From the Green Book of the Bards

by Bliss Carman




I who walk among the poppies
In the burning hour of noon,
Brother to their scarlet beauty,
Feel their fervour and their swoon.

In this little wayside garden,


Under the sheer tent of blue,
The dark kindred in forgetting,
We are of one dust and dew.

They, the summer-loving gipsies,
Who frequent the Northern year;


From an older land than Egypt,
I, too, but a nomad here.

All day long the purple mountains,
Those mysterious conjurors,
Send, in silent premonition,


Their still shadows by our doors.

And we listen through the silence
For a far-off sound, which seems
Like the long reverberant echo
Of a sea-shell blown in dreams.


Is it the foreboded summons
From the fabled Towers of Sleep,
Bidding home the wandered children
From the shore of the great deep?

All day long the sun-filled valley,


Teeming with its ghostly thought,
Glad in the mere lapse of being,
Muses and is not distraught.

Then suffused with earth's contentment,
The slow patience of the sun,


As our heads are bowed to slumber
In the shadows one by one,

Sweet and passionless, the starlight
Talks to us of things to be;
And we stir a little, shaken

In the cool breath of the sea.