Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
Epitaph for a Voyageur
By Theodore Goodridge Roberts (1877–1953)
CHANGE was his mistress, Chance his counsellor.
  Love could not keep him. Duty forged no chain.
The wide seas and the mountains called to him,
  The grey dawns saw his camp-fires in the rain.
Sweet hands might tremble—Ay, but he must go.        5
  Revel might hold him for a little space,
But turning, past the laughter and the lamps,
  His eyes must ever catch the luring face.
Dear lips might question! Yea, and ask again.
  Rare lips, aquiver silently implore,        10
But ever he must turn his furtive head,
  And hear the other summons at the door.
Change was his mistress, Chance his counsellor,
  The dark firs knew his whistle up the trail.
Why tarries he to-day?—and yesternight        15
  Adventure lit her stars without avail!

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