Above St. Irénée (Poem by Duncan Campbell Scott)

Suggested Poem


Above St. Irénée
By Duncan Campbell Scott


I rested on the breezy height,
    In cooler shade and clearer air,
        Beneath a maple tree;
            Below, the mighty river took
Its sparkling shade and sheeny light
    Down to the sombre sea,
        And clustered by the leaping brook,
    The roofs of white St. Irénée.

The sapphire hills on either hand
    Broke down upon the silver tide,
        The river ran in streams,
            In streams of mingled azure-grey,
With here a broken purple band,
    And whorls of drab, and beams
        Of shattered silver light astray,
    Where far away the south shore gleams.

I walked a mile along the height
    Between the flowers upon the road,
        Asters and golden-rod;
            And in the gardens pinks and stocks,
And gaudy poppies shaking light,
    And daisies blooming near the sod,
        And lowly pansies set in flocks,
    With purple monkshood overawed.

And there I saw a little child
    Between the tossing golden-rod,
        Coming along to me;
            She was a tender little thing,
So fragile-sweet, so Mary-mild,
    I thought her name Marie;
        No other name methought could cling
    To any one so fair as she.

And when we came at last to meet,
    I spoke a simple word to her,
        ‘Where are you going, Marie?’
            She answered and she did not smile,
But oh! her voice, — her voice so sweet,
    ‘Down to St. Irénée,’
        And so passed on to walk her mile,
    And left the lonely road to me.

And as the night came on apace,
    With stars above the darkened hills,
        I heard perpetually,
            Chiming along the falling hours,
On the deep dusk that mellow phrase,
    ‘Down to St. Irénée:’
        It seemed as if the stars and flowers
    Should all go there with me.

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