Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

DISCOVERY


 

WHEN the bugler morn shall wind his horn,
And we wake to the wild to be,
Shall we open our eyes on the selfsame skies
And stare at the selfsame sea?
O new, new day! though you bring no stay
5

To the strain of the sameness grim,
You are new, new, new—new through and through,
And strange as a lawless dream.

Will the driftwood float by the lonely boat
And our prisoner hearts unbar,

10
As it tells of the strand of an unseen land
That lies not far, not far?
O new, new hope! O sweep and scope
Of the glad, unlying sea!
You are new, new, new—with the promise true
15

Of the dreamland isles to be.

Will the land-birds fly across the sky,
Though the land is not to see?
Have they dipped and passed in the sea-line vast?
Have we left the land a-lee?

20

O new despair! though the hopeless air
Grow foul with the calm and grieves,
You are new, new, new—and we cleave to you
As a soul to its freedom cleaves.

Does the falling night hide fiends to fight

25
And phantoms to affray?
What demons lurk in the grisly mirk,
As the night-watch waits for day?
O strange new gloom! we await the doom,
And what doom none may deem;
30

But it's new, new, new—and we'll sail it through,
While the mocking sea-gulls scream.

A light, a light, in the dead of night,
That lifts and sinks in the waves!
What folk are they who have kindled its ray,—

35
Men or the ghouls of graves?
O new, new fear! near, near and near,
And you bear us weal or woe!
But you're new, new, new—so a cheer for you!
And onward—friend or foe!
40

Shall the lookout call from the foretop tall,
"Land, land!" with a maddened scream,
And the crew in glee from the taffrail see
Where the island palm-trees dream?
New heart, new eyes! For the morning skies
45
Are a-chant with their green and gold!
New, new, new, new—new through and through!
New, new till the dawn is old!