Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman




The Dance of River Water
Sets all the leaves astir,
And all the woods of Arcady
Are glad because of her.

They whisper, "Listen, listen,


While River Water sings
That bubble song of bobolinks
And wild June things."

And when the silver birches
Are golden in the fall,


And in the quiet sunlight
The plaintive phoebes call,

I lie and listen, listen,
While River Water sings
The murmur song of meadow-bloom


And white moth wings.

Among the silver birches
Young River Water grew,
A happy sprite who loved to dance
Her joy the whole year through.


When first the wind of April
Arose and called her clear,
"Come forth from the cold stars and hills,
O River Water, dear!"

Out from the stilly alders


That keep the meadow side,
A murmur through the melting snows
Awakened and replied,

"From dream thou dost arouse me
Under the wintry dome,


But thy warm voice is sweet to hear.
O Mother Wind, I come."

Shake out the buds of April,
Sing of the growing year,
Drum up glad morning on the heights,


Thy dancing child is here.

Here is gay River Water,
Thy fairy forest child,
To dance with shadow and with shine,
And learn their secrets wild.


Here in the wild-rose weather
Laughs River Water brown,
Dancing the gorgeous noons away,
Dancing the twilights down;

Dancing the stars from slumber,


Dancing the hills to sleep,
Dancing the barley-colored moon
Up from the beryl deep;

Dancing the dawn to ashes,
Dancing the white day through,


Until soft night comes round again
With whippoorwills and dew.

And when the moon in winter
Shall make the night like day,
When all the creatures are asleep

And all the birds away,

Through merry River Water
A frosty robe must don,
The crooning hill-born heart of her
Will still go dancing on.


Enchanted by the echo
Of an immortal chime,
She knows what God intends to do
With music and with rhyme.