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On a Primitive Canoe

Written by: Claude McKay | Biography
 | Quotes (1) |
 Here, passing lonely down this quiet lane, 
Before a mud-splashed window long I pause 
To gaze and gaze, while through my active brain 
Still thoughts are stirred to wakefulness; because 
Long, long ago in a dim unknown land, 
A massive forest-tree, ax-felled, adze-hewn, 
Was deftly done by cunning mortal hand 
Into a symbol of the tender moon. 
Why does it thrill more than the handsome boat 
That bore me o'er the wild Atlantic ways, 
And fill me with rare sense of things remote 
From this harsh land of fretful nights and days? 
I cannot answer but, whate'er it be, 
An old wine has intoxicated me.



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