The following sections of this BookRags Literature Study Guide is offprint from Gale's For Students Series: Presenting Analysis, Context, and Criticism on Commonly Studied Works: Introduction, Author Biography, Plot Summary, Characters, Themes, Style, Historical Context, Critical Overview, Criticism and Critical Essays, Media Adaptations, Topics for Further Study, Compare & Contrast, What Do I Read Next?, For Further Study, and Sources.
(c)1998-2002; (c)2002 by Gale. Gale is an imprint of The Gale Group, Inc., a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Gale and Design and Thomson Learning are trademarks used herein under license.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction: "Social Concerns", "Thematic Overview", "Techniques", "Literary Precedents", "Key Questions", "Related Titles", "Adaptations", "Related Web Sites". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
The following sections, if they exist, are offprint from Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults: "About the Author", "Overview", "Setting", "Literary Qualities", "Social Sensitivity", "Topics for Discussion", "Ideas for Reports and Papers". (c)1994-2005, by Walton Beacham.
All other sections in this Literature Study Guide are owned and copyrighted by BookRags, Inc.
|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|Above the Clouds||1|
|The Survey Cook||3|
|The Coast of British Columbia||4|
|SEASHORE AT THE MOUTH OF A CREEK||5|
On the shores of a sea of mist
I chanced to roam,
Where sunlit the surface gleamed
Whiter than foam.
But the voice of the restless main
Was absent there,
For the billows that rolled along
Were waves of air;
And the isles of that silent sea
Were mountain peaks
That, far from the haunts of man,
The wild goat seeks.
O, that day above the clouds
Was bright and fair!
With pines and the sparkling snow
But, a thousand fathoms down
A city street
Was shrouded in sunless gloom
Where shadows meet;
It knew not the fairer day
And matchless view;
That snowfields gleamed above
And skies were blue:
That the clouds which gloomed below
Were seas of light
From another point of view
At greater height.
Winter Sunset in the Cascade Range
Picture a world of snowfields
Aglow in the sunset light,
Great fir trees snow-flake laden
And broken clouds piled white;
While bathed in a silver sheen
The pines on a crest are seen.
Would I could frame the language
Worthy those sunset tints,
Hued from saffron to coral,
Aflame where the sunlight glints;
And the clear steel blue of the sky
Where the clouds had drifted by.
The daylight slowly faded.
Weakly mere words convey
The ivory white of snowflakes,
Decking the hills that day;
And the softening yellow tone
That fell from the sun god’s throne.
Far beyond wooded ridges
Lit with a twilight ray,
Sentinel like in the cloudland
A nameless peak held sway;
Keeping a silent guard
O’er valleys by cloud wreaths barred.
’Twas crowned with flaming colours
Of sunset’s fleeting hour;
Giving its best expression
To nature’s lavish dower
E’re the ebbing tide of day
Should fade from the world away.
Then light melted softly to shadow
And the blue of the sky turned grey,
While a veil of deepening twilight
Warned us to haste away,
For the winter nights are bleak
In the wilds by that lonely peak.
[*]Beside the Ocstall
I mused one day beside the Ocstall River
Where trailing mists went drifting softly by;
And waterfalls in thunderous voices calling,
Their vaporous breath raised to a burdened sky.
What mystic spell? what strange compelling
Did hold the sons of Britain toiling there?
What charm was there in that great lonely region
Enticing them from distant lands, more fair?
Fantastic cloud wreaths draped a sea of
Forest and muskeg in the vales held sway;
To win a fortune from those wild surroundings
Men came, then could not from them break away.
They tried the lands where everlasting
Caressed lush fruits and kissed the waves at play;
But no place gripped them like this western outpost
Where men with large ambitions hewed their way.
It was the challenge to the daring spirit
Of vast resources in their native state.
It was the lure of gold, romance of action,
The chances of success where stakes were great.
[*]Ocstall River—a tributary of the Skeena near its mouth.
’Twas out upon a gold stampede,
And Jan had always planned to lead.
The man who has the greatest might,
He surely must be in the right,
Was part of Jansen’s creed;
For very skookum was this man,
Built on a most ambitious plan;
But with a domineering trait,
Would have his own, no other way;
And often had been heard to say:
“I’ll be no ‘also ran.’”
