Echoes from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman


 

A WATER COLOR


 

THERE’S a picture in my room
Lightens many an hour of gloom,—

Cheers me under fortune’s frown
And the drudgery of town.

Many and many a winter day

5
When my soul sees all things gray,

Here is veritable June,
Heart’s content and spirit’s boon.

It is scarce a hand-breadth wide,
Not a span from side to side,

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Yet it is an open door
Looking back to joy once more,

And the unsubstantial blue
Makes the fine illusion true.

So I forth and travel there

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In the blessed light and air,

Miles of green tranquillity
Down the river to the sea.

Here the sea-birds roam at will,
And the sea-wind on the hill

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Brings the hollow pebbly roar
From the dim and rosy shore,

With the very scent and draft
Of the old sea’s mighty craft.

I am standing on the dunes,

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By some charm that that must be June’s,

When the magic of her hand
Lays a sea-spell on the land.

And the old enchantment falls
On the blue-gray orchard walls

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And the purple high-top boles,
While the orange orioles

Flame and whistle through the green
Of that paradisal scene.

Strolling idly for an hour

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Where the elder is in flower,

I can hear the bob-white call
Down beyond the pasture wall.

Musing in the scented heat,
Where the bayberry is sweet,

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I can see the shadows run
Up the cliff-side in the sun.

Or I cross the bridge and reach
The mossers’ houses on the beach,

Where the bathers on the sand

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Lie sea-freshened and sun-tanned.

Thus I pass the gates of time
And the boundaries of clime,

Change the ugly man-made street
For God’s country green and sweet.


Fag of body, irk of mind,
In a moment left behind,

Once more I possess my soul
With the poise and self-control

Beauty gives the free of heart

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Through the sorcery of art.