Far back in the days of glory
which the classic bards have sung
in that age of song and story
when time and world was young
men dreamed of a happy island
far off in a summer sea
where life was a joy forever
and hearts from care were free.
Where the sad forgot their sorrow
and the sick forgot their pain
and the weary and heavy-hearted
found youth and joy again.
For never a shadow darkened
the skies of cloudless calm,
the health and hope came
wafted on every breath of balm.
And all down the weary ages
hearts heavy with care and pain
have sought for the happy island
still eager but still in vain.
The long, long quest is ended
the weary voyage is o’er
We have found that happy island
we have touched its radiant shore.
It lies not mystical,
wondrous far over the tropic main
but safe in the crystal bosom
of our beautiful Lake Champlain.
And here may the sad and weary
forget the world’s fierce strife
and the fainting heart gain courage
for the toilsome march of life.
For the voice of the singing waters
lulls pain and care to sleep
while afar the grand old mountains
their watch forever keep.
And dreaming under the cedars
or floating upon the bay
the weary and torn-worn pilgrim
is a careless child at play.
And pure is the air blown
over this fairest of inland seas
made sweet with the breath of clover
and the balm of fragrant trees.
The moonbeams bridge with silver
the waters of the bay
and the sunset paints with splendor
the hilltops far away.
Fair island, may peace and pleasure
dwell in thee forever more,
and calm be the rippling waters
that leave thy happy shore.
They have made thee a place in story
thou art linked to a hero’s fame
and the memories of his glory
throng ever about thy name.
Still speak of the brave who gave us the land
which our hearts love best and long
o' thou isle of heroes
to us be the isle of rest.
Lavinia Lucretia Fletcher Plumley
The view from North Hero across the Lake to mainland Vermont.
Lone seagull soaring over the Lake at dawn.
Early morning flock of gulls heading out to the Lake.
A pair of gulls flying in tandem amidst the flock.
Sailboat moored at a minor island between Champlain Island and mainland Vermont.
Mating pair of Lively Clouded Sulphur butterflies.
Cattle grazing under Autumn's first blush of color.
Devoid of human life, plants thrive with abandon.
Great blue heron surveying its territory in Grand Isle.
Early evening as mainland Vermont surrenders the day.
Moon rise over the Lake from North Hero.
Sun slowly setting over the Lake and the wind farms of New York.
*The heroes Ms. Fletcher Plumley refers to in her poem about Champlain Islands are Ethan and Ira Allen, members of the Green Mountain Boys who fought in the American Revolution. Ethan is better known for his military career and efforts to force the Continental Congress to recognize the territory of Vermont for statehood. Ira Allen is credited with the founding of the University of Vermont.