Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman




And then I knew the first vague bliss
That swept through Lilith like strange fire,
Consuming all her loveliness
With one imperious desire,

When in the twilight she beheld,


Through the green apple shades obscure, 
The Lord God moulding from the dust 
Her splendid virgin paramour.

I knew what aching shudder ran 
Through the dark bearers, file on file,


When Pharaoh's daughter went to merge 
Her peerless beauty in the Nile;

What slumbering deliciousness 
Awoke beside the Dorian stream 
When the young prince from over sea


Broke on the lovely Spartan's dream;

And all the fervour and desire,
The raptures and the ecstasies,
Of Aucassin and Nicollette,
Of Abelard and Hélöise,


And all the passionate despair, 
So bravely borne for many a year, 
Of Tristram and the dark Iseult, 
Of Launcelot and Guinevere!