Later Poems

by Bliss Carman


 

Nike


 

WHAT do men give thanks for?
I give thanks for one,
Lovelier than morning,
Dearer than the sun.

Such a head the victors

5
Must have praised and known,
With that breast and bearing,
Nike’s very own—

As superb, untrammeled,
Rhythmed and poised and free

10
As the strong pure sea-wind
Walking on the sea;

Such a hand as Beauty
Uses with full heart,
Seeking for her freedom

15
In new shapes of art;

Soft as rain in April,
Quiet as the days
Of the purple asters
And the autumn haze;

20

With a soul more subtle
Than the light of stars,
Frailer than a moth’s wing
To the touch that mars;

Wise with all the silence

25
Of the waiting hills,
When the gracious twilight
Wakes in them and thrills;

With a voice more tender
Than the early moon

30
Hears among the thrushes
In the woods of June;

Delicate as grasses
When they lift and stir—
One sweet lyric woman—

35
I give thanks for her.