Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
The Voyageur’s Song
By John F. McDonnell
WE track the herds o’er the prairies wide,
  Through the length of the summer day;
And guide the canoe on the rapid’s tide,
  Where the waters flash in the ray;
Where the silvery scales of the salmon glance        5
  On the bosom of the pool;
And we rest our wearied limbs at eve,
  In the shade of the pine-trees cool,
Let others toil for golden store;
  For riches little we care;        10
      Oh, the happiest life
      In this world of strife
  Is that of a Voyageur.
When the red sun sinks in the golden west,
  At evening when he goes        15
With ministering hosts of the golden clouds,
  To seek the night’s repose—
We pitch our tents on the soft green sward,
  And we light our evening fire,
And we mingle strains of our Northern land        20
  With the notes of the forest choir.
Time flies along, with jest and song,
  For our merry men are there;
      Oh, there ’s not a life
      In this world of strife        25
  Like that of a Voyageur.
Oh, sweet and soft are our couches made
  With the broad green summer leaves,
And the curtains spread above the head
  Are those which Nature weaves.        30
The tall oak and the spreading elm
  Are twined in a tangled screen,—
Surpassing far all the magic skill
  Of the sculptor’s art e’er seen.
We shun the noise of the busy world,        35
  For there ’s crime and misery there;
      And the happiest life
      In this world of strife
  Is that of a Voyageur.

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