The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

TO THE LAKES


 


WITH purple glow at even,
      With crimson waves at dawn,
Cool bending blue of heaven,
      O blue lakes pulsing on;
Lone haunts of wilding creatures dead to wrong;
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      Your trance of mystic beauty
      Is wove into my song.

I know no gladder dreaming
      In all the haunts of men,
I know no silent seeming

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      Like to your shore and fen;
No world of restful beauty like your world
        Of curvèd shores and waters,
      In sunlight vapors furled.

I pass and repass under

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      Your depths of peaceful blue,
You dream your wild, hushed wonder
      Mine aching heart into;
And all the care and unrest pass away
        Like night’s grey, haunted shadows
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      At the red birth of day.

You lie in moon-white splendour
      Beneath the northern sky,
Your voices soft and tender
      In dream-worlds fade and die,

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In whispering beaches, haunted bays and capes,

      Where mists of dawn and midnight
      Drift past in spectral shapes.

Beside your far north beaches,
      Comes late the quickening spring;
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  With soft, voluptuous speeches
      The summer, lingering,
Fans with hot winds your breasts so still and wide,
        Where June, with trancèd silence,
      Drifts over shore and tide.
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Beneath great crags the larches,
      By some lone, northern bay,
Bend, as the strong wind marches
      Out of the dull, north day,
Horning along the borders of the night,
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      With icèd, chopping waters
      Out in the shivering light.

Here the white winter’s fingers
      Tip with dull fires the dawn,
Where the pale morning lingers

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      By stretches bleak and wan;
Kindling the icèd capes with heatless glow,
        That renders cold and colder
      Lone waters, rocks and snow.

Here in the glad September,

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      When all the woods are red
And gold, and hearts remember
      The long days that are dead;
And all the world is mantled in a haze;
        And the wind, a mad musician,
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        Melodious makes the days;

And the nights are still, and slumber
      Holds all the frosty ground,
And the white stars whose number
       In God’s great books are found,

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Gird with pale flames the spangled, frosty sky;


      By white, moon-curvèd beaches
      The haunted hours go by.