Sunday, August 9, 2015

Morning on the Lièvres / Archibald Lampman

Morning on the Lièvres

Far above us where a jay
Screams his matins to the day,
Capped with gold and amethyst,
Like a vapour from the forge
Of a giant somewhere hid,
Out of hearing of the clang
Of his hammer, skirts of mist
Slowly up the wooden gorge
Lift and hang.

Softly as a cloud we go,                
Sky above and sky below,
Down the river, and the dip
Of the paddles scarcely breaks,
With the little silvery drip
Of the water as it shakes              
From the blades, the crystal deep
Of the silence of the morn,
Of the forest yet asleep,
And the river reaches borne
In a mirror, purple grey,              
Sheer away
To the misty line of light,
Where the forest and the stream
In a shadow meet and plight,
Like a dream.                          

From amid a stretch of reeds,
Where the lazy river sucks
All the water as it bleeds
From a little curling creek,
And the muskrats peer and sneak        
In around the sunken wrecks
Of a tree that swept the skies
Long ago,
On a sudden seven ducks
With a splashy rustle rise,            
Stretching out their seven necks,
One before, and two behind,
And the others all arow,
And as steady as the wind
With a swivelling whistle go,
Through the purple shadow led,
Till we only hear their whir
In behind a rocky spur,
Just ahead.

Archibald Lampman (1861-1899), 1886
from Among the Millet, and other poems, 1888

[Poem is in the public domain world-wide]

Archibald Lampman biography

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