The river trip he hoped to make
With an old-timer nicknamed Jake,
Who’d hired a canoe;
And with a bunch of sourdoughs
Intended, e’re the river rose
In flood, to push on through.
This man soon got himself disliked
As up the rapid stream they piked
And oft by rapids lined.
His overbearing ways were met
With keen expressions of regret
He’d not been left behind.
At length the crew a village saw
Of Indians who had a store
In goods where Jan did trade.
The others knew their chance at last
They could not get away too fast
When off ashore he’d strayed.
They threw his pack out on the bank,
Their late companion’s health they drank
With hopes they’d never meet;
But Jan, their move when he realized,
Came hurrying greatly surprised,
And flushed with angry heat.
Some most profane remarks he made
And said that he was not afraid
To thrash the blooming crew,
Their ancestors were not forgot,
He hoped old Nick would make it hot
For any that he knew.
One parting curse did Jan call down,
He hoped they all would surely drown
Before they reached their goal;
The waters be their winding sheet,
That Hell would raise a double heat
To welcome every soul.
Then taking up his pack he set
His face towards the trail that yet
Along the river ran.
But soon the blazes were no more,
His path was barred by creeks, a score,
Which now no bridges span.
He felled the towering cottonwood,
That graceful by the river stood,
To bridge each torrent wide.
But longest spans were swept away,
By the wild waters in their play
At the last creek he tried.
So plunging in the torrent wild
Which swept him helpless as a child,
He braved its swollen tide.
While raced along a branch he caught,
That, waving from the shore long sought,
* * * *
Small wonder if Jan’s conscience
And if that moral guardian spoke
In accusation strong
Against the words he had let fall,
Beyond the power of recall,
To get revenge for wrong.
Skookum—a Chinook word, meaning strong.
Sourdough—a seasoned prospector.
Deep in the Sunset Valley
Ill fortune had detained;
Bacon and beans were finished;
Of flour, none remained.
But now with tents and blankets,
Facing the backward track,
All hands were feeling cheerful
Save the cook—his looks were black.
They’d packed across the mountains
Where trails were never known,
Through leagues of heavy timber
And rock slides overgrown;
Had bridged the swollen torrents
By felling trees across;
And scrambled through the canyons
That walled the river’s course.
The horses of the pack train
Had died in dark despair
When brought to face the prospect
Of using goat trails there;
So man a beast of burden
Himself was forced to be;
The crew packed grub and blankets
And the cook the cutlery,
The dishpans and the kettles,
The basins and a pot,
A battered old reflector,
Cups, bowls and plates, Great Scott!
Cymbals and drums weren’t in it
When cook did have a spill;
The crash of warlike music
Echoed from hill to hill
As down his pack came bounding,
Spurning the canyon walls,
Scattering pots and dishes,
Leaping the waterfalls.
The packers looked in terror
To see the cook come too
As past their dizzy erie
The clanging luggage flew;
When anxiously they hailed him,
The cook, he only swore:
“If I survive this picnic
So help me—nevermore.”
A Raid on the Seal Rookeries
The tale was told by a hunter bold
Of a sealing schooner’s crew,
Of a midnight raid where the breakers played
On reefs that the offing strew.
“In Behring Sea they tell,”
“How Hansen, in the ‘Adele,’
Waiting for night, with never a light,
Dared the reefs and ocean swell.
“A rascal bold, in misdeeds grown
He had raided far and wide;
But never before in the sealers’ lore
Had the Pribilof reefs been tried.
“But an Aleut, by his sealskin
And the grave of his father, swore
For a keg of booze and a pair of shoes
To sell their secret, and more.
“So Hansen knew to a yard or two
Where the hidden ledges ran;
And the breakers’ roar on the reefs and shore
Were guides to the daring man.
“The trailing kelp and a flash might
Where the phosphorus burned bright,
For the deed was done past set of sun
When the stars were hid from sight.
“The schooner’s kedge to a
By a hempen cable tied,
With silent stealth, for the raiders’ health,
Was lowered overside.
“Then with muffled oars they reached
Near a crowded rookery;
Where the voice of seals, in loud appeals,
Drowned the moan of wind and sea.
“There were clubbed ten score and
some dozens more
Of the seals which in panic came
Like frightened sheep before the sweep
Of the raiders’ far-flung chain;
“For they took their stand, where
the rocky land
Slopes down to the surf-worn beach,
To intercept the herd that swept
Like a torrent, the sea to reach.
“Their dories lay in a tiny bay
On a bit of sandy shore;
And they loaded seals by heads or heels
Till the boats would hold no more.
“On many a trip to the little ship
The skiffs went back and fore,
Till she streamed with blood in a crimson flood
From the deck to the cabin door.
“The seals were piled in confusion
On deck, by a seaman there;
While the hold was stored and the cabin floored
Whenever he’d time to spare,
“For they had to sail before the
Light came of a breaking day;
Lest the sealing guard should follow hard
And capture them with their prey.”
* * * *
“In the dawn’s pale light
that followed the night
The sealing guard went round;
But the bloody turf, by the edge of the surf,
Was the only sign they found;
“For a curtain fell on the Behring
And hid the schooner’s flight;
But they lay the blame on Hansen’s name
For the lawless deeds that night.”
Pribilofs—a group of islands in Behring Sea, where the fur seal breeds.
Aleut—a native of the Aleutian Islands.
On the far stretching coast of B. C.,
Where the hills and the seas interlace,
Is a cruising ground yet unexcelled,
Where the yachtsman can loiter or race.
And for those that of danger a spice
Or variety’s pleasures would know,
There’s a limitless sea to the west
Where the free ocean breezes do blow.
There are harbours and fiords on a coast
That is thousands of miles in extent;
And new scenes that its windings unfold
Fill those that explore with content.
Vancouver we’ll sing all the way.
Far away we may roam, but Vancouver’s our home
We remember, wherever we stray.
In summer time all the day long
To sea we will roam, for afloat we’re at home
So we sway on our halyards with song.
The open gateway of the West.
Her harbour’s the port where vessels resort
Of pleasure or profit in quest.
Her mountains a wonderland hold,
Where the Lions on guard, carved in rock grey and hard,
Have stood sentry for ages untold.
Of seamen intrepid we’ll sing:
Vancouver and Cook, great explorers, who took
Possession in name of their king.
Bud of England grafted
On a western tree,
Favoured by the breezes
Of a temperate sea.
Roses in the gardens
Greet thy Christmastide,
Broom upon the headlands
Gilds the ocean side.
In thy dreamy moments
Thou didst plan to be
Queen upon the islands
By the western sea.
A SPRING PHANTASY
Heart free, care free and free to roam am I
Wherever fancy leads beneath the sky.
I’ll rest awhile and watch the kelpies play,
They will be sporting on the sands to-day.
Perhaps they’ll tell me what my heart desires
To know, and Cupid’s dart inspires.
[Kelpies come up from the sea and sing in chorus:]
Join with us, dance with us, prance with
Over the sea.
Roam with us, flee with us, be with us
Where we may be
Sing with us, walk with us, talk with
Come with us, play with us, stray with us
Where we may stray.
Pray, kelpies, tell me what you find of joy,
In what of work or play your hours employ.
You can sing of the lakes and mountains
And the freedom of open plains;
But for spaces wide and untrammelled
The ocean alone remains.
In the cradle of ocean surges
We rock to heart’s content.
We’ve played on countless beaches
And roam the sea’s extent.
The sights that we view on our travels
Are marvels that fill with delight;
But chief is the phosphorescence
Of the foaming seas, at night.
I wish you would tell of those flashes
That are such a wonderful sight.
Sparkling and darkling, dust of the milky way,
Shifting and drifting, firefly legions at play;
Fading and glowing, lights of a starry maze,
Coming and going, drift of a luminous haze.
Tangling and spangling the waves with
a wealth of light,
Spraying and straying silently through the night;
Dusting and flashing a light in our yeasty wake,
Glowing and splashing wherever the waves we break.
Lacing and tracing the path of the evening
Blazing and raising a light on the breaking seas;
Ebbing and flowing, an ocean of liquid light,
Finding and showing the reefs in the blackest night.
