Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman





Our friend had a vision, aloof in a haven of hills
Where the sun and the wind carry balm for the healing of ills.

Far fleeing the tumult of cities, the fever of fame,
To commune with the earth and the sky an exile he came.

By the stir of creation, the drama of seasons beguiled,


Sanctuary and solace he found in the heart of the wild.

There like a woodsman he camped, bade ambition good-bye,
With blanket and fire befriended and stars brave and high.

Did he harden his heart and despair of the future? Not he.
Having trust in the goodness of life still to make beauty be,


He dreamed how a garden might rise in the wilderness there.
With the ranges undaunted around it uplifting his prayer.

And he who had poured aspiration through rhythms of sound
Would call living harmonies forth from the seeds of the ground.

What matters the mould or the means, whether music or flowers,


When soul in the urge of creating assembles her powers?

Where his clearing looked out on the slopes of the dark wooded range
At peace in the blue haze of summer and fearless of change,

With old magic renewed, a fresh masterpiece he would build,
Walled in with rough field-stone, with loving care planted and tilled,—


A place of enchantment, surprising, made perfect, apart,
Dispensing delight with its spells, to the eager of heart.

Each day by a rough winding foot-path folk come to its gate
Where the welcoming rest and revival of paradise wait.

A hidden rose-garden whose odors with heliotrope blend,


And aisles of tall lilies where scent-enthralled humming-birds wend;

A dim lotus pool soft-colored with blossom and frond;
And a pergola framing a vista to mountains beyond.

All summer this benefice high in the wild gives its dole
Of beauty for strengthening heart and replenishing soul.


What chorale more golden, what symphony richer in praise
Than this anthem of flowers arising from wilderness ways?

All winter its sleep is companioned by whispering snows
And choiring stars that inspire the dreams of the rose.

The Lord of all Music rejoices when spirit finds wings

In words or in tone or in color whose ecstasy sings.