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.
 
The Reed-player
By Duncan Campbell Scott (1862–1947)
 
BY a dim shore where water darkening
  Took the last light of spring,
I went beyond the tumult, hearkening
  For some diviner thing.
 
Where the bats flew from the black elms like leaves,        5
  Over the ebon pool
Brooded the bittern’s cry, as one that grieves
  Lands ancient, bountiful.
 
I saw the fire-flies shine below the wood
  Above the shallows dank,        10
As Uriel from some great altitude,
  The planets rank on rank.
 
And now unseen along the shrouded mead
  One went under the hill;
He blew a cadence on his mellow reed,        15
  That trembled and was still.
 
It seemed as if a line of amber fire
  Had shot the gathered dusk,
As if had blown a wind from ancient Tyre
  Laden with myrrh and musk.        20
 
He gave his luring note amid the fern
  Its enigmatic fall,
Haunted the hollow dusk with golden turn
  And argent interval.
 
I could not know the message that he bore,        25
  The springs of life from me
Hidden; his incommunicable lore
  As much a mystery.
 
And as I followed far the magic player
  He passed the maple wood,        30
And when I passed the stars had risen there,
  And there was solitude.
 
 
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