There’s much in what you say appeals to me;
What else may you have learned along the margin of the sea?
There is a cove, secret from passing eyes,
Beautiful as a dream of Paradise;
Where, sheltered from the stormy waves that stray
Unfettered down the sea’s wide open way,
The seaman oftentimes doth moor his barque
In shaded bays, peaceful by day or dark.
For there the salty tide finds calm repose,
Sheltered from every boisterous wind that blows;
And ripples, like faint shadows on a glass,
Play lightly where the fitful breezes pass.
Elsewhere the mirrored shores inverted stand,
Trees foot to foot, hand clasping hand;
And all the flitting clouds their faces see,
Till sea and sky seem one in harmony.
In that well guarded spot few sounds intrude
To mar the quiet of its solitude.
The beat of surges at the entrance seems
A distant murmur from the land of dreams;
While crickets chirruping and song birds gay,
From valley and from hillside sound their lay.
Four miles of coastline do those arms
Of cliff and delta, wood and open ground;
Where stately fir and cedar trees are seen
In contrast with the lighter shades of green;
While on the rocks thick moss and lichen grow,
And rough arbutus shrubs their shadows throw.
When sunset edges all the clouds with
And sea and shore with jewelled wealth untold,
Those rocky cliffs a fitting setting form
To hold that gem of ocean (safe in storm);
And changing lights, warm and elusive, wear
To match the shading of the sea and air.
A maid lives there, who often roams this
We’re here to greet her when she comes to-day.
Virginia, come and play with us awhile;
Come, be our queen and on our revels smile.
Or if we may but help you o’er the stream,
Our labours shall a moment’s frolic seem.
Kelpies, too long you’ve roamed on mischief bent:
Too long you’ve made the sky your nightly tent.
I’ve oft been warned to shun your careless way
And from your pranks and revels warned to stay.
I dare not try to cross the swollen tide
Unless some stronger arm is close beside.
Permit my arm to be this guide and stay:
Pray give me leave to help you on your way.
Kind sir, if you will take me by the hand,
I’ll thank you to assist to that far strand.
No—Don’t you lift me up—I didn’t mean—
Well—If you must—
How strong your arms have been.
Virginia, did I hear the kelpies say?
Yes, that’s my name. What is your own, I pray?
Call me Paolo, and if I may be
Of any further help fair maid to thee,
Allow me to attend you on your way.
Thank you, I need no further help to-day.
Join with us, dance with us, prance with us
Over the sea.
Roam with us, flee with us, be with us
Where we may be.
Paolo, turning from looking after Virginia—
I’m in no mood to join your frolics now;
Perhaps some other day you’ll show me how
You ride the combers on the ocean swell.
I must be going now, Kelpies farewell.
[Paolo wandering disconsolate on snowshoes—Frosties bobbing up and down behind bushes and snowdrifts.]
What goblins, what strange forms are these I see?
I thought the haunts of men and sprites to flee
And far from every human habitation
Find solace for my grief mid desolation.
Stand forth yon elf and speak, that I
These are no tricks that on my fancies grow.
[Frosties all dance out on the snow—Master Frosty steps forward with greeting:]
I’m the master of the Frosties’ band,
On outpost duty from the Arctic land;
You need not fear,
’Tis friends are here.
Your lonely sorrow we can understand,
And would in sympathy just clasp your hand.
If for your grief
You find relief
In telling us the cause of all your woe,
Your confidence we will respect, I know;
And we’ll be true
As skies are blue.
It is a story of a winsome maid
That yester eve across my pathway strayed.
That I was shy I can’t deny;
But if it will not weary you to hear,
I’ll try and tell you what I found so dear,
When o’er a stream
As in a dream
I helped Virginia to the further shore,
And lost my heart to her for evermore.
Last Night My Heart Was All Aglow
The mist with pearls had beaded
Each wayward strand of hair;
And the light in her eyes was like sunshine.
Would I had asked her there!
Refrain— Last night my heart was all aglow, I loved, I loved Virginia so; But wintry dawn has brought despair Of ever winning maid so fair.
Last night his heart was all aglow,
Last night he loved Virginia so;
But wintry dawn has brought despair
Of ever winning maid so fair.
