Emily Pauline Johnson
The Ballad Of Yaada (A Legend Of The Pacific Coast) - Poem by Emily Pauline Johnson
There are fires on Lulu Island, and the sky is opalescent
With the pearl and purple tinting from the smouldering of peat.
And the Dream Hills lift their summits in a sweeping, hazy crescent,
With the Capilano canyon at their feet.
There are fires on Lulu Island, and the smoke, uplifting, lingers
In a faded scarf of fragrance as it creeps across the day,
And the Inlet and the Narrows blur beneath its silent fingers,
And the canyon is enfolded in its grey.
But the sun its face is veiling like a cloistered nun at vespers;
As towards the alter candles of the night a censer swings,
And the echo of tradition wakes from slumbering and whispers,
Where the Capilano river sobs and sings.
It was Yaada, lovely Yaada, who first taught the stream its sighing,
For 'twas silent till her coming, and 'twas voiceless as the shore;
But throughout the great forever it will sing the song undying
That the lips of lovers sing for evermore.
He was chief of all the Squamish, and he ruled the coastal waters--
And he warred upon her people in the distant Charlotte Isles;
She, a winsome basket weaver, daintiest of Haida daughters,
Made him captive to her singing and her smiles.
Till his hands forgot to havoc and his weapons lost their lusting,
Till his stormy eyes allured her from the land of Totem Poles,
Till she followed where he called her, followed with a woman's trusting,
To the canyon where the Capilano rolls.
And the women of the Haidas plied in vain their magic power,
Wailed for many moons her absence, wailed for many moons their prayer,
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