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Archibald Lampman


I saw the city's towers on a luminous pale-gray sky;
Beyond them a hill of the softest mistiest green,
With naught but frost and the coming of night between,
And a long thin cloud above, the colour of August rye.
I sat in the midst of a plain on my snowshoes with bended knee
Where the thin wind stung my cheeks,
And the hard snow ran in little ripples and peaks,
Like the fretted floor of a white and petrified sea.
And a strange peace gathered about my soul and shone,
As I sat reflecting there,
In a world so mystically fair,
So deathly silent--I so utterly alone.

This poem is in the public domain.



Archibald Lampman (1861 - 1899) was a Canadian poet who is often compared to America's Henry David Thoreau. Born and raised in Ontario and drawn to nature from an early age, Archibald was an excellent student but a bout with rheumatic fever left him in less than robust health. He taught briefly before taking a position as a post office clerk, a job he held till his death at the age of 37 from a heart condition caused from his childhood illness. Archibald began writing poetry during his college days, and saw his work published in Canadian, American, and British publications. He authored three books and is respected today as one of Canada's finest poets.


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Lampman so young to die and with such a delicate lovely style. I truly enjoyed this poem, and you are right for it invoked a distinct image in my mind in the happy reading.
Posted 01/26/2019 12:08 PM
Beautiful. " the midst of a plain on my a world so mystically utterly alone." Nothing can compare to a solitary wander on a pair of snowshoes.
Posted 01/26/2019 09:49 AM
A hauntingly-beautiful poem. The ABBA rhyme scheme is so subtle that I missed it on first reading. The mention of his soul and his aloneness "And a strange peace gathered about my soul and shone, // So deathly silent--I so utterly alone." was foreign to the American consciousness.
Posted 01/26/2019 07:48 AM

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