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William Wilfred Campbell (1858?-1918)

An October Evening


              1The woods are haggard and lonely,
              2     The skies are hooded for snow,
              3The moon is cold in Heaven,
              4     And the grasses are sere below.

              5The bearded swamps are breathing
              6     A mist from meres afar,
              7And grimly the Great Bear circles
              8     Under the pale Pole Star.

              9There is never a voice in Heaven,
            10     Nor ever a sound on earth,
            11Where the spectres of winter are rising
            12     Over the night's wan girth.

            13There is slumber and death in the silence,
            14     There is hate in the winds so keen;
            15And the flash of the north's great sword-blade
            16     Circles its cruel sheen.

            17The world grows agèd and wintry,
            18     Love's face peakèd and white;
            19And death is kind to the tired ones
            20     Who sleep in the north to-night.

Notes

4] sere: withered.

6] meres: pools of water.

7] Great Bear: the constellation Ursa Major.

12] wan girth: the dark band of night encircling the northern hemisphere.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Wilfred Campbell, The Dread Voyage: Poems (Toronto: William Briggs, 1893), pp. 141-42. B-10 5840 Fisher Library.
First publication date: 1893
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 4:2002/1/17

Rhyme: abcb


Other poems by William Wilfred Campbell