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.
 
A Water Song
By Alexander Frederick Bruce Clark (b. 1884)
 
WHEN the shore recedes like a world thrust off,
  And the wind herds the ripples like sheep aflee,
I ship my oars, and, stretched out, I let
  The water and wind take my boat and me.
        Oh, floating along        5
        To the water’s song
While the wavelets gurgle and ripple and cream,
And the fish curve forth in a watery gleam,
And the kingfisher dives and the white gulls scream,
    And the clouds drift all day long.        10
 
Lo, into the sunset-gates of light
  I float in evenings clear and cool,
Where the clouds like water-lilies white
  Seem lolling asleep in a golden pool.
        Oh, floating along        15
        To the water’s song
While the sun sheathes his golden sword in the lake,
And every wave is a burning flake,
And guitars in tremulous tones awake
    And echo the evening long.        20
 
And I in those secret places go
  Where the shy, young stars come forth at night,
To see themselves in the lake’s deep glass
  When darkness has banished the curious light.
        Oh, floating along        25
        To the water’s song
When the lake is a palace of pillared fires,
Or a city of churches with silver spires
Drowned for aeons with cross and choirs
    That still chant all night long.        30
 
 
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