From the Green Book of the Bards

by Bliss Carman


 

THE WIND AT THE DOOR


 

Often to my open door
Comes a twilight visitor.

When the mountain summer day
From our valley takes his way,

And the journeying shadows stride

5

Over the green mountain-side,

Down the clove among the trees
Moves the ghostly wandering breeze.

With the first stars on the crest
And the pale light in the west,

10


He comes up the dark ravine
Where no traveller is seen.

Yet his coming makes a stir
In the house of Ash and Fir:

"Master, is't in our abode

15

You will tarry on the road?"

"Nay, I like your roof-tree well,
But with you I may not dwell."

Birches whisper at their sill,
As he passes up the hill:

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"Stranger, underneath our boughs
There is ample room to house."

"Friends, I have another quest
Than your cool abiding rest."

And the fluttering Aspen knows

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Whose step by her doorway goes:

"Honour, Lord, thy silver tree
And the chamber laid for thee."

"Nay, I must be faring on,
For to-night I seek my own.

30


"Breath of the red dust is he
And a wayfarer like me;

"Here a moment and then lost
On a trail confused and crossed.

"And I gently would surprise

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Recognition in his eyes;

"Touch his hand and talk with him
When the forest light is dim,

"Taking counsel with the lord
Of the utterable word."

40


Hark, did you hear some one try
The west window furtively,

And then move among the leaves
In the shadow of the eaves?

The reed curtain at the door

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Rustled; there's my visitor

Who comes searching for his kin.
"Enter, brother; I'm within."