A recent acquisition to the archives was the poems and personal papers of Thomas Pagdin. Mr. Pagdin was born in Yorkshire, England in 1868 and came to Revelstoke in about 1909. In the 1930s and 1940s he began publishing poems in the Revelstoke Review newspaper under the pen name “Ivanhoe.” He eventually published a book of poems, including the one here, inspired by a hike to Eva Lake on Mount Revelstoke National Park.
Ode to Eva Lake: August 11 – 17, 1936:
A pilgrim – tired, yet not disconsolate;
The winding trail was long and steep:
The load was heavy and (for such is fate),
It grew in weight enough to keep
The panting pilgrim longing for trail’s end,
And wishing to unburden and unbend.
‘Twould seem the stiffest climb is at the crest;
The hardest fight toward the goal:
The prize being greatest when unyielding zest
Brings conquest to the anguished soul.
The weary traveller with head bowed down
Attains the heights, – the cross preceeds the crown.
A generous comrade plied the rod and line,
And played the game as sportsman ought.
So very deferential he and fine –
When but a single fish he caught.
Imperative and firm was his insistence
It MUST be mine; – futile my resistance.
Petite maiden, enthroned in the hills,
Didst hear the “Songs of Araby”,
And many another song, that throbs and thrills
I sang thee; or some soft lullaby?
You must have heard – you or your alter ego:
To me there came a sweet accompanying echo.
We saw thee, dear, distressed – under the lash –
They fair face fretted by the storm:
For lightning’s lurid flash, and thunder’s crash
That shook our shelter, charmed thy form.
A golden dawn eclipsed the storm scene:
You smiled again – sublimely and serene!
Farewell thou sweet oasis, and adieu!
Till kindly providence our trysts renew.
May God and courtesy of men keep thee
From fashion’s rude parade for ever free;
Secure in thy supreme beatitude,
That they who prize thy sacred solitude
May prove their love, woo thee, and win thy smiles
By pilgrimage through intervening miles.
Wishing everyone the best of the holiday season and all the best in the coming year. My New Year’s resolution will be to update this blog on a more regular basis!