Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman




PACING my garden rounds with pensive tread and slow,
Thinking on those far bounds to all our sight can know,—
Sifting as in debate the endless How and Why
Of man’s mysterious fate and the soul’s bitter cry,—

“If one could find,” I thought, “a door in that blue wall,

Wherethrough there might be caught a glimpse for one and all!”
“My son,”—I heard a voice,—“now and forevermore
Thou hast the gift of choice. For thee they chosen door
But needs thine utmost power, to open and disclose
Beyond the clouds of thought the glory of thine hour.

“O heart of little trust, why falter or despair,
When beauty from the dust is lifted like a prayer—
Transcending space and time, outreaching sense and thought,
That excellence sublime which cannot come to naught!

“No leaf from verge to verge in all the spring’s green sea

But feels the lifting urge of power that sets it free.
No drop of shining dew that holds the colored ray,
But it is sphered as true as the great arch of day.

“Through every bud and blade an ageless ardor runs,
An equal law is laid on whirling dusts and suns.

No fernleaf is uncurled, no budsheath breaks the mould,
But He who made the world sustains it as of old.

“See, where the budding vine puts forth its strength at need,
The mystic and divine symbol of life indeed!
Hill-wind and springing grain, brook-song and evening star,

Hoar frost and summer rain,—behold how sure they are!

“These do not shun the task of unregarded things,
Nor scorn their lot to ask alien adventurings.
For deep within them dwells the undesisting fire
That bids their teeming cells endeavour and aspire.


“Hark to the silver call of the first twilight thrush!
Mark where the spring lights fall with that faint greening flush,
And the young buds unclose on the red maple trees!
Have they no heart that knows?—And art thou less than these?”

Then as I stopped my round I marvelled at the sight,

For all my garden was bathed in a new light.
A glory filled the place, wherein the unanxious flowers
Behold God face to face through the immortal hours.