THE cold airs from the river creep
About the murky town,
The spectral willows, half-asleep,
Trail their long tresses down
Where the dim tide goes wandering slow,
Sad with perpetual ebb and flow.
The great blind river, cold and wide,
Goes groping by the shore,
And still where water and land divide
He murmurs evermore
The overword of an old song,
The echo of an ancient wrong.
There is no sound ‘twixt stream and sky,
But white mists walk the strand,
Waifs of the night that wander by,
Wraiths from the river-land—
While here, beneath the dripping trees,
Stray other souls more lost than these.
Voiceless and visionless they fare,
Known all too well to me—
Ghosts of the years that never were,
The years that could not be—
And still, beneath the eternal skies
The old blind river gropes and sighs.
Marriott-Watson, Rosamund. “Children of the Mist.” The Yellow Book, vol. 12, January 1897, pp. 281-282. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2020. https://1890s.ca/YBV12_marriotwatson_children/