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.
 
From ‘Lilith’
By E. T. F.
 
THERE was a broad, still lake near Paradise,
A lake, where silence rested evermore;
And yet not gloomy, for along the shore
Majestic trees and flowers of deepest dyes
Drunk the rich light of those unclouded skies;        5
But noiseless all. By night the moonshine hoar
And stars in alternating companies;
By day the sun; no other change it wore.
And hither came the sire of men and stood
Breathless amid the breathless solitude.        10
He plunged; the waters muttered where he fell.
He entered a cavern dim; how wonderful!
High-arched above, and water-paved below.
Pale phosphor cressets with a wavering glow
Lit up the mighty vault. A whisper cool        15
Ran muttering all around him, and a dull
Sweet sound of music drifted to and fro,
Wordless, yet full of thought unspeakable,
Till all the place was teeming with its flow.
‘Adam! strong child of light!’ Who calls? who speaks?        20
What voice, mysterious, the silence breaks.
Is it a vision or reality?
How marble-like her face! How pale her cheeks!
Yet fair, and in her glorious stature high
Above the daughters of mortality.        25
And this was Lilith. And she came to him,
And looked into him with her dreamy eyes,
Till all his former life seemed old and dim,
A thing that had been once; and Paradise,
Its antique forests, floods, and choral skies,        30
Now faded quite away; or seemed to skim,
Like eagles on a bright horizon’s rim,
Darkly across his golden phantasies.
*        *        *        *        *
And he forgot the sunshine and sweet flowers,
And he forgot all pleasant things that be,        35
The birds of Eden, and the wingèd powers
That visited sometime its privacy;
And what to him was day or day-lit hours,
Or the moon shining on an open sea!

  Quebec, 1839.
 
 
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