And now when days seem dreary,
And hope begins to wane,
My thoughts run back and I wonder—
Will we ever meet again.
Ever my heart is yearning
For a voice that is far away:
For a smile that is bright and cheering
As sunshine and waves at play.
Good morrow, Cupid. (C.) I salute thee too.
What errand brings you out amid the snow?
Perchance you’ve lost your way, rash Cupid. (C.) No.
The harbinger of spring to lovers true,
I started out while yet the snowflakes flew.
You’re late I fear, my hopes have sunk too low.
Let not your drooping spirits fail, faint heart
Did never yet assume that valiant part
That finds a way in spite of what befall
And wins at length to beauty’s citadel.
Thanks, Cupid, for your words of lofty cheer;
My heart responds, I see my pathway clear.
I’ll take Virginia in my arms and
On lips and cheek and brow;
I’ll tell her how I love her, miss her,
And when, and why, and how.
I’ll draw my darling to my heart
and hold her
In fond and close embrace;
I’ll whisper softly how I’ve longed to fold her
In all her girlish grace.
I’ll look into her eyes, their love
Small need of words we’ll know;
For tender glances sprung from hearts aglowing,
With meaning overflow.
Such sentiments as these I quite approve:
I’m hopeful for the outcome of your love.
Cupid (turning to Frosties)—
Who are these furry folk that round us stand?
They seem like members of the Frosties’ band.
Frosties (in chorus)—
We are the elves of the Northern Light,
Of the ice blink and the snow;
We deck the moss with a silver floss,
And make the frost flowers grow.
We place the fetters on stream and rill
And encase the lakes and seas:
We spread a carpet o’er vale and hill
And drape the leafless trees.
Won’t you just tell dear Frosties
In the language of song to-night
Of those beauties and silent wonders
That dwell in the Northern Light.
Sing of some thrilling vision
Of those beams in endless train,
Like the bars of a thousand searchlights;
Sing to us Frosties again.
The Northern Lights
Across the starry arches of the heavens
Like mighty spokes of a revolving wheel;
Or organ pipes that grouped in stately silence
Await some master’s touch to wake their peal;
The Northern Lights had strayed far down
Of mellow air that mark the temperate zone;
Their searchlight beams above the northern skyline
A magic arch of changing lights had thrown.
They marched across the sky in long procession:
From east to west their standards were unfurled,
Summoning visions of the Arctic winter
And whalers prisoned in a frozen world.
Then formed a tent, across the starry
Woven of interlacing beams of light
Flung lightly o’er the arches which supported,
High overhead, the canopy of night.
Once more a wide and undulating archway
Expressed in quivering jets of frosty flame,
Against the background of the midnight shadows,
With play of countless brilliant flashes, came;
While dark below flowed on the silent
An anchored barque swayed slowly on the swell.
And here and there a phosphorescent glimmer
Showed where the trailing seaweed rose and fell.
I thank you, Frosties, for your song and story
About the Northern Lights in all their glory;
But time is hasting on, I must be going.
The sun through lengthened days is warmly glowing.
Farewell Paolo too: what shall I say
When I shall meet your maiden on my way?
Haste, Cupid; haste: fly forth on rapid wing
Bearing your dainty bow and feathered darts;
And with the graceful practise of your arts
Whisper into my darling’s ear, or sing
The sweetest messages that love can bring;
And weave such tender dreams as spring imparts
Where youth and beauty know each others hearts
And feel the thrill that from such joy can spring.
Sweet cherub, when you wing your arrow’s flight,
Speed it away with thoughts of love from me;
And when it finds the heart that beats with mine,
Full welcome to that breast I know ’twill be.
When you reveal my message in love’s light
It’s: (Dearest will you be my valentine).
This errand suits me well, I’ll not delay;
But to the land of flowers will wing my way.
Farewell to Cupid
We are glad to have made your acquaintance
And wish you had longer to stay;
We are glad, we must say, to have met you,
And wish you good luck on your way.
Farewell, my Cupid,
Love speed you on your way.
Farewell, dear Cupid,
And au-revoir we’ll say.
