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The Frogs

Archibald Lampman 1861 (Upper Canada) – 1899 (Ottawa, Canada)

I1.
  Breathers of wisdom won without a quest,
.
  Quaint uncouth dreamers, voices high and strange;
.
  Flutists of lands where beauty hath no change,
.
  And wintry grief is a forgotten guest,
.
  Sweet murmurers of everlasting rest,
.
  For whom glad days have ever yet to run,
.
  And moments are as aeons, and the sun
.
  But ever sunken half-way toward the west.1.
  Often to me who heard you in your day,
.

  With close rapt ears, it could not choose but seem
.

  That earth, our mother, searching in what way
.

  Men's hearts might know her spirit's inmost-dream;
.

  Ever at rest beneath life's change and stir,
.

  Made you her soul, and bade you pipe for her.II2.
  In those mute days when spring was in her glee,
.
  And hope was strong, we knew not why or how,
.
  And earth, the mother, dreamed with brooding brow,
.
  Musing on life, and what the hours might be,
.
  When love should ripen to maternity,
.
  Then like high flutes in silvery interchange
.
  Ye piped with voices still and sweet and strange,
.
  And ever as ye piped, on every tree2.
  The great buds swelled; among the pensive woods
.

  The spirits of first flowers awoke and flung
.

  From buried faces the close-fitting hoods,
.

  And listened to your piping till they fell,
.

  The frail spring-beauty with her perfumed bell,
.

  The wind-flower, and the spotted adder-tongue.III3.
  All the day long, wherever pools might be
.
  Among the golden meadows, where the air
.
  Stood in a dream, as it were moorèd there
.
  For ever in a noon-tide reverie,
.
  Or where the birds made riot of their glee
.
  In the still woods, and the hot sun shone down,
.
  Crossed with warm lucent shadows on the brown
.
  Leaf-paven pools, that bubbled dreamily, 3.
  Or far away in whispering river meads
.

  And watery marshes where the brooding noon,
.

  Full with the wonder of its own sweet boon,
.

  Nestled and slept among the noiseless reeds,
.

  Ye sat and murmured, motionless as they,
.

  With eyes that dreamed beyond the night and day.IV4.
  And when day passed and over heaven's height,
.
  Thin with the many stars and cool with dew,
.
  The fingers of the deep hours slowly drew
.
  The wonder of the ever-healing night,
.
  No grief or loneliness or rapt delight
.
  Or weight of silence ever brought to you
.
  Slumber or rest; only your voices grew
.
  More high and solemn; slowly with hushed flight4.
  Ye saw the echoing hours go by, long-drawn,
.

  Nor ever stirred, watching with fathomless eyes,
.

  And with your countless clear antiphonies
.

  Filling the earth and heaven, even till dawn,
.

  Last-risen, found you with its first pale gleam,
.

  Still with soft throats unaltered in your dream.V5.
  And slowly as we heard you, day by day,
.
  The stillness of enchanted reveries
.
  Bound brain and spirit and half-closèd eyes,
.
  In some divine sweet wonder-dream astray;
.
  To us no sorrow or upreared dismay
.
  Nor any discord came, but evermore
.
  The voices of mankind, the outer roar,
.
  Grew strange and murmurous, faint and far away. 5.
  Morning and noon and midnight exquisitely,
.

  Rapt with your voices, this alone we knew,
.

  Cities might change and fall, and men might die,
.

  Secure were we, content to dream with you
.

  That change and pain are shadows faint and fleet,
.

  And dreams are real, and life is only sweet.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:45 min read
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Archibald Lampman

Archibald Lampman FRSC was a Canadian poet. "He has been described as 'the Canadian Keats;' and he is perhaps the most outstanding exponent of the Canadian school of nature poets." The Canadian Encyclopedia says that he is "generally considered the finest of Canada's late 19th-century poets in English." Lampman is classed as one of Canada's Confederation Poets, a group which also includes Charles G.D. Roberts, Bliss Carman, and Duncan Campbell Scott. more…

All Archibald Lampman poems | Archibald Lampman Books

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    "The Frogs" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/3692/the-frogs>.

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