Stephan G. Stephansson was born in Iceland in 1853. He emigrated with his parents in 1873 to northern Wisconsin. In 1880 he moved to Dakota and from there to a homestead near what was to become the village of Markerville in 1889. His life in Alberta spans a crucial period in the history of the province. From the pioneer years that were linked with the development of the railway to the modest recovery in the late 1920s from the severe recession that followed the Great War of 1914-18. His career also reflects the history of the Icelandic settlement in the Canadian West. At the same time, Stephansson achieved great distinction as a poet, recognized not only by the Icelandic community in ... more »
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It was formerly believed, on a sea-battered shore
though the storm at home blasted,
that in the distant west there still lay lands,
where calm and sun never ended,
for there the good season had found it's retreat
and freedom and compassion - all that is best.
They set no sail, but thought high,
by the ocean they dreaming stood,
as the sun slid into the lowest west
in the evening's blue-misted spring dusk,
then hope and desire glide out with the breeze
on the still-blank, sun gilt, wide armed sea.
Though oceans still flood, that separate lands,