Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman




These are the joyous songs 
The shy sea children sing, 
When the moon goes down the west, 
Soft as a pale moth wing;

When the gnat and the bumblebee


In the gauze of sleep are fast, 
And a fairy summer dream 
Is the only thing will last.

These are the ever-songs 
The heart of the sea will sing,


When ash-coloured birds are building, 
And lilac thickets ring;

When June is an open road 
For every soul that stirs; 
When scarlet voices summon,


And not a foot defers.

These are the twilight songs 
Out of the simple North, 
Where the marchers of the night 
In silent troops go forth;


Where Alioth sails and sails
Forever round the pole, 
And wonder brings no sad
Disquietude of soul.

And all their bodily beauty


Must flower a moment and die, 
As the rain goes down the sea-rim, 
The streamers up the sky;

Till time as a falling echo 
Shall sift them over and o'er, 


And the wind between the stars 
Can tell their words no more.

Yet the lyric beat and cry
Which frets the poor frail things
Shall pass from joy to joy

Up through a thousand springs,

Teasing the sullen years 
Out of monotony, 
As reedbirds pour their rapture 
By the unwintered sea.