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Title: In the Shadows

Date of first publication: 1898

Author: Emily Pauline Johnson

Date first posted: October 3, 2014

Date last updated: October 3, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20141004

This ebook was produced by: L. Harrison, Ross Cooling & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net







I am sailing to the leeward,

Where the current runs to seaward

    Soft and slow.

Where the sleeping river grasses

Brush my paddle as it passes

    To and fro.


On the shore the heat is shaking

All the golden sands awaking

    In the cove;

And the quaint sand-piper, winging

O’er the shallows, ceases singing

    When I move.


On the water’s idle pillow

Sleeps the overhanging willow,

    Green and cool;

Where the rushes lift their burnished

Oval heads from out the tarnished

    Emerald pool.


Where the very silence slumbers,

Water lilies grow in numbers,

    Pure and pale;

All the morning they have rested,

Amber crowned, and pearly crested,

    Fair and frail.


Here, impossible romances,

Indefinable sweet fancies,

    Cluster round;

But they do not mar the sweetness

Of this still September fleetness

    With a sound.


I can scarce discern the meeting

Of the shore and stream retreating,

    So remote;

For the laggard river, dozing,

Only wakes from its reposing

    Where I float.


Where the river mists are rising,

All the foliage baptizing

    With their spray;

There the sun gleams far and faintly,

With a shadow soft and saintly,

    In its ray.


And the perfume of some burning

Far-off brushwood, ever turning

    To exhale

All its smoky fragrance dying,

In the arms of evening lying,

    Where I sail.


My canoe is growing lazy,

In the atmosphere so hazy,

    While I dream;

Half in slumber I am guiding,

Eastward indistinctly gliding

    Down the stream.

“In the Shadows” is taken from The White Wampum, a book of verses by E. Pauline Johnson, published in London by John Lane, Boston: Lamson, Wolffe & Co., and Toronto: The Copp Clark Co., 1895. Now privately reprinted, in an edition of two hundred copies, for Laurence C. Woodworth and his friends at the nineteenth annual meet of the American Canoe Association, Stave Island, St. Lawrence River, August, MDCCCXCVIII.

[The end of In the Shadows by Emily Pauline Johnson]