Camp Dreams…

Camp Dreams
I sigh for the scent of the pines,
 I weep for the western wind,
I long for the laughing riplets
 That waft me on from behind.

Away in the uplands of the North
 In my dreams I seek repose.
Peacefully paddling my birch canoe
 On waters that no one knows.

O where shall the spirit survive,
 Or this longing be laid to rest ?
Can ye answer me this, O Wisdom --
 Except in the land of the blest ?

Except in the land of lonely pine
 Which never man hath crossed :
Except in the land of Nature's God
 Where only man is lost.

That region lying beyond the hills,
 That land behind the range,
O, for the gift of God to be there,
 And O for a quick exchange !

And as I think of those azure skies,
 Those lakes of waters clear,
I feel the breath of evening,
 And hear what none else may here.

The song of the paddle pervades the air,
 The breath of the balsam my speech,
And as I dream, I am wafted along
 To the shore of that silvery beach.

Then in fond mem'ry spring there up
 Feelings I cannot express,
Something keeps always urging me on
 'Tis unspeakable loneliness.

And in my dreams I cross the lake,
 And reach the farther shore,
Where my aching mind and tired limbs
 Find peace for evermore.

And as I sight to be at rest,
 Mem'ry comes out of the Past,
God only knows, for man cannot tell
That out of this beautiful lake --ah, well,
 The portage may be my last.

–Peregrine Acland

From The College Times, Easter 1907, pp. 44-45.

When you’re done cringing, recall this is the work of sixteen year old.


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