Duncan Campbell Scott poems

Duncan Campbell Scott(2 August 1862 - 19 December 1947 / Ottawa, Ontario)
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At the Cedars

- by Duncan Campbell Scott 123

You had two girls -- Baptiste --
One is Virginie --
Hold hard -- Baptiste!
Listen to me.

The whole drive was jammed
In that bend at the Cedars,
The rapids were dammed
With the logs tight rammed
And crammed; you might know
The Devil had clinched them below.

We worked three days -- not a budge,
'She's as tight as a wedge, on the ledge,'
Says our foreman;
'Mon Dieu! boys, look here,
We must get this thing clear.'
He cursed at the men
And we went for it then;
With our cant-dogs arow,
We just gave he-yo-ho;
When she gave a big shove
From above.

The gang yelled and tore
For the shore,
The logs gave a grind
Like a wolf's jaws behind,
And as quick as a flash,
With a shove and a crash,
They were down in a mash,
But I and ten more,
All but Isaàc Dufour,
Were ashore.

He leaped on a log in the front of the rush,
And shot out from the bind
While the jam roared behind;
As he floated along
He balanced his pole
And tossed us a song.
But just as we cheered,
Up darted a log from the bottom,
Leaped thirty feet square and fair,
And came down on his own.

He went up like a block
With the shock,
And when he was there
In the air,
Kissed his hand
To the land;
When he dropped
My heart stopped,
For the first logs had caught him
And crushed him;
When he rose in his place
There was blood on his face.

There were some girls, Baptiste,
Picking berries on the hillside,
Where the river curls, Baptiste,
You know -- on the still side
One was down by the water,
She saw Isaàc
Fall back.

She did not scream, Baptiste,
She launched her canoe;
It did seem, Baptiste,
That she wanted to die too,
For before you could think
The birch cracked like a shell
In that rush of hell,
And I saw them both sink --

Baptiste ! --
He had two girls,
One is Virginie,
What God calls the other
Is not known to me.

Improvisation On An Old Song

- by Duncan Campbell Scott 102

(The refrain is quoted by Edward Fitzgerald in
one of his letters)


Growing, growing, all the glory going;
Flashing out of fire and light, burning to a husk,
All the world's a-dying and failing in the dusk--
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Rust is on the door-latch, ashes at the root,
Dry rot in the ridge-pole, canker in the fruit;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Plot, ye subtle statesmen,--a trace of melted wax;
Bind, ye haughty prelates,--a thread of ravelled flax;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

March, ye mighty captains,--an eddy in the dust;
Rave, ye furious lovers,--a stain of crimson rust;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Pictures, poems, music--their essential soul,
Idle as dry roses in a silver bowl;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

London is a hearsay, Paris but a myth,
Rome a wand of sweet-flag withered to the pith;
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._

Palsy shakes the planets, frost has chilled the sun,
In a crushing silence the All is dead and done.
_Growing, growing, all the glory going._


Going, going, all the glory growing,
See it stir and flutter; that is singing, hark!
Singing in the caverns of the primal dark.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

What is in the making, what immortal plan
Draws to its unfolding? 'Tis the Soul of man.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

See it mount and hover, singing as it goes,
Battling with the darkness, nourished by its woes;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The bale-fires of midnight glaring in its eyes,
Past the phantom shadows see it rush and rise;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The supernal morning on its dewy wings,
Soaring and scorning the lust of earthy things;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

The beatific noontide on its eager breast
Springing and singing to its halcyon rest;
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

In its starry vesture not a vestige of the sod,
Winging still and singing to the heart of God.
_Going, going, all the glory growing._

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