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Archibald Lampman


From upland slopes I see the cows file by,
Lowing, great-chested, down the homeward trail,
By dusking fields and meadows shining pale
With moon-tipped dandelions. Flickering high,
A peevish night-hawk in the western sky
Beats up into the lucent solitudes,
Or drops with gliding wing. The stilly woods
Grow dark and deep, and gloom mysteriously.
Cool night winds creep, and whisper in mine ear.
The homely cricket gossips at my feet.
From far-off pools and wastes of reeds I hear,
Clear and soft-piped, the chanting frogs break sweet
In full Pandean chorus. One by one
Shine out the stars, and the great night comes on.

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.


Post New Comment:
Love the moods in this one. Maire
Posted 03/19/2012 10:56 AM
Check the archives; I featured two of Mr. Lampman's poems last year.
Posted 03/18/2012 09:53 PM
I love "gloom" as a verb, and also gossipping crickets! Wonderful imagery, and who cares all that much what kind of sonnet it is? Enjoy, don't dissect!
Posted 03/18/2012 06:59 PM
i hadn't heard of Lampman befoe, but if this is an example, I want to see more. Thanks for introducing him to us.
Posted 03/18/2012 03:32 PM
Looks like Lampman created his own sonnet scheme: beautifull all through in sound and image. Thanks so much.
Posted 03/18/2012 01:43 PM
Marilyn L Taylor:
To my mind, this is definitely an English sonnet, but the poet varied the third quatrain. The first two are rhymed abba (--and I think rhyming "sky" with "mysteriously" is a pretty interesting slant rhyme!)-- but the third is abab. Nice! And I admire the lovely language throughout. Thanks for this discovery, Jayne! I could use some lucent solitudes myself.
Posted 03/18/2012 09:52 AM
Ralph Murre:
Thanks for bringing this one to us, Jayne. I'd swear he'd been listening to Dylan Thomas, except that he pre-dates Thomas, so maybe Dylan listened to Archibald?
Posted 03/18/2012 09:23 AM
As I understand it, sonnets can have a variety of rhyme schemes. This one is abca defd ghig jj and that may be one of the sonnet forms. The rhythm is iambic pentameter with line 12 being a bit off but still honoring the to syllables. Beyond that, what I admire in this poem that is pretty near a sonnet is its unforced rhyme and rhythm. The flow of language is very fluid and natural, and for me, that gives it a dignified quality. What makes it a great poem for me is its powerful images. I really love this poem's pictures and sounds.
Posted 03/18/2012 08:56 AM
Well, it's sonnet-like. Though I don't think it's a traditional sonnet rhyme scheme. kind of a blend : abba acca dede ff it has a lot of iambic p. but not all. and it doesn't have the sonnet shift of thought. so, not sure. but it's beautiful and full of sound.
Posted 03/18/2012 08:17 AM
So beautiful! I am still learning poetic forms and schemes...this seems to have one. Can anyone tell me, what is it?
Posted 03/18/2012 07:55 AM
Kay Sanders:
think, not thing!
Posted 03/18/2012 06:37 AM
Kay Sanders:
I look out my own window and see the "lucent solitudes" and the "stilly woods." That's how I'll always thing of them now.
Posted 03/18/2012 06:36 AM

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