Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman


 

PRELUDE


 

These are the little songs 
The wild sea children sang, 
When the first gold arch of light 
From rim to zenith sprang;

When all the glad clean joys

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Of being came to birth, 
Out of the darkling womb 
Of the morning of the earth.

And these are the lyric songs 
The earthborn children sing, 

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When wild-wood laughter throngs 
The shy bird-throats of spring;

When there's not a joy of the heart
But flies like a flag unfurled, 
And the swelling buds bring back 

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The April of the world.

These are the April songs 
The vernal children sing, 
When the yellow pollen dust 
Floats on the stream in spring;

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When the swelling streams go down
Through the deep and grassy floors,
And the gold-fish and the turtle 
Bask at their river doors.

And these are the innocent songs

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The forest children sing, 
When the whippoorwill's unrest 
Is a pulse in the heart of spring;

When the dark of the frail new moon
Is a globe of dim sea green, 

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And no soul fears what its strange 
Sea-memories may mean.

These are the happy songs 
The first sea children made, 
When the red morning roused them 

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In the deep forest shade;

When Hillborn said to Seaborn, 
"Sweetheart, but thou art fair!" 
And the shining silver sea-mist 
Made moonstones in her hair.

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These are the lilting songs 
The dark sea children knew, 
When the sands emerged, and the sea 
Was a lotus of Indian blue;

When, blossom by wind-blown blossom,

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Their virginal zones undone,
The world was a wide sunflower
Turning her face to the sun.