Later Poems

by Bliss Carman


A Water Color


THERE’S a picture in my room
Lightens many an hour of gloom,—

Cheers me under fortune’s frown
And the drudgery of town.

Many and many a winter’s day

When my soul sees all things gray,

Here is veritable June,
Heart’s content and spirit’s boon.

It is scarce a hand-breadth wide,

Not a span from side to side,

Yet it is an open door
Looking back to joy once more,

Where the level marshes lie,
A quiet journey of the eye,


And the unsubstantial blue
Makes the fine illusion true.

So I forth and travel there
In the blessed light and air,

Miles of green tranquillity

Down the river to the sea.

Here the sea-birds roam at will,
And the sea-wind on the hill

Brings the hollow pebbly roar
From the dim and rosy shore,


With the very scent and draft
Of the old sea’s mighty craft.

I am standing on the dunes,
By some charm that must be June’s,

When the magic of her hand

Lays a sea-spell on the land.

And he old enchantment falls
On the blue-gray orchard walls

And the purple high-top boles,
While the orange orioles


Flame and whistle through the green
Of that paradisal scene.

Strolling idly for an hour
Where the elder is in flower,

I can hear the bob-white call

Down beyond the pasture wall.

Musing in the scented heat,
Where the bayberry is sweet,

I can see the shadows run
Up the cliff-side in the sun.


Or I cross the bridge and reach
The mossers’ house on the beach,

Where the bathers on the sand
Lie sea-freshened and sun-tanned.

Thus I pass the gates of time

And the boundaries of clime,

Change the ugly man-made street
For God’s country green and sweet.

Fag of body, irk of mind,
In a moment left behind,


Once more I posses my soul
With the poise and self-control

Beauty gives the free of heart
Through the sorcery of art.