Night among the Thousand Islands

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Mysterious falls the moon's transforming light On lichen-covered rock and granite wall,Comes piercing through the hollows of the night The loon's weird, plaintive call.

Like some great regiment upon the shore The stalwart pines go trooping up the hill,And faintly in the distance o'er and o'er Echoes the whip-poor-will.

Like silhouettes the dreaming islands keep Their silent watches, mirrored in the tide,While in their labyrinthine aisles some deep, Still mystery seems to hide.

From out the shadows dim against the sky Come stealing shadow-ships not made of men,Faint phantom-barques that slowly drifting by Are swallowed up again.

While silently beneath, the river flows, Unfathomed, dark, a great resistless tide,Within its bosom deep the virgin snows From many a mountain-side.

And, drifting with the current, how we feel The haunting witchery of Beauty's spell!The world we left behind seems all unreal. Where such enchantments dwell.

The vexing cares that overfill our days Slip stealthily away, and we are wooedBack to the healing, half-forgotten ways Of peace and solitude.

© Coleman Helena Jane