Spring in the Foothills…

Spring In The Foothills

RIDE!  Ride!                                                                                                                                         For the Winter snows have run                                                                                                      From their foe, the April sun,                                                                                                         And the roses rise in pride on the grassy mountain side,                                                       (Then ride !)                                                                                                                                   Where the echo of my shout                                                                                                       Comes a-rolling round about,                                                                                                            As if winding on his horn had young Spring himself replied.

Ride !  Ride !                                                                                                                                        For the timid calves are bawling,                                                                                                   And the antelopes are calling,                                                                                                         And each buck to each doe has cried that Winter at last has died.                                      (Then ride !)                                                                                                                                    When the scented winds blow strong,                                                                                          And the old Earth-love calls long,                                                                                             Swiftly leap into your saddle and westward, westward ride !

–Peregrine Acland

From: The Canadian Magazine, Toronto, Vol. XL, No. 6.   April 1913.  Page 546.

To date, this is the earliest sample of writing I have of Acland’s, through I do know that newspaper pieces exist from the Ottawa Free Press, where he was a “cub reporter” and the Toronto Globe.

The all-caps beginning “RIDE !” is probably an editorial/formatting flourish in the original, and not Acland (as it’s not repeated in the second stanza), but I’ve reproduced it according to the original.

Two months after the publication of this poem, Acland would find himself heeding his own advice, heading west himself to assume the editor’s position at the Prince Rupert Daily News.

The poem is of obvious interest in relation to the opening chapters of All Else is Folly as well, I suppose, compared to “The Reville of Romance.”

Acland wrote a short story called Larraby’s Lope for the April 1907 issue of the Canadian Magazine that also deals with Alberta and horses and cowboys.  It’s available here.  Acland was a month shy of 16 at the time of publication.  I’ll post it later.

The image above is from the front cover of the May 1913 edition, i.e., a month later.  I haven’t got a scan of April, but will replace the image when I get round to it.

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