Lake Lyrics and Other Poems

by William Wilfred Campbell




ALONE I pause in morning dream
Upon the border of the stream,
Where all the summer melts away,
In mists of wood and sky and bay;
And voices of the morning wake
In whispers from the distant lake.
With dews down fallen from the night,
The alders scintillate in light,
Reflected in the river pool,
The woods bend restful, sweet and cool.
And hidden in their heart away,
A thrush sends forth his roundelay,
Echo’d in the airs above,
Filling all heaven and earth with love.

Above me in the darkling wood,

Through dusks of morning solitude,
Drifting in many a watery moon,
The river chants a sleepy tune.
Far out in front, in shining curves,
Where, sun-cuirassed, his soft tide swerves,
And all the dreams of morning brood,
His shores wind, mirroring in his flood.

With half-shut eyes I muse and see
This morning picture dreamily.
Then throbbeth up within my heart

(Which seemeth nature’s counterpart),
A wish to stay and dream for aye,
The morning by this river-bay,
To stay forever and forget
The new desire and old regret,
The doubt, the sorrow, and the curse,
The passions that our spirits nurse;
To never dream in morning’s fires
The ghosts of vanished, dead desires;
To never read in kindling skies
The sadness of reproachful eyes:
Refined, removed of all earth’s dross,
Its strife, its sorrow, and its loss,
To be a little child for aye,
Mist-cradled in this river-bay.

The dream is sweet but all too soon,
Is lost its vision, hushed its rune;
For up along the river-wall
I hear my comrades gaily call:
The dream is broken, life reclaims,
To darker fancies, sterner aims.
I leave my restful river-bay,
And worldward once more wend my way.