Canadian Born

by Emily Pauline Johnson

“Through Time and Bitter Distance”*


Unknown to you, I walk the cheerless shore.
    The cutting blast, the hurl of biting brine
May freeze, and still, and bind the waves at war,
    Ere you will ever know, O! Heart of mine,
That I have sought, reflected in the blue
    Of those sea depths, some shadow of your eyes;
Have hoped the laughing waves would sing of you,
    But this is all my starving sight descries—


Far out at sea a sail
    Bends to the freshening breeze,
Yields to the rising gale
    That sweeps the seas; [Page 34]


Yields, as a bird wind-tossed,
    To saltish waves that fling
Their spray, whose rime and frost
    Like crystals cling


To canvas, mast and spar,
    Till, gleaming like a gem,
She sinks beyond the far
    Horizon’s hem,


Lost to my longing sight,
    And nothing left to me
Save an oncoming night,—
    An empty sea. [Page 35]

* For this title the author is indebted to Mr. Charles G. D. Roberts. It occurs in his sonnet, “Rain.” [back]