Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman




A woman sat by the hearth, 
And a man looked out at the door.

"O lover, I hear a sound 
As of approaching storm, 
When the sea makes in from the north


With thunder and chafing and might, 
And trundles the quaking ground."

"It is not the sea you hear. 
The ice in the river is loosed; 
You hear its grinding mills


Wearing the winter away, 
And the grist of grief and cold

Shall soon be the meal of joy. 
O heart of me, April is here!"

"O lover, I hear a sigh


As of the boding wind 
In the murmurous black pines, 
Or a stir as of beating wings 
When the fleeing curlews fly."

"It is not the wind's great hum;

The bees in the willow blooms, 
All golden-dusted now, 
Sing in their chantry loft 
As when earth the immortal was young, 
Busy with ardour and joy.

O heart of mine, April is come!"

"O lover, my heart aches sore; 
My hands would fondle your hair, 
My cheek be laid to your cheek;
A strange new wild great word

Knocks at my heart's closed door."

"Who is not a learner now? 
We endure, and seasons change, 
And the heart grows great and strange 
With the beauty of earth and time.


Our lives unfold and get free, 
As the streams and the creatures do, 
To range through the April now."

Like a gold spring-flower in his arms,
She stood by the open door.