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Re "The Old Canoe"

Discussion in 'Books, Videos, and the Like' started by Rob Stevens, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    I found this piece posted in the Michigan Chapter newsletter particularly evocative. Thought I'd post it verbatim for those who might not have read an out of their area Chapter newsetter.

    The Old Canoe

    My seams gape wide so I’m tossed aside to rot on lonely shore,
    While leaves and mold like a shroud enfold for the last of my trials are o’ver,
    But I float in dreams on Northland streams
    As I lie on the marge of the old portage
    With grief for company.

    Do the cow-moose call on the Montreal
    When the frost bites the air,
    And the mist unfold from the red and gold
    That autumn ridges wear?
    When the white falls roar as they did of yore
    On the Lady Evelyn
    Do the square tail leap on the black poles deep
    Where the picture rocks begin?

    Oh! The fur fleets sing on Temiscaming,
    As the ashen paddles bend,
    And the crews carouse at Rupert House,
    As the sullen winter’s end;
    But my days are done where the lean wolves run,
    And I ripple no more the path
    Where the gray geese race ‘cross the red moose’s face
    From the white wind’s Arctic wrath.

    Though the death ‘fraught way from the Saguenay
    To the storied Nipigon
    Once knew me well, now crumbling shell I watch the years roll on,
    While in memory’s haze I live the days
    That forever are gone from me,
    As I rot on the marge of the old portage
    With grief for company.

    George T. March circa 1878
  2. Danroy

    Danroy Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Thanks for posting the poem Rob. I'm always interested in learning and hearing more about our Canadian canoeing heritage and this piece really resonated well with me.

  3. WoodNCanvas

    WoodNCanvas LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Additional verse written by Kirk Wipper for Kanawa Collection (now the Canadian Canoe Museum):

    Tho’ they rest inside, in our dreams they’ll glide

    On the crests of streams of yore.

    In the mid-day sun, they’ll make their run

    and night on a distant shore.

    The travelers are gone their unmatched brawn

    Who plied the mapless ways

    But their craft we keep tho the paddlers sleep.

    Their stars we seek today.

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