Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

MANITOU

(The Island sacred to the Memory of Manitou in Lake Huron.)


 

GIRDLED by Huron’s throbbing and thunder,
    Out on the drift and lift of its blue;
Walled by mists from the world asunder,
Far from all hate and passion and wonder,
    Lieth the isle of the Manitou.
5

Here, where the surfs of the great lake trample,
    Thundering time-worn caverns through,
Beating on rock-coasts aged and ample;
Reareth the Manitou’s mist-walled temple.
    Floored with forest and roofed with blue.
10

Gray crag-battlements, seared and broken,
    Keep these passes for ages to come;
Never a watchword here is spoken,
Never a single sign or token,
    From hands that are motionless, lips that are dumb.
15

Only the sun-god rideth over,
    Marking the seasons with track of flame;
Only the wild-fowl float and hover—
Flocks of clouds whose white wings cover
    Spaces on spaces without a name.
20

Year by year the ages onward
    Drift, but it lieth out here alone;
Earthward the mists and the earth-mists sunward,
Starward the days and the night blown dawnward,
    Whisper the forests, the beaches make moan.
25

Far from the world and its passions fleeting,
    ’Neath quiet of noon-day and stillness of star,
Shore unto shore each sendeth greeting;
Where the only woe is the surf’s wild beating
    That throbs from the maddened lake afar.
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