Poetry of Kansas

My Island

The river lay palely ashimmer
'Neath the mist of the dawning___the sky
Arched violet, with pale stars aquiver
Dim lamps here and there set on high.
The trees were blurred clusters, soft rimming
The white of the river's smooth sheen,
When my soft-paddled boat did discover
An islet, the green banks between.
Upon its one treetop was singing, a thrush,
And beneath bramble shade,
Two tiny brown rabbits were springing
At play near my prow, unafraid.
Just a flower or two sprung from the grasses
Just a red berry glowed on a vine,
But that bit of an island seemed Eden
And the airs that it breathed seemed divine.
And pent mid the rush of the city
With its hot panting call at my feet,
I often remember my island
And dream of that morning air sweet.
Afloat on the dawn-gloried river
I glide to its green banks again,
And rest in its peace-giving beauty,
Forgetting my toil and my pain.
And this dream of an island, this mirage,
Keeps me brave mid the pulse of the feet
And the cruel heavy burden I carry,
E'en turning my bitter bread sweet.
And like the pure Master in Canaan
This little dream-island of mine
Works a miracle past all believing
And changes life's salt drink to wine.

__Louisa Cooke Don Carlos.

Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
page 50
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

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October 29, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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