Published on Academy of American Poets (


A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim,
And meets with sun-lost lip the marsh’s brim.

The pools low lying, dank with moss and mould,
Glint through their mildews like large cups of gold

Among the wild rice in the still lagoon,
In monotone the lizard shrills his tune.

The wild goose, homing, seeks a sheltering,
Where rushes grow, and oozing lichens cling.

Late cranes with heavy wing, and lazy flight,
Sail up the silence with the nearing night.

And like a spirit, swathed in some soft veil,
Steals twilight and its shadows o’er the swale.

Hushed lie the sedges, and the vapours creep,
Thick, grey and humid, while the marshes sleep.


This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 7, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“Marshlands” originally appeared in The White Wampum (Copp Clark Co., 1895).


Emily Pauline Johnson

Emily Pauline Johnson, who also published under her Mohawk name Tekahionwake, was born on March 10, 1861 on the Six Nations Reserve, Canada West. A poet, artist, and performer, she is the author of three collections of poetry: The White Wampum (Copp Clark Co., 1895), Canadian Born (G. N. Morang, 1903) and Flint and Feather (Musson Book Co., 1912). She died on March 7, 1913 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Date Published: 1895-01-01

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