(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

Archibald Lampman

You sing of winter gray and chill,
Of silent stream and frozen lake,
Of naked woods, and winds that wake
To shriek and sob o'er vale and hill.

And straight we breathe the bracing air,
And see stretched out before our eyes
A white world spanned by brooding skies,
And snowflakes drifting everywhere.

You sing of tender things and sweet,
Of field, of brook, of flower, of bush,
The lilt of bird, the sunset flush,
The scarlet poppies in the wheat.

Until we feel the gleam and glow
Of summer pulsing through our veins,
And hear the patter of the rains,
And watch the green things sprout and grow.

You sing of joy, and we do mark
How glad a thing is life, and dear;
Of sorrow, and we seem to hear
The sound of sobbing in the dark.

The subtle power to sway and move,
The stamp of genius strong and true,
This, friend, was heaven's gift to you,
This made you great and won you love.

Your song goes ringing clear and sweet-
Though on earth's bosom, bare and brown,
All willingly you laid you down,
The music is not incomplete.

Sleep on, it is not by the years
We measure life when all is done;
Your rest is earned, your laurels won;
Sleep, softly sleep, we say with tears.

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Comments (1)

This magnificent poem sums up one of my heroes, Archibald Lampman, to perfection