Classic and Contemporary Poetry
SOCOBIE'S PASSING, by THEODORE GOODRIDGE ROBERTS
First Line: Socobie, aged and bent with pain
Last Line: "what voice cries ""farewell"" to our mother saint john?"
Alternate Author Name(s): Roberts, T. G.
Subject(s): Courts & Courtiers; Farewell; Poetry & Poets; Parting
SOCOBIE, aged and bent with pain,
At the time of the year when the red leaves fly,
Crawled from his tent door down to the river.
"I will try my wrist and my skill again
And sweep a paddle before I die."
Time falls the wind falls the gray geese draw on.
There is silence and peace on our mother Saint John.
Socobie, once a king of his tribe,
Once a lover, a poet, a man,
Launched his sun-scarred craft to the river.
"I will try my strength where the rapids jibe
I will run her sheer, as a master can."
At the time of the year when the pass is blue
And the spent leaf falls in the empty wood,
Socobie put out on the merry river;
The brown blade lifted the white canoe
The rapids shouted, the forests stood.
Down in the village the hearths were bright,
And the night-frost gleamed in the after-grass,
And the farmers were homing up from the river,
When out of the star-mist, slender and white
A birch craft leaped and they watched it pass.
Time falls the frost falls the great stars draw on.
What voice cries "Farewell" to our mother Saint John?
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