Among the Foot-hills of the Rockies

Original Text: 
Mary Electa Adams, From Distant Shores: Poems ([Toronto: 1898]): [24]. Internet Archive
2The long, long summer day--the lingering afternoon,
3And Nature here has phases all her own
5From yonder towering two-leaved mountain gates,
6O'erhung with drapery of rose and pearl,
7Past winding slopes, along the valley's length,
8In deep concealment now, now flashing by,
9Contemptuous of delay, flinging a kiss
10In passing; lost at length in hazy light.
11What hands have levelled all those terraces
12That look upon his course? Now see aloft
13Where swaths of shadow fall and slide
14Among the gold upon the dimpled hills,
15Cadenced in their vast and rhythmic sweep,
16By hollows and by seams that once were filled
17With rushing torrents. See! see how they lie
18Fold upon fold, in cycles of the past,
19Or wind or wave-swept into glorious shapes,
20And piled against the azure of the heavens.
21These undulating lines, like silenced waves
22Taken in mid-course of their unrivalled leap,
23To fix forever their unresting course,
24Seem to my eyes, in the calm evenings, still
25To palpitate away into the moving sky.


1] Adams lived with her unmarried sister Augusta Minerva (born October 1, 1830) and her nephew Lucius in Morley, southern Alberta, from 1892 to 1898, setting up cattle ranching. In 2001, Morley had 35 people in eight houses, living 60 kilometres west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway along the Banff.-Calgary corridor. It is the domain of the Chiniki first Nation. Visible to the west from the foothills are the beginnings of the Rocky mountain range, particularly End Mountain, Association Peak, Mount Yamnuska, and Old Goat Mountain. Back to Line
4] the river; the Bow River, flowing east from Bow Lake in the Rockies through Calgary. Morley today stands between Bow River and the Trans-Canada Highway. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: