Songs of the Sea Children

by Bliss Carman




Through what strange garden ran 
The sultry stream whereon 
This languorous nenuphar of love could grow? 
Such melting ardours spending to the moon, 
From swoon to swoon!

My wondrous moonflower white, 
Outspread in the warm night, 
Tinged with a rosy tint, a golden glow, 
And fervours of enchantment it must hide 
Till daylight died.

It lies so soft and fond,
Wilted in my hot hand.
That was so dewy fresh an hour ago.
"Can life be, then," my soul is pondering,
"So frail a thing?"

And all because I laid
The snowy petals wide;
Having heard tell, yet longing still to know,
What sweet things youth might barter ignorance for,
Once and no more.