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Lily Bed, The Analysis

Author: Poetry of Isabella Valancy Crawford Type: Poetry Views: 243

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His cedar paddle, scented, red,

He thrust down through the lily bed;

Cloaked in a golden pause he lay,

Locked in the arms of the placid bay.

Trembled alone his bark canoe

As shocks of bursting lilies flew

Thro' the still crystal of the tide,

And smote the frail boat's birchen side;

Or, when beside the sedges thin

Rose the sharp silver of a fin;

Or when, a wizard swift and cold,

A dragon-fly beat on in gold

And jewels all the widening rings

Of waters singing to his wings;

Or, like a winged and burning soul,

Dropped from the gloom an oriole

On the cool wave, as to the balm

Of the Great Spirit's open palm

The freed soul flies. And silence clung

To the still hours, as tendrilts hung,

In darkness carven, from the trees,

Sedge-buried to their burly knees.

Stillness sat in his lodge of leaves;

Clung golden shadows to its eaves,

And on its cone-speced floor, like maize,

Red-ripe, fell sheaves of knotted rays.

The wood, a proud and crested brave;

Bead-bright, a maiden, stood the wave.

And he had spoke his soul of love

With voice of eagle and of dove.

Of loud, strong pines his tongue was made;

His lips, soft blossoms in the shade,

That kissed her silver lips--hers cool

As lilies on his inmost pool--

Till now he stood, in triumph's rest,

His image painted in her breast.

One isle 'tween blue and blue did melt,--

A bead of wampum from the belt

Of Manitou--a purple rise

On the far shore heaved to the skies.

His cedar paddle, scented, red,

He drew up from the lily bed;

All lily-locked, all lily-locked,

His light bark in the blossoms rocked.

Their cool lips round the sharp prow sang,

Their soft clasp to the frail sides sprang,

With breast and lip they wove a bar.

Stole from her lodge the Evening Star;

With golden hand she grasped the mane

Of a red cloud on her azure plain.

It by the peaked, red sunset flew;

Cool winds from its bright nostrils blew.

They swayed the high, dark trees,and low

Swept the locked lilies to and fro.

With cedar paddle, scented, red,

He pushed out from the lily bed.


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