Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

ON THE LEDGE


 

I LIE out here on a ledge with the surf on the rocks below me,
The hazy sunlight above and the whispering forest behind;
I lie and listen, O lake, to the legends and songs you throw me.
Out of the murmurous moods of your multitudinous mind.

I lie and listen a sound like voices of distant thunder,

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The roar and throb of your life in your rock wall’s mighty cells;
Then after a softer voice that comes from the beaches under,
A chiming of waves on rocks, a laughter of silver bells.

A glimmer of bird-like boats, that loom from the far horizon;
That scud and tack and dip under the gray and the blue;

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A single gull that floats and skims the waters, and flies on
Till she is lost like a dream, in the haze of the distance, too.

A steamer that rises a smoke, then after a tall, dark funnel,
That moves like a shadow across your water and sky’s gray edge;
A dull, hard beat of a wave that diggeth himself a tunnel,

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Down in the crevices dark under my limestone ledge.

And here I lie on my ledge, and listen the songs you sing me,
Songs of vapor and blue, songs of island and shore;
And strange and glad are the hopes and sweet are the thoughts

 
  you bring me,  

Out of the throbbing depths and wells of your heart’s great store. 

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