The Dread Voyage Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell




LONG years have gone, and yet it seems
      But scarce an hour ago,
I lay upon a moss-grown rock,
      And watched the ebb and flow
Of waters, where cool shades above
      Glassed in cool depths below.

You stood beside me sweet and fair,
      A basket on your arm,
Red-heaped with luscious fruit we’d picked
      Down at the old shore farm;

You stood and in the shore-wood made
      A picture glad and warm.

Like heaving pearl the blue by rocked
      Against its limestone wall,
Far off in reeling dreams of blue

      The heavens seemed to fall
About the world, and there you stood,
      Unconscious, queen of all.

From far-off fields the low of kine,
      Soft bird-notes, airy streams,

That stole in here, far, broken notes
      Of all the day’s hushed dreams;
And you, one slender shaft of light,
      In all the world’s wide gleams.

We spoke no love, for I was shy,

      And you were shyer then;
Mine was a boy’s faint heart, and yours
      Still outside of love’s ken;
But such sweet moments are full rare
      In barren years of men.

And often when the heart is worn
      And life grows sorrow-wise,
I dream again a blue, north bay,
      A gleam of summer skies;
And by my side a young girl stands
      With heaven in her eyes.

You are a dream, a face, a wraith,
      You drift across my pain,
I lock you in my sacred past
      Where all love’s ghosts remain;

But life hath nought for me so sweet
      As you can bring again.