Wild Garden

by Bliss Carman


 

THE WEATHER VANE


 

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,

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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,

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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

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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.

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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,

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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,

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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

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Had vanished in the blow.