In the Shadows
I am sailing to the leeward, Where the current runs to seaward Soft and slow, Where the sleeping river grasses Brush my paddle as it passes To and fro. On the shore the heat is shaking All the golden sands awaking In the cove; And the quaint sand-piper, winging O'er the shallows, ceases singing When I move. On the water's idle pillow Sleeps the overhanging willow, Green and cool; Where the rushes lift their burnished Oval heads from out the tarnished Emerald pool. Where the very silence slumbers, Water lilies grow in numbers, Pure and pale; All the morning they have rested, Amber crowned, and pearly crested, Fair and frail. Here, impossible romances, Indefinable sweet fancies, Cluster round; But they do not mar the sweetness Of this still September fleetness With a sound. I can scarce discern the meeting Of the shore and stream retreating, So remote; For the laggard river, dozing, Only wakes from its reposing Where I float. Where the river mists are rising, All the foliage baptizing With their spray; There the sun gleams far and faintly, With a shadow soft and saintly, In its ray. And the perfume of some burning Far-off brushwood, ever turning To exhale All its smoky fragrance dying, In the arms of evening lying, Where I sail. My canoe is growing lazy, In the atmosphere so hazy, While I dream; Half in slumber I am guiding, Eastward indistinctly gliding Down the stream.
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