Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

IN THE RIVER BAY


 

ALONE I pause in morning dream
Upon the border of the stream,
Where all the summer melts away,
In mists of wood and sky and bay;
And voices of the morning wake
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In whispers from the distant lake.
With dews down fallen from the night,
The alders scintillate in light,
Reflected in the river pool,
The woods bend restful, sweet and cool.
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And hidden in their heart away,
A thrush sends forth his roundelay,
Echo’d in the airs above,
Filling all heaven and earth with love.

Above me in the darkling wood,

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Through dusks of morning solitude,
Drifting in many a watery moon,
The river chants a sleepy tune.
Far out in front, in shining curves,
Where, sun-cuirassed, his soft tide swerves,
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And all the dreams of morning brood,
His shores wind, mirroring in his flood.

With half-shut eyes I muse and see
This morning picture dreamily.
Then throbbeth up within my heart

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(Which seemeth nature’s counterpart),
A wish to stay and dream for aye,
The morning by this river-bay,
To stay forever and forget
The new desire and old regret,
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The doubt, the sorrow, and the curse,
The passions that our spirits nurse;
To never dream in morning’s fires
The ghosts of vanished, dead desires;
To never read in kindling skies
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The sadness of reproachful eyes:
Refined, removed of all earth’s dross,
Its strife, its sorrow, and its loss,
To be a little child for aye,
Mist-cradled in this river-bay.
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The dream is sweet but all too soon,
Is lost its vision, hushed its rune;
For up along the river-wall
I hear my comrades gaily call:
The dream is broken, life reclaims,
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To darker fancies, sterner aims.
I leave my restful river-bay,
And worldward once more wend my way.