Thistle Blossom


Thistle-Down
by E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake)
1861-1913

Beyond a ridge of pine with russet tips
The west lifts to the sun her longing lips,

Her blushes stain with gold and garnet dye
The shore, the river and the wide far sky;

Like floods of wine the waters filter through
The reeds that brush our indolent canoe.

I beach the bow where sands in shadows lie;
You hold my hand a space, then speak good-bye.

Upwinds your pathway through the yellow plumes
of goldenrod, profuse in August blooms,

And o'er its tossing sprays you toss a kiss;
A moment more, and I see only this -

The idle paddle you so lately held,
The empty bow your pliant wrist propelled,

Some thistles purpling into violet,
Their blossoms with a thousand thorns afret,

And like a cobweb, shadowy and grey,
Far floats their down - far drifts my dream away.