Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman




IN the cool of the day in Eden
There was a Voice that came,
And a Presence walked in the shadows
Calling Adam by name.

In the deep woods at twilight

There is a voice I hear
Haunting the dusk with a burden
Serene and marvellous clear.

Sometimes I think it a seraph,
Sometimes I know ’tis a bird,

And many a time I wonder
If that is what Adam heard.

Lost long since was the secret.
Now no man knows the tongue
Wherein God spake unto Adam

In the days when earth was young.

The light of knowledge is darkened
By panic and greed and pride.
Greatly the Serpent promised,
Greatly indeed he lied.


We have weighed the sun in a balance,
We have ridden the wind in speed,
Vast are our cunning inventions,
But who hath wisdom at need?

We are housed and pampered like princes,

We are clothed with the raiment of kings,
But how shall the soul in her longing
Profit by all these things?

We have scorned the belief of our fathers
And cast their quiet aside,

To take the mob for our ruler
And the voice of the mob for our guide.

You may search the rocks for their record,
You may winnow the stars for a clue,
But where is the rapture of instinct

The morning in Eden knew?

Who can interpret the meaning
Of the wind among the trees,
The warnings of birds and of insects,
Or the rain’s soft litanies?


God still walks through the twilight
Waiting for us to hear.
Have we not found His footprint
In the meadows when spring drew near?

Have we not seen His pageant

Autumn in scarlet and gold?
But who stands in awe at His passing?
Who kneels while the message is told?

We have polluted the silence.
How should we hear the voice?

We have discarded reverence,
And made disillusion our choice.

Anarch destroyers of Eden,
Rioting over the lands,—
Room for the smiling witness

Who hearkens and understands!