High Rock

David Johnson

Written in youth:


I love to stand upon thy brow,

   When all around is hushed to sleep;

When not a voice nor sound is heard,

   Save the low murmur of the deep.


When stars with radiant beauty shine,

   And moonbeams shed their silvery light;

While ocean sparkles in the rays,

   Reflected by the queen of the night.


When golden clouds lie in the west,

   At close of day, at brink of even.

Lifting on high their tow'ring heads,

   O'er half the canopy of heaven.


No pencil could the beauties trace

   Though guided by a master's hand

Nor painter paint the gorgeous scene

   Which far outvies the fairy land.





Fifty years later:


Favored of Fortune, lovely Lynn,

   Girt with her gem-emblazoned shore,

Whose murmur soothes the city's din,

   We prize thee more and more.


Thy forest hills in summer's calm

   Send their soft notes on zephyrs' wings;

And every breeze swells nature's psalm,

   And every bird that sings.

And standing near thee, Ancient Rock,

   How vast the volume of thy lore!

How dost thy age-crowned grandeur mock

   The baubles men count o'er




Her other jewels round thee lie,

   Dear as before they left the home;

Lynnfield and Saugus still are nigh,

   And near the ocean's foam,


Nahant and Swampscott see thy form,

   And their brave sons their mother greet,

And see, through mists and gathering storm,

   Thee on thy queenly seat.


The grandeur of thy lofty view,

   What scores the endless joy have felt

As Nature changed the old to new,

   And at her altar knelt.


What notes rang forth in summer air,

   When the famed "Tribe of Jesse" stood

On thy calm heights, while gathered there

   The thronging multitude.