The Departing of Gluskâp

It is so long ago; and men well-nigh
  Forget what gladness was, and how the earth
  Gave corn in plenty, and the rivers fish,
  And the woods meat, before he went away.
  His going was on this wise.
  All the works
  And words and ways of men and beasts became
  Evil, and all their thoughts continually
  Were but of evil. Then he made a feast.
 Upon the shore that is beside the sea
 That takes the setting sun, he ordered it,
 And called the beasts thereto. Only the men
 He called not, seeing them evil utterly.
 He fed the panther's crafty brood, and filled
 The lean wolf's hunger; from the hollow tree
 His honey stayed the bear's terrific jaws;
 And the brown rabbit couched at peace, within
 The circling shadow of the eagle's wings.
 And when the feast was done he told them all
 That now, because their ways were evil grown,
 On that same day he must depart from them,
 And they should look upon his face no more.
 Then all the beasts were very sorrowful.

 It was near sunset, and the wind was still,
 And down the yellow shore a thin wave washed
 Slowly; and Gluskâp launched his birch canoe,
 And spread his yellow sail, and moved from shore,
 Though no wind followed, streaming in the sail,
 Or roughening the clear waters after him.
 And all the beasts stood by the shore, and watched.
 Then to the west appeared a long red trail
 Over the wave; and Gluskâp sailed and sang
 Till the canoe grew little, like a bird,
 And black, and vanished in the shining trail.
 And when the beasts could see his form no more,
 They still could hear him, singing as he sailed,
 And still they listened, hanging down their heads
 In long row, where the thin wave washed and fled.
 But when the sound of singing died, and when
 They lifted up their voices in their grief,
 Lo! on the mouth of every beast a strange
 New tongue! Then rose they all and fled apart,
 Nor met again in council from that day.

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"The Departing of Gluskâp" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 28 May 2020. <âp>.

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