Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman




AS I stood on the bank of the river that runs by Saskatoon,
I saw the incredible happen in the sober light of noon.

I looked out over the prairie as far as the eye could see,
And never a stone as big as your hand, and never the sign of a tree;
Only the golden stubble with the first light snow between,

In the fairy light of a primal world where beauty first was seen.

Then far on the dipped horizon where the sailing cloud-tops show,
I saw, like a ghost in the sunlight, a prairie schooner go.
And after her labored others in a trailing caravan—
Lumbering, crude, ill-fitted—but they carried the hope of man.

A marvellous train unnumbered, swinging before my gaze,
They passed on into the sundown, and were lost in the lilac haze.
I cleared my eyes of the vision—or the tremor of sunlit-glare—
Only the golden stubble and the sailing clouds were there.

Again I looked to the Northward as far as the eye could range,

And never a rise nor foothill, never a hint of change,
Till a picture rose before me like a mirage at sea,
Or those wonders of incantation from Indian jugglery.

And I beheld no longer the voyaging clouds hull-down,
But towers of beautiful cities and homes of many a town,

And over them all was gladness and peace and freedom from care,
And I heard the laughter of children ring on the frosty air.

And over the whispering snowdrift a far-off voice said,
“No man shall injure his neighbor, and none shall make you afraid.
Lo, I am with you always unto the end of the world.”

Then, as the vision faded, the sails of the clouds were furled.

And there, all round about me, real in the noonday sun,
Stood Houses of Learning and Beauty—the vision’s fulfillment begun.