Donaldson, Elizabeth. “The Moon.” Canadian Poetry Magazine 4.1 (1939): 21.

The descendant of Elizabeth Donaldson who first pointed me to the enigma of her identity has himself solved the mystery. Through the discovery of an obituary in the Toronto Globe and Mail, he proved that Mary Elizabeth (Connell) Donaldson (1871-1952) is in fact our poet. She was married to Joseph Russell Donaldson (1868-1925) in 1889, and lived at 529 Hillsdale Avenue East, Toronto, at the time of her death in 1952. Now all we need to do is wait for the family to publish the poems they have found in old boxes and attics! We have only found eight published poems, six in the Canadian Poetry Magazine; here is another of those.

The Moon

There is no life
On that orb of solitude;
Not even a leaf nor blade of grass;
Only the movements of shadows,
Slow and immutable,
Pass and repass;
Those countless, ragged ghosts
Limned on the desert floors
Owe to the broken crags and steeps
Their sharply sculptured lines.
And there no vine nor lichen come
To colour stone or cliff,
Nor mar the deepening tracery
Of time’s dark hieroglyph.

If heat-waves quiver and break
On the vast sea-beds
There is none to see nor hear;
And never a wind-swept cloud,
Nor shield the blistering plain
From the long day’s sun;
Night only, and pitiless cold
Give passing compensation.

Craters, and desolate mounds
Mark hidden sepulchers
Of buried aeons,
And long-lost springs;
Still, in those ancient fastnesses
a primal force abides,
That sways the destiny of earth,
And movements of the tides.

O lovely moon!
Devoid of that which makes
Of earth a paradise;
Although no bird nor flower,
Nor little winds, adventuring,
May ever reach your lofty, lone abode.,
Nor waft across your face
Their honey-scented breath,—
Still, power is yours,
Ageless, supernal,
And beauty in the majesty of death.

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