Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
From ‘November: A Dirge’
By J. R. Ramsay (1849–1907)
DEPARTING wild birds gather
  On the high branches, ere they haste away,
Singing their farewell to the frigid ether
  And fading day,
To sport no more on withered mead or heather;        5
  No longer gay.
The little cricket’s singing
  Sounds lonely in the crisp and yellow leaves,
Like bygone tones of tenderness upbringing
  A thought that grieves:        10
A bell upon a ruined turret ringing
  On Sabbath eves.
The ‘tempest-loving raven’,
  Pilot of storms across the silent sky,
Soars loftily along the heaving heaven        15
  With doleful cry,
Uttering lone dirges. Thistle-beards are driven
  Where the winds sigh.
And yet here is a flower
  Still lingering, by the changing season spared,        20
And a lone bird within a leafless bower—
  Two friends, who dared
To share the shadows of misfortune’s hour,
  Though unprepared.

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