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.
 
Jasper’s Song
By Marjorie L. C. Pickthall (1883–1922)
 
WHO goes down through the slim green sallows,
Soon, so soon?
Dawn is hard on the heels of the moon,
And never a lily the day-star knows
Is white, so white as the one who goes        5
Armed and shod, when the hyacinths darken.
Then hark, O harken!
And rouse the moths from the deep rose-mallows,
Call the wild hares down from the fallows,
Gather the silk of the young sea-poppies,        10
The bloom of the thistle, the bells of the foam;
Bind them all with a brown owl’s feather,
Snare the winds in a golden tether,
Chase the clouds from the gipsy’s weather, and follow, O follow the white spring home.
 
Who goes past with the wind that chilled us,        15
Late, so late?
Fortune leans on the farmer’s gate,
Watching the round sun low in the south,
With a plume in his cap and a rose at his mouth.
But O, for the folk who were free and merry        20
There’s never so much as a red rose-berry.
But old earth’s warm as the wind that filled us,
And the fox and the little grey mouse shall build us
Walls of the sweet green gloom of the cedar,
A roof of bracken, a curtain of whin;        25
One more rouse ere the bowl reposes
Low in the dust of our lost red roses,
One more song ere the cold night closes, and welcome, O welcome the dark death in!
 
 
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