From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman


 

IN A FAR COUNTRY


 

In a land that is little traversed,
Beyond the news of the town,
There lies a delectable Kingdom
Where the crimson sun goes down,

The province of fruitlands and flowers

5
And colour and sea-sounds and love.
If you were queen of that country,
And I were the king thereof,

We should tread upon scarlet poppies,
And be glad the long day through,

10
Where the bluest skies in the world
Rest upon hills of blue.

We should wander the slopes of the mountains
With the wind and the nomad bee, 
And watch the white sails on the sea-rim 

15

Come up from the curving sea.

We should watch from the sides of the valleys
The caravans of the rain, 
In trappings of purple and silver, 
Go by on the far-off plain.

20


And they all should be freighted with treasure,
The vision that gladdens the eye, 
The beauty that betters the spirit 
To sustain it by and by.

We should hear the larks' fine field-notes

25

Breaking in bubbly swells, 
As if from their rocking steeples 
The lilies were ringing their bells;

We should hear invisible fingers
Play on the strings of the pines 

30
The broken measure whose motive
Only a lover divines;

The music of Earth, the enchantress,
The cadence that dwells in the heart
Against the time of oblivion, 

35

To bid it remember and start.

And nothing should make us unhappy,
And no one should make us afraid, 
For we should be royal lovers 
In the land where this plot is laid.

40

And with night on the almond orchards
We should lie where warm winds creep,
Under the starry tent-cloth 
Hearing the footfall of Sleep.