star.
And soon the moonlight touched the hills with sheen,
Bathed them in mystery which Night's chaste queen
Dispels around her. Thus the vision grows,
And the enchanted gleams that Nature throws
O'er mountain, valley, grove and laughing rills,
We see in regal beauty 'mid these hills.
Through colonnades of pines the vistas green
Invite the gaze to linger, while between
The shadows slant, and through the golden air
Each scene dissolves into one still more fair.
All this calm loveliness can but enthrall.65We dream amid these solitudes, and all
Th' unuttered p raise of many a soul ascends
In thanks to Him who here such glory sends.