Genre: Vocal

Mood: Cheerful

Forces: Female voice, Male voice, Piano

Length: 7 Minutes


From 2017, a setting of a poem by Julia Noyes Stickney about her beloved Lake Winnipesaukee.

The song works for duet of male and female voices, or can be performed as a solo.

Sheet Music

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The Lakeside Mirror

There is a glass, like Nature, fair,
Transparent as the blue lake near,
Which, framed by mountains clothed in air
Reflects the changing atmosphere

The Lakeside mirror, decked with flowers
That light the sylvan forest wild,
The picture of the summer hours
That lure the steps of Nature’s child.

There glow the wild-rose, perfume sweet,
The fair clematis, virgin’s bower,
The daisy, white beneath our feet,
And that bright, sea -blue gentian flower.

There shine the ferns of emerald clear
That light the cool, sequestered glades,
When warblers hail the morning near,
From whispering pine and hemlock shades,

Lit by the golden-rod, whose light
Tells that young Summer’s days are o’er,
Though many a morn shall waken bright
On Winnipesaukee’s mountain shore.

But fairest on the mirror-frame
Shines forth the beauteous water-star,
Whose breath from snowy islands came,
Borne by the morning breeze afar,

While butterflies on diamond wings
Reflect the ethereal colors there,
Caught from the hues that Iris brings
When sun-bright rainbows gem the air.

And there, amidst the rose’s bloom
Is seen, the wild-bird’s well-filled nest,
Where all day long, with sweet perfume
The waiting mother will be blest.

These pictures, with an artist-hand,
Our Lady of the Lakeside placed,
To shadow forth the lovely land
That Nature with her presence graced.

And here, through Summer’s season bright,
Till Autumn makes the forest shine,
The clear glass mirrors forms of light
And smiles of cheer, from love divine,

Where words are said and songs are sung
And hopes arise to fade no more
And farewells tremble on the tongue
Upon this dear, delightful shore,

Unfading as the Lakeside-grove
That shades the paths forever green,
Bright as the sparkling eyes of love
That gaze upon this sylvan scene.

So shall the Lakeside mirror shine
With memory’s light from far around,
Reflecting, from this crystal shrine,
The pictures of the Enchanted Ground.

Julia Noyes Stickney
Lakeside House, Weirs NH, Aug 19th 1884

Programme notes

Julia Noyes Stickney was born Julia Granby Noyes on 5 July 1830 in Essex Massachusetts, the daughter of Somerby Chase Noyes, a comb manufacturer, and his wife Mary. On 25 January 1855 she married Charles Stickney (1829-1917).

Her Poems on Lake Winnipesaukee was privately printed in 1884 by C C Morse & Son of Haverhill Mass, and contains nineteen poems inspired by the beauty of the lake and its surroundings. The Stickneys owned Lakeside House in Weir, at the lake’s southern end, though their regular home was Groveland, Mass.

Her second book of verse, In the Valley of the Merrimack, was published in 1901 by The Grafton Press of New York.

Julia Noyes Stickney died on 14 March 1910 at West Newbury, Mass.


Later generations reacted strongly against the poetry of the nineteenth century. With its high-flown rhetorical flourishes, its classical allusions, and its muddled syntax, Julia Stickney’s poetry is typical of the genre. Snobbishly we might wonder aloud, what kind of forests are not sylvan? What exactly is a water-star, and whence came the winds that bore it? Just who is ‘Our Lady of the Lakeside’?

These practicalities miss the point. It is Stickney’s genuine feeling for a beloved landscape that persuades, that subsumes all matters of taste, that makes poetic infelicity irrelevant.

It is a feeling that many share: Patricia and I have spent many happy hours around Lake Winnipesaukee, in the town of Meredith, and at the Inn at Mill Falls. It was a pleasure to revisit the location in music.

And perhaps our generation has now reached the point where we can appreciate nineteenth century poetry with all its faults and virtues, as we do the verse of other centuries.

F L Dunkin Wedd
Tonbridge, February 2017.