Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman




There sighed along the garden path
And through the open door a stir;
'Twas not the rustle of the corn, 
Nor yet the whisper of the fir.

There passed an Eastern odour, fraught


With the delirium of sense; 
'Twas not the attar of the rose, 
Nor the carnation's redolence.

Then came a glimmering of white— 
The drench of sheer diaphanous lawn,


More palpable than light of stars, 
And more delectable than dawn.

The Paphian curve from throat to waist,
From waist to knee, then lost again, 
Told me how beauty such as hers

Spreads like a madness among men.