Bookmark #21 Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

“The Gable Window,” by L.M. Montgomery


I looked from it o’er bloomy meadows,
     Where idle breezes lost their way,
To solemn hills, whose purple shadows
     About them lay.
I saw the sunshine stream in splendor
     O’er heaven’s utmost azure bars,
At eve the radiance, pure and tender,
     Of white-browed stars.
– from the collection The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery by L.M. Montgomery, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Bookmarked at Cavendish, June 24, 2018.

 David Macneill, L.M. Montgomery's cousin, and Laurie Murphy, Executive Director of Project Bookmark Canada, at The Macneill Homestead.

David Macneill, L.M. Montgomery's cousin, and Laurie Murphy, Executive Director of Project Bookmark Canada, at The Macneill Homestead.

 Summertime at The Macneill Homestead,  which has been in the same family since the 1700s.

Summertime at The Macneill Homestead,  which has been in the same family since the 1700s.

 

The first Bookmark on Prince Edward Island is for Lucy Maud Montgomery's poem, “The Gable Window,” set at The Site of L.M. Montgomery’s Cavendish Home. Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, in consultation with Jennie Macneill, suggested the poem to Project Bookmark Canada as ideal for a Bookmark. “There are so many lush and beautiful passages describing the Macneill place in the Anne and indeed Emily books,” wrote Epperly, “And right there is where the Montgomery fan experiences that ‘I know this place’ feeling and a sense of awe.” 

“‘Place’ figures prominently in Montgomery's work, and how appropriate that a tangible recognition of her work is placed at the site of the Macneill Homestead in Cavendish, so foundational for Montgomery's development and work," wrote Dr. Philip Smith, UPEI Psychology, and Chair, L.M. Montgomery Institute Committee, UPEI.

Kate Macdonald Butler, President of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery (Inc.), supports the Cavendish Bookmark: "The Heirs of L.M. Montgomery are delighted that the first official Bookmark on Prince Edward Island honours L.M. Montgomery, on the Macneill site in Cavendish she loved so much." 


About L.M. Montgomery and “The Gable Window”

Lucy Maud Montgomery (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) is a cherished Canadian author admired by readers around the world. She published 20 novels as well as more than 500 short stories, 500 poems, and numerous essays. Her works have been translated into over 35 languages, and she was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.

“The Gable Window” was first published in The Ladies Journal in 1897, when Montgomery was 23 years old. It was republished almost 100 years later in 1987 in The Poetry of Lucy Maud Montgomery by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. The poem is set in the Macneill Homestead, where L.M. Montgomery wrote hundreds of short stories and poems, in addition to Anne of Green Gables and three other novels.

This Bookmark is endorsed by the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, and The Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home. L.M. Montgomery is a trademark of Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc.

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Banner photo: The Macneill Homestead, by Laurie Murphy. 


The Poem:

The Gable Window
It opened on a world of wonder,
     When summer days were sweet and long,
A world of light, a world of splendor,
     A world of song.
‘Twas there I passed my hours of dreaming,
     ‘Twas there I knelt at night to pray;
And, when the rose-lit dawn was streaming
     Across the day,
I bent from it to catch the glory
     Of all those radiant silver skies –
A resurrection allegory
     For human eyes!
The summer raindrops on it beating,
     The swallows clinging ‘neath the eaves,
The wayward shadows by it fleeting,
     The whispering leaves;
The birds that passed in joyous vagrance,
     The echoes of the golden moon,
The drifting in of subtle fragrance,
     The wind’s low croon;
Held each a message and a token
     In every hour of day and night;
A meaning wordless and unspoken,
     Yet read aright.
I looked from it o’er bloomy meadows,
     Where idle breezes lost their way,
To solemn hills, whose purple shadows
     About them lay.
I saw the sunshine stream in splendor
     O’er heaven’s utmost azure bars,
At eve the radiance, pure and tender,
     Of white-browed stars.
I carried there my childish sorrows,
     I wept my little griefs away;
I pictured there my glad to-morrows
     In bright array.
The airy dreams of child and maiden
     Hang round that gable window still,
As cling the vines, green and leaf-laden,
     About the sill.
And though I lean no longer from it,
     To gaze with loving reverent eyes,
On clouds and amethystine summit,
     And star-sown skies.
The lessons at its casement taught me,
     My life with rich fruition fill;
The rapture and the peace they brought me
     Are with me still!