Also known asEmily Pauline Johnson
E. Pauline Johnson
Pauline Johnson was a successful poet in her day, who gave readings and lectures in North America and Europe. Her most famous poem is The Song My Paddle Sings.
The Song My Paddle Sings
West wind, blow from your prairie nest
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
The sail is idle, the sailor too;
O! wind of the west, we wait for you.
I have wooed you so,
But never a favour you bestow.
You rock your cradle the hills between,
But scorn to notice my white lateen.
I stow the sail, unship the mast:
I wooed you long but my wooing's past;
My paddle will lull you into rest.
O! drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
By your mountain steep,
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep!
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
For soft is the song my paddle sings.
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
The river rolls in its rocky bed;
My paddle is plying its way ahead;
While the waters flip
In foam as over their breast we slip.
And oh, the river runs swifter now;
The eddies circle about my bow.
How the ripples curl
In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
And forward far the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin for evermore.
With a mighty crash,
They seethe, and boil, and bound, and splash.
Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves you must plunge into.
On your trembling keel,
But never a fear my craft will feel.
We've raced the rapid, we're far ahead!
The river slips through its silent bed.
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.
InscriptionE Pauline Johnson
1861 - 1913
Her funeral (the largest until then in Vancouver history) was held on what would have been her 52nd birthday. Her ashes were buried near Siwash Rock in Vancouver's Stanley Park. (Wikipedia).
All flags in Vancouver flew at half-mast the day she was buried. Her funeral procession included all of the city's distinguished men and women, and representatives from every society and club. A large group of Squamish peoples with their chief, the son of Pauline's friend Chief Joe Capilano, walked near the end of the procession. Before her death, Pauline had asked to be buried in Stanley Park, her favourite place in Vancouver. She is the only person who has ever been buried in the park. Although she had requested that her grave site have no monument, a large stone with her picture and Mohawk designs was placed there later by the Women's Canadian Club. (Biography Pauline Johnson Project, McMaster University)