Shadow River: Muskoka
by E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)
1 A stream of tender gladness,
2 Of filmy sun, and opal tinted skies ;
3 Of warm midsummer air that lightly lies
4 In mystic rings,
5 Where softly swings
6 The music of a thousand wings
7 That almost tones to sadness.
8 Midway 'twixt earth and heaven,
9 A bubble in the pearly air I seem
10 To float upon the sapphire floor, a dream
11 Of clouds of snow,
12 Above, below,
13 Drift with my drifting, dim and slow,
14 As twilight drifts to even.
15 The little fern-leaf, bending
16 Upon the brink, its green reflection greets,
17 And kisses soft the shadow that it meets
18 With touch so fine,
19 The border line
20 The keenest vision can't define ;
21 So perfect is the blending.
22 The far, fir trees that cover
23 The brownish hills with needles green and gold,
24 The arching elms o'erhead, vinegrown and old,
25 Repictured are
26 Beneath me far,
27 Where not a ripple moves to mar
28 Shades underneath, or over.
29 Mine is the undertone ;
30 The beauty, strength, and power of the land
31 Will never stir or bend at my command ;
32 But all the shade
33 Is marred or made,
34 If I but dip my paddle blade ;
35 And it is mine alone.
36 O! pathless world of seeming!
37 O! pathless life of mine whose deep ideal
38 Is more my own than ever was the real.
39 For others Fame
40 And Love's red flame,
41 And yellow gold : I only claim
42 The shadows and the dreaming.