Later Poems

by Bliss Carman


 

A Lyric


 

OH, once I could not understand
The sob within the throat of spring,–
The shrilling of the frogs, nor why
The birds so passionately sing.

That was before your beauty came

5
And stooped to teach my soul desire,
When on these mortal lips you laid
The magic and immortal fire.

I wondered why the sea should seem
So gray, so lonely, and so old;

10
The sigh of level-driving snows
In winter so forlornly cold.

I wondered what it was could give
The scarlet autumn pomps their pride,
And paint with colors not of earth

15
The glory of the mountainside.

I could not tell why youth should dream
And worship at the evening star,
And yet must go with eager feet
Where danger and where splendor are.

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I could not guess why men at times,
Beholding beauty, should go mad
With joy or sorrow or despair
Or some unknown delight they had.

I wondered what they had received

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From Time’s inexorable hand
So full of loveliness and doom.
But now, ah, now I understand!