Songs from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman and Richard Hovey


 

DOWN THE SONGO


 

I

 

FLOATING!
Floating—and all the stillness waits
And listens at the ivory gates,
Full of a dim uncertain presage
Of some strange, undelivered message.
5

There is no sound save from the bush
The alto of the shy wood-thrush,
And ever and anon the dip
Of a lazy oar.

The rhythmic drowsiness keeps time

10
To hazy subtleties of rhyme
That seem to slip
Through the lulled soul to seek the sleepy shore.
The idle clouds go floating by;
Above us sky, beneath us sky;
15
The sun shines on us as we lie
Floating.
It is a dream.  
It is a dream, my love; see how
The ripples quiver at the prow,
20
And all the long reflections shake
Unsteadily beneath the lake.
The mists about the uplands show
Dim violet towers that come and go.
Phantasmagoric palaces
25
Rise trembling there,
As though one breath of waking weather
Would crash their airy walls together
With sudden stress,
While silent detonations shook the air—
30
Vast fabrics toppling to the ground
And vanishing without a sound.
Ah, love, these are not what we deem;
It is a dream.

 

II

 

Let us dream on, then,—dream and die
35
Ere the dream pass.
Let us for once, like idle flowers,
Let slip the unregarded hours,
Like the wise flowers that lie
Unfretted by a feeble thought,
40
Future and past alike forgot,
Drinking the dew contentedly
In the cool grass.

 

III

 

Look yonder where the clouds float; could we glide
As they, across the sky's blue shoreless tide,
45
What better were it than to dream
Across yon lake and into this still stream?

 

IV

 

Trees and a glimpse of sky!
And the slow river, quiet as a pool!
And thou and I—and thou and I—
50
Kiss me! How soft the air is and how cool!