It is a fair, pellucid lake,
With towering bluffs encompass'd round,
Heavy with woods of fir and pine,
With gloomy cedar forests crown'd;
And here in some secluded haunt,
Afar from human care and vice,
The lover of the woods and streams
Seeks out an earthly paradise.
Sweet falls the summer sunshine here,
The morning with its dewy flush;
The breezeless, calm, unclouded noon,
The glimmering twilight with its hush.
Spring here its earliest violet drops,
Summer its rosy garland weaves,
Brown Autumn comes with purple grapes,
Winter thro' all the woodland grieves,
Yet ever in this pastoral vale
Content and endless peace prevail.
The tenants of the crystal deeps
The watery pastures rove at will,
Gleaming with gold, and ray'd and strip'd
With all the colors that distil
Thro' the curv'd rainbow, hung on high,
A painted arch across the sky,
And here the trout-schools, and the pike
With jaw immense and mottled side,
Swim free and far, and muscalonge
Cleaving like Indian shaft the tide.
Most lovely of all finny tribes
That haunt the pool or skin the foam,
The speckled bass, in armor bright
Like mail-clad knight, delights to roam;
Studded with gorgeous spots of brown,
With scales of azure, gold, and green;
With opal stripe and lucent bars,
No fish more beautiful is seen.
Where far the sandy point juts out
They churn the waters till they boil.
Swift-darting to and fro, they urge
Their sports, and mingle in turmoil.
But when the evening shades pervade
And dim in shadow rests the lake,
In deepest caverns of the pool
Their cool secluded homes they make;
Yet even there the angler's fly,
Or mimic minnow deftly spun,
Will tempt them from the azure deeps,
Decoy them, 'till the prize is won.