Canadian Singers and Their Songs/Edward William Thomson

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Page148 CanadianSingersAndTheirSongs ThomsonEdward.jpg

EDWARD WILLIAM THOMSON

AUTHOR OF "THE MANY-MANSIONED HOUSE AND OTHER POEMS,"
"OLD MAN SAVARIN," ETC.

From

The Willow Whistle.

A day when April willows fringed the pool
Of fifty years ago with freshening gold,
Myself came trudging from the country school
With my tall grandsire of the wars of old;
His peaceful pen-knife trimmed a ravished shoot,
Nicked deep the green and hollowed out the white,
To fashion for the child a willow flute,
His age exulting in the shrill delight;
"For so," he said "my grandsire made
The sweetest whistle ever blew,
When I and he were you and me
And all the world was new."

Now grandson "Billy" snuggles palm in mine,
"Over the hills," he blows, "and far away."
O pipe of Arcady, how clear and fine
Thy single note salutes the yearning day!
The breeze in branches bare, the whistling wing,
The subtle-bubbling frog, the blue-birds call,
The quivering sounds of ever-piercing Spring,
That one thin willow note attunes them all:
And, far and near at once, I hear
The sweetest whistle ever blew,
Lilting again the older strain,
And all the world is new.

———

E. W. Thomson

———