Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman




I saw a painted weather-vane
That stood above the sands,—
A little shining mermaiden
That turned and waved her hands.

She turned and turned and waved and waved,


Then faced toward the hill,
Then faced about and back again,
Then suddenly stood still.

And every time the wind came up
Out of the great cool sea,


She’d spin and spin and whirl her arms
As if in dancing glee.

And when the wind came down the road
With scent of new-mown hay,
She whirled about and danced again


In ecstasy of play.

It seemed as if her madcap heart
Could never quite decide
Whether her heaven was on the hill
Or on the drifting tide.


And would she rather be a sprite
To guard some singing stream,
And sparkle in the summer field
And through the forest gleam?

Or would she be an ocean child,


A spirit of the deep,
To run upon the billows wild
And in their cradle sleep?

And still she turned and veered between
The river and the sea,


And many a time I thought her hands
Were praying to be free.

And then there came a night of storm,
Of wind and dark and snow,
And in the morn my weather-vane

Had vanished in the blow.