The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell




THE year drifts sadly back this way,
      With Autumn’s grief and pain;
But with the red leaf and the gold
      She ne’er will come again.

This world hath its weird beauteousness,

      That youth in music stirs,
But time will ne’er bring back to earth
      The beauty that was hers.

You could not call a red leaf God’s
      If she were not God’s too;

A light fell on such eyes and lips
      Man never more will woo.

When her smile went the day’s went too,
      Night, when she closed her eyes,
Lost half its glory. When she woke

      Earth changed to paradise.

She looked so peaceful in her sleep
      When they laid her to her rest,
I could not help but think upon
      An infant at the breast.


She looked so like to one who’d wake
      This side the break of dawn;
I grudged the very earth they heaped
      Her snow-like breast upon.

I hear her low voice calling soft,

      Her footstep at the doors;
I wake up in the dead of night,
      And walk the wintry floors.

I see her croon her babe to sleep,
      Athwart the moonlight now,

Her wealth of golden hair that fell
      Across her gentle brow.

I often walk at death of day,
      Amid the sunset firs,
And dream the world will no more know

      The beauty that was hers.

I wonder in some far-off state,
      If love can conquer death,
Will I know her and she know me,
      As when she drew life’s breath?


And will she stand at some flame-gate,
      And wait and watch for me,
And fall upon my breast and weep
      With joy my face to see?

And bring the little ones around

      To climb to father’s arms;
While her sweet face, the face of yore,
      To mother-beauty warms?

And we go, laughing, weeping, through
       Some gate of crystal dome,

While love grows God-like more and more,
      To greet the wanderer home.