Prev Next

It was Yaada, lovely Yaada, who first taught the stream its sighing, For 'twas silent till her coming, and 'twas voiceless as the shore; But throughout the great forever it will sing the song undying That the lips of lovers sing for evermore.

He was chief of all the Squamish, and he ruled the coastal waters-- And he warred upon her people in the distant Charlotte Isles; She, a winsome basket weaver, daintiest of Haida daughters, Made him captive to her singing and her smiles.

Till his hands forgot to havoc and his weapons lost their lusting, Till his stormy eyes allured her from the land of Totem Poles, Till she followed where he called her, followed with a woman's trusting, To the canyon where the Capilano rolls.

And the women of the Haidas plied in vain their magic power, Wailed for many moons her absence, wailed for many moons their prayer, "Bring her back, O Squamish foeman, bring to us our Yaada flower!"

But the silence only answered their despair.

But the men were swift to battle, swift to cross the coastal water, Swift to war and swift of weapon, swift to paddle trackless miles, Crept with stealth along the canyon, stole her from her love and brought her Once again unto the distant Charlotte Isles.

But she faded, ever faded, and her eyes were ever turning Southward toward the Capilano, while her voice had hushed its song, And her riven heart repeated words that on her lips were burning: "Not to friend--but unto foeman I belong.

"Give me back my Squamish lover--though you hate, I still must love him.

"Give me back the rugged canyon where my heart must ever be-- Where his lodge awaits my coming, and the Dream Hills lift above him, And the Capilano learned its song from me."

But through long-forgotten seasons, moons too many to be numbered, He yet waited by the canyon--she called across the years, And the soul within the river, though centuries had slumbered, Woke to sob a song of womanly tears.

For her little, lonely spirit sought the Capilano canyon, When she died among the Haidas in the land of Totem Poles, And you yet may hear her singing to her lover-like companion, If you listen to the river as it rolls.

But 'tis only when the pearl and purple smoke is idly swinging From the fires on Lulu Island to the hazy mountain crest, That the undertone of sobbing echoes through the river's singing, In the Capilano canyon of the West.

[5] "The Ballad of Yaada" is the last complete poem written by the author. It was placed for publication with the "Saturday Night" of Toronto, and did not appear in print until several months after Miss Johnson's death.



Time and its ally, Dark Disarmament, Have compassed me about, Have massed their armies, and on battle bent My forces put to rout; But though I fight alone, and fall, and die, Talk terms of Peace? Not I.

They war upon my fortress, and their guns Are shattering its walls; My army plays the cowards' part, and runs, Pierced by a thousand balls; They call for my surrender. I reply, "Give quarter now? Not I."

They've shot my flag to ribbons, but in rents It floats above the height; Their ensign shall not crown my battlements While I can stand and fight.

I fling defiance at them as I cry, "Capitulate? Not I."

[6] E. Pauline Johnson died March 7th, 1913. Shortly after the doctors told her that her illness would be her final one, she wrote the above poem, taking a line from Tennyson as her theme.

Report error

If you found broken links, wrong episode or any other problems in a anime/cartoon, please tell us. We will try to solve them the first time.