is turned; the twilight shadow fills
The wheeling stream, the soft
And on our ears from deep among the hills
Breaks now the rapidís sudden
Ah yet the same, or have they changed their face,
The fair green fields, and can
it still be seen,
The white log cottage near the mountainís base,
So bright and quiet, so home-like
Ah, well I question, for as five years go,
How many blessings fall, and how much woe.
they are, nor have they changed their cheer,
The fields, the hut, the leafy
Across the lonely dusk again I hear
The loitering bells, the lowing
of the cows,
The bleat of many sheep, the stilly rush
Of the low whispering river,
and through all,
Soft human tongues that break the deepening hush
With faint-heard song or desultory
Oh comrades hold; the longest reach is past;
The stream runs swift, and we are flying fast.
the fields, the cottage just the same,
But how with them whose memory
makes them sweet?
Oh if I called them, hailing name by name,
Would the same lifts the same
old shouts repeat?
Have the rough years, so big with death and ill,
Gone lightly by and left them
Wild black-eyed Jeanne whose tongue was never still,
Old wrinkled Picaud, Pierre
and pale Lisette,
The homely hearts that never cared to range,
While lifeís wide fields were filled with rush and change.
is Jacques, and where is Verginie?
I cannot tell; the fields are
all a blur.
The lowing cows whose shapes I scarcely see,
Oh do they wait and do they
call for her?
And is she changed, or is her heart still clear
As wind or morning, light as
Or have lifeís changes borne her far from here,
And far from rest, and far from
help and home?
Ah comrades, soft, and let us rest awhile,
For arms grow tired with paddling many a mile.
grow wild, and from the rising shore
The cool wind creeps, the faint
wood odours steal;
Like ghosts down the rivers blackening floor
The misty fumes begin to creep
Once more I leave you, wandering toward the night,
Sweet home, sweet heart, that
would have held me in;
Whither I go I know not, and the light
Is faint before, and rest is
hard to win.
Ah sweet ye were and near to heavenís gate;
But youth is blind and wisdom comes too late.
loftier grow the woods, and hark!
The freshening roar! The chute
is near us now,
And dim the canyon grows, and inky dark
The water whispering from the
One long last look, and many a sad adieu,
While eyes can see and heart
can feel you yet,
I leave sweet home and sweeter hearts to you,
A prayer for Picaud, one for
A kiss for Pierre, my little Jacques, and thee,
A sigh for Jeanne, a sob for Verginie.
she still remember? Is the dream
Now dead, or has she found another
So near, so dear; and ah, so swift the stream;
Even now perhaps it were not
yet too late.
But oh, what matter; for before the night
Has reached its middle, we have
far to go:
Bend to your paddles, comrades; see, the light
Ebbs off apace; we must not
Aye thus it is! Heaven gleams and then is gone
Once, twice, it smiles, and still we wander on.