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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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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:13 min read
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Emily Pauline Johnson

Emily Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake commonly known as E Pauline Johnson or just Pauline Johnson was a Canadian writer and performer popular in the late 19th century Pauline Johnson was notable for her poems and performances that celebrated her aboriginal heritage One such poem is the frequently anthologized The Song My Paddle Sings Her poetry was published in Canada the United States and Great Britain Johnson was one of a generation of widely read writers who began to define a Canadian national literature more…

All Emily Pauline Johnson poems | Emily Pauline Johnson Books

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    "In the shadows" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 30 Jul 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/12590/in-the-shadows>.

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