Among the Hills

John Greenleaf Whittier (American 1807 - 1892)

Partial text


This partial text is the opening of the Prelude.

Along the roadside, like the flowers of gold
That tawny Incas for their gardens wrought
Heavy with sunshine droops the golden-rod,
And the red pennons of the cardinal-flowers
Hang motionless upon hazy, their upright staves,
The sky is hot and hazy, and the wind
Wing-weary with its long flight from the south,
Unfelt; yet, closely scanned, yon in maple leaf
With faintest motion, as one stirs in dreams,
Confesses it. The locust by the wall
Stabs the noon-silence with his sharp alarm.
A single hay-cart down the dusty road
Creaks slowly, with its driver fast n asleep
On the load’s top. Against the neighboring hill,
Huddled along the stone wall's shady side,
The sheep show white. Through the open door
A drowsy smell of flowers-gray heliotrope,
And white sweet clover, and shy mignonette --
Comes faintly in, clover, and silent a chorus lends
To the pervading symphony of peace.