I mind the long, white road that ran between the hedgerows
In that little, strange old world I left behind me long ago,
I mind the air so full of bells at evening, far and sweet—
All and all for someone else—I had leave to go!
It cost a tear to leave it—but here across
With miles and miles of unused sky, and miles of unturned loam,
And miles of room for someone else, and miles of room for me
I’ve found a bigger meaning for the little word called “Home.”
It is the English in me that loves the soft, wet weather—
The cloud upon the mountain, the mist upon the sea,
The sea-gull flying low and near with rain upon each feather,
The scent of deep, green woodlands where the buds are breaking free.
A world all hot with sunshine, with a hot, white sky
Oh then I feel an alien in a land I’d call my own;
The rain is like a friend’s caress, I lean to it and love it,
’Tis like a finger on a nerve that thrills for it alone!
Is it the secret kinship which each new life is given
To link it by an age-long chain to those whose lives are through,
That wheresoever he may go, by fate or fancy driven,
The home-star rises in his heart to keep the compass true?
Ah, ’tis the English in me that loves the soft,
The little mists that trail along like bits of wind-flung foam,
The primrose and the violet—all wet and sweet together,
And the sound of water calling, as it used to call at home.
The Sleeping Beauty
So has she lain for centuries unguessed,
Her waiting face to waiting heaven turned,
While winds have wooed and ardent suns have burned
And stars have died to sentinel her rest.
Only the snow can reach her as she lies,
Far and serene, and with cold finger-tips
Seal soft the lovely quiet of her lips
And lightly veil the shadows of her eyes.
Man has no part—his little, noisy years
Rise to her silence thin and impotent—
There are no echoes in that vast content,
No doubts, no dreams, no laughter and no tears!
* A formation of mountain peaks above Vancouver Harbor, outlining the profile and form of a sleeping maiden.
Down at the docks—when the smoke clouds
Wind-ript and red, on an angry sky—
Coal-dumps and derricks and piled-up bales,
Tar and the gear of forgotten sails,
Rusted chains and a broken spar
(Yesterday’s breath on the things that are)
A lone, black cat and a snappy cur,
Smell of high-tide and of newcut fir,
Smell of low-tide, fish, weed!—I swear
I love every blessed smell that’s there—
For, aeons ago when the sea began,
My soul was the soul of a sailorman.