The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, October 1909
Ship Cove; Queen Charlotte Sound
Ship Cove; Queen Charlotte Sound.
Hush! Do you think he ever trod this rood?
Mayhap his pinnace furrowed wave and sand
Twin-shadowed by the rata and the pine;
And where the fantails flutter on a stair
No three feet from the ripple, it may be
He stooped to pluck a lucid stalk that held
In sap old memories of the Yorkshire wold.
His keen grey eye would mark the creek that slid
Through yonder thicket like a fugue that winds
Through organ pipes to fall at last, desired,
Smooth, delicate, a messenger of peace.
Suppose he carved a name upon a bole,
A word, a letter only; if it strayed
Long after through the moss, and fret of years,
A tortive hieroglyph—why, we would stoop
To let it lie entangled in our eyes;
Seeing no other, for a moment fused
Suddenly with the past; and we should be
kindred to the Olympian days when time
Stole through the fiord like rower who delays
To watch the sunset; all forgetting, all
Inheriting the magic of the place
The father of our waters! If he be
One that we share with islands of the foam
Of prodigal madrepores, how great the star
That shines within the double hemisphere.
page 72 What are we worthy if we gather up
The richness of our land, and falter not
When our remembrance lingers in this cove
Like aureole of his brightness. Let the tide
Flow ever through impediment of calm,
To lull the ancient haunt of great design
And great achievement. Where a full-veined heart
Hath made a covenant, established it,
Never should any vexing of espial
Come near to palter with the memory.
But troubled gratitude that cannot pour
Enough in thankfulness should be our veil;
And thoughts that are too pure, too deep, for words
Should wreathe a sanctity that is not ours.