Original Text: 
Mary Electa Adams, From Distant Shores: Poems ([Toronto: 1898]): [8-10]. Internet Archive
1The sunlight through the open door
2Comes in, and streams along the floor,
3The slant rays of a falling August sun
4Well-nigh throughout its sultry circuit run;
5And hushed is every sound of breeze or leaf or bird,
6Save the low trill of insects, past the lattice heard,
7        In the dry grass
8        As the hours pass.
9I sit alone, unless those forms,
10Familiar through the calms and storms
11Of many a year of summer bloom and winter rude,
12To all this loveliness and solitude,
13Command a presence here and, gliding in,
14Keep company with silence for a hymn.
15        I think they do
16        As falls the dew.
17But be it that they dwell afar,
18Beyond the range of sun or star,
19And visit never more this pleasant spot
20We walked together, it is not forgot:
21Their image starts from every niche; 'tis there,
23        From flower and tree
24        They look at me.
25Low falls the sun, and paler grows
26The air, dark-thickened as he goes,
27'Till earth is blotted out beneath my gaze,
28And not an object past my vision strays;
29And sense of losing, unsought visitant,
30Hov'ring around each vacant space and haunt,
31        Would break some spell,
32        Yet is it well.
33Sweet mocking visions! Ye would leave,
34As yonder sun the world at eve,
35No light upon the midnight of my thought,
36Deep wrapped in gloom or into frenzy wrought,
37Unless a deeper recollection on me poured,
38A wealth of knowledge in remembrance stored,
39        Which giveth light
40        On my heart's night.
41I love you, O ye shades, but not
42With full and final love; I wot
43Ye are but pictures of an absent face--
44Not that the darksome grave doth so abase
45Beneath the damp and mouldering sod,
46But that which ever-living, ever looks on God.
47        O vision blest!
48        O blessed rest!
49Fade, then, thou sunlight; fade, ye blooms;
50Thou solid earth, fade out; the glooms
51Of nothingness are naught, this mortal sense--
52That blind---each grandeur of the sphere immense--
53How grand---is welcome to depart;
54They cannot leave to vacancy the heart,
55        Which sees afar,
56        Past sun or star,
57        Past day and night,
58        The Infinite light.


22] Daguerreotyped: photographed. In 1839 Daguerre of Paris took impressions on a silver plate sensitized by iodine and then developed them by exposure to mercury vapour. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: