Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
In the Heart of the Hills
By Bliss Carman (1861–1929)
 
IN the warm blue heart of the hills
  My beautiful, beautiful one
Sleeps where he laid him down
  Before the journey was done.
 
All the long summer day        5
  The ghosts of noon draw nigh,
And the tremulous aspens hear
  The footing of winds go by.
 
Down to the gates of the sea,
  Out of the gates of the west,        10
Journeys the whispering river
  Before the place of his rest.
 
The road he loved to follow
  When June came by his door,
Out through the dim blue haze        15
  Leads, but allures no more.
 
The trailing shadows of clouds
  Steal from the slopes and are gone;
The myriad life in the grass
  Stirs, but he slumbers on;        20
 
The inland wandering tern
  Skreel as they forage and fly;
His loons on the lonely reach
  Utter their querulous cry;
 
Over the floating lilies        25
  A dragon-fly tacks and steers;
Far in the depth of the blue
  A martin settles and veers;
 
To every roadside thistle
  A gold-brown butterfly clings;        30
But he no more companions
  All the dear vagrant things.
 
The strong red journeying sun,
  The pale and wandering rain,
Will roam on the hills forever        35
  And find him never again.
 
Then twilight falls with the touch
  Of a hand that soothes and stills,
And a swamp-robin sings into light
  The lone white star of the hills.        40
 
Alone in the dusk he sings,
  And a burden of sorrow and wrong
Is lifted up from the earth
  And carried away in his song.
 
Alone in the dusk he sings,        45
  And the joy of another day
Is folded in peace and borne
  On the drift of years away.
 
But there in the heart of the hills
  My beautiful weary one        50
Sleeps where he laid him down;
  And the long sweet night is begun.
 
 
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