Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman




Would you learn of Nature
And all her wisdom prove,
Understand her secrets,
Comprehend her love?
Would you know the service

Of rhythm and refrain?
Walk with the diurnal sun
And the tramping rain.

To reach her sanctuary
Where inspiration dwells,

Her morning revelations,
Her twilight oracles,
Your eyes must wear her sea-hues,
Your cheek her seasons’ tan,
Your bearing the clam leisure

Of her starry caravan.

Learn the swing of snowshoes,
Time as time you must—
The ax-stroke in the wood-lot,
The hoof-beat in the dust,


Dip and swing of paddle,
Thrust of setting-pole.
These will give you poise and flight,
These will make you whole.

The waving grass shall show you

The highway to her door.
Every singing river
Chants her enticing lore.
Her twelve great winds come seeking
To teach you line by line

The harmonies of sense and soul
In music of the pine.

They share great Nature’s rapture
Who tread her wilding trails,
Her desert stars will guide them

When every false flare fails.
Her wondrous heart is never
From wondering hearts estranged,
And you shall find at journey’s end
Her smiling grace unchanged.