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By H. P. Lovecraft

Where bay and river tranquil blend,
     And leafy hillsides rise,
The spires of Providence ascend
     Against the ancient skies.

Here centuried domes of shining gold
     Salute the morning’s glare,
While slanting gables, odd and old,
     Are scatter’d here and there.

And in the narrow winding ways
     That climb o’er slope and crest,
The magic of forgotten days
     May still be found to rest.

A fanlight’s gleam, a knocker’s blow,
     A glimpse of Georgian brick—
The sights and sounds of long ago
     Where fancies cluster thick.

A flight of steps with iron rail,
     A belfry looming tall,
A slender steeple, carv’d and pale,
     A moss-grown garden wall.

A hidden churchyard’s crumbling proofs
     Of man’s mortality,
A rotting wharf where gambrel roofs
     Keep watch above the sea.

Square and parade, whose walls have tower’d
     Full fifteen decades long
By cobbled ways ’mid trees embower’d,
     And slighted by the throng.

Stone bridges spanning languid streams,
     Houses perch’d on the hill,
And courts where mysteries and dreams
     The brooding spirit fill.

Steep alley steps by vines conceal’d,
     Where small-pan’d windows glow
At twilight on a bit of field
     That chance has left below.

My Providence! What airy hosts
     Turn still thy gilded vanes;
What winds of elf that with grey ghosts
     People thine ancient lanes!

The chimes of evening as of old
     Above thy valleys sound,
While thy stern fathers ’neath the mould
     Make blest thy sacred ground.

Thou dream’st beside the waters there,
     Unchang’d by cruel years;
A spirit from an age more fair
     That shines behind our tears.

Thy twinkling lights each night I see,
     Tho’ time and space divide;
For thou art of the soul of me,
     And always at my side!
  Return to “Providence” This page last revised 20 October 2009.
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