’Tis the time of the northward migration
And ahead of the birds we must fly
To where days are of endless duration;
So in chorus we bid you good-bye.
Farewell, my Cupid,
Love speed you on your way.
Farewell, dear Cupid,
And au-revoir we’ll say.
(All in chorus)
Farewell to you, farewell to all, farewell
Paolo, Cupid, Frosties each farewell must say.
[Virginia sitting on a bank of grass and spring flowers, with a band of fairies dancing around her in a ring.]
Spring Draweth Near
Fairies (in Chorus)—
Spring is coming, hear the humming
Of the bumble bees;
Life is waking, buds are breaking,
Love is in the breeze.
Fairies sing for the spring
Mirth and song now belong
To the year.
Birdies wooing, ring doves cooing
From each budding bough.
All things mating, no one waiting,
Love is calling now.
Larks are singing, swallows winging
North, their rapid flight.
Winter’s ending, spring is sending
Warmth and love and light.
What strange emotions fill this breast?
What flitting shadows of unrest
Disturb me so?
I have not ceased to long and dream
Since I was lifted o’er that stream
In strong arms’ clasp what can there
To thrill the heart in fancy free
And leave behind
A joy that is akin to pain,
A longing to be held again
By arms entwined?
[Enter Cupid during last words.]
Good morning to you all, a fairy ring
Delights my heart; I’ll wait and hear you sing.
We’re glad you’re back, you should avoid the snows
Dear careless boy; some day you’ll freeze your toes.
[Cupid fitting arrow to his bow—]
No, don’t you shoot your arrow; ’tisn’t fair!
You’ve learned too much already, spare oh spare
My heart from further pain you cruel boy;
What balm have you for wounds that peace destroy?
Forbid the thought of Cupid causing pain;
Nought else I seek but bringing joy again.
I have a secret message to unfold
To you, the sweetest lover ever told.
I’ll whisper softly in your dainty ear,
So soft that even fairies will not hear.
[Cupid whispers his message.]
Oh Cupid! (C.) How you blush, your burning cheek
Tells plainer still than even lips can speak
Of tenderness for Paolo that glows
Within your heart, and now quite overflows.
Blush of the early morning
Heralds the coming day,
Heralds the beam of sunshine
Chasing the dark away.
Roses of deepest dye;
Red as the sunlit sky.
Blushes those cheeks suffusing,
Cupid’s enchantments prove;
Prove that the little archer
Whispers to you of love.
Paolo here at last!
Where has he been in hiding?
He ought to be ashamed,
But we must not be chiding.
I’m glad to find you all so bright and gay,
Please, fairies, sing before you run away.
We’ve played so long, the hours of morn will pass
E’re we can sip the dewdrops from the grass
And glean the jewels from the lily’s cup.
The sunbeams now are gathering them up.
Then we must weave some garments for our
No lighter gossamer was ever seen
Than spider web woven by fairy hands
To wear when dancing on the moonlit sands.
So now good-bye, we all must skip away;
(We’ll take dear Cupid with us, if we may,
To catch the butterflies and paint their wings.)
We wish you all the joy that springtime brings,
[Fairies and Cupid Exit]
Paolo, turning to Virginia—
’Tis thoughts of you have sped me on my way;
Virginia, dear, I seek your hand to-day.
[Paolo, taking Virginia’s hands, looks into her eyes.]
Deep in your eyes are glowing
Lights that are soft and true;
While in their centre mirrored
Is the love that I feel for you.
Though but reflections
Mirrored in loving eyes,
Such pretty fancies
Deepen our glad surprise.
Love lights so true and tender,
Framing my picture there,
Rival in warmth and splendour
Flashes from jewels rare.
My love had wildly fluttered to be free,
It beat its wings against the prison bars;
But now I know it yearned but unto thee
Of all beneath the sun and silent stars.
It sought with passion’s ardency
Some haven wherein it could welcome rest;
It only needed Cupid’s dart to teach,
The goal it sought for was within your breast.
[Paolo encircles Virginia with his arm]
Your lips, for kisses ripe,
In sweetest lines are laid;
You lift your face to mine
For love has confidence
And nought but love repays
The sweet confiding trust
Your nestling touch conveys.