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Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)

            The Unnamed Lake

    IT sleeps among the thousand hills
        Where no man ever trod,
    And only nature's music fills
        The silences of God.

    Great mountains tower above its shore,
        Green rushes fringe its brim,
    And o'er its breast for evermore
        The wanton breezes skim.

    Dark clouds that intercept the sun
        Go there in Spring to weep,
    And there, when Autumn days are done,
        White mists lie down to sleep.

    Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
        The peaks of ageless stone,
    Where winds have thundered from of old
        And storms have set their throne.

    No echoes of the world afar
        Disturb it night or day,
    The sun and shadow, moon and star
        Pass and repass for aye.

    'Twas in the grey of early dawn,
        When first the lake we spied,
    And fragments of a cloud were drawn
        Half down the mountain side.

    Along the shore a heron flew,
        And from a speck on high,
    That hovered in the deepening blue,
        We heard the fish-hawk's cry.

    Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
        No sound the silence broke,
    Save when, in whispers down the woods,
        The guardian mountains spoke.

    Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
        Returning whence we came,
    We passed in silence, and the lake
        We left without a name.


An Anglican Priest, Scott was a Major and Senior Chaplain of the First Canadian Division in World War I. The above poem was first published in 1897 in The Unnamed Lake and Other Poems. It can also be found, for example, in:
  • Garvin, John W., ed. Canadian Poets. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, Limited, 1926.