Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman


 

MANZANITAS


 

FROM the majesty and mystery and might of all the North
In its silence and its honor and its pride,
When south again you turn,
You are like enough to learn
This world is very long as well as wide.
5

When you meet the Sacramento in the copper-colored hills,
Its Iron Canyon washed in morning gold,
What perhaps you did not know
May strike you like a blow,—
This world is very new as well as old.
10

There is mystery in cedar, there is music in the pine,
There is magic where the scarlet maples run.
But as strange a spell will hold you
All unreasoned and enfold you
From the blue-green manzanitas in the sun.
15

The apple trees of Grand Pré and the orchards of the North
May charm you where the tide of Fundy spills,
Yet another magic takes you
When another morning wakes you,
Where the manzanitas dot their barren hills.
20

When you sight the open valley where the palms and oaks begin
And snowy Lassen rises from the plain,
There is something in your heart
That will make it stop and start,
At the sight of manzanitas once again.
25

They will sing you songs of passes where the high Sierras lift,
They will tell you old-time stories of the trail.
No day will be too long
As you listen to their song,
And find a new enchantment in each tale.
30

There is rapture waiting for you at the rim of all the world,
There is medicine no pharmacy distills,
There is all of time before you
And only heaven o’er you,
Where the manzanitas call you to the hills.
35

You shall see the desert sunrise, and the skies of turquoise blue
On mountains made of lavender and rose,
And the fever of the quest
Shall be quieted to rest
In a spaciousness that only freedom knows.
40

You shall watch the starry splendour from a blanket on the ground,
The hosts of glory marching by your fire,
And the stillness and the vast
Will reveal to you at last
How simple in the end is soul’s desire.
45