Rivière Perdue

Original Text: 
Seranus, Later Poems and New Villanelles (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1928): 7-8.
2Between steep banks of slaty shale,
4'Tis a strange stream that meets their view,
5Among its rushes, starved and pale,
6Lost River hides--Rivière Perdue!
7To where it goes there seems no clue,
8It follows some mysterious trail
9Known but to Emile's sullen crew,
10And even they fail to pursue
12Lost River hides--Rivière Perdue,
13Perchance a secret shared by few,
14Some sorry deed--so runs the tale--
15Known but to Emile's sullen crew.
16Thus comes it, silence fills the blue,
17No song is heard, no friendly hail.
18Lost River hides--Rivière Perdue!
19Known but to Emile's sullen crew.


1] Rivière Perdue: a stream in the interior Quebec wilds. Back to Line
3] Emile: evidently a coureur de bois, a voyageur. Unidentified, if historical. Back to Line
11] Ste. Adèle: northerly town in central Quebec. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: