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Best Famous Bliss Carman Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Bliss Carman poems. This is a select list of the best famous Bliss Carman poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Bliss Carman poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Bliss Carman poems.

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by Bliss Carman | |

ON LOVE

 Love's of itself too sweet; the best of all
Is, when love's honey has a dash of gall.


by Bliss Carman | |

A Sea Child

 The lover of child Marjory 
Had one white hour of life brim full; 
Now the old nurse, the rocking sea, 
Hath him to lull.
The daughter of child Marjory Hath in her veins, to beat and run, The glad indomitable sea, The strong white sun.


by Bliss Carman | |

Lord of my Hearts Elation

 Lord of my heart's elation,
Spirit of things unseen,
Be thou my aspiration
Consuming and serene!
Bear up, bear out, bear onward
This mortal soul alone,
To selfhood or oblivion,
Incredibly thine own,—
As the foamheads are loosened
And blown along the sea,
Or sink and merge forever
In that which bids them be.
I, too, must climb in wonder, Uplift at thy command,— Be one with my frail fellows Beneath the wind's strong hand, A fleet and shadowy column Of dust or mountain rain, To walk the earth a moment And be dissolved again.
Be thou my exaltation Or fortitude of mien, Lord of the world's elation, Thou breath of things unseen!


More great poems below...

by Bliss Carman | |

The Heart of Night

 When all the stars are sown 
Across the night-blue space, 
With the immense unknown, 
In silence face to face.
We stand in speechless awe While Beauty marches by, And wonder at the Law Which wears such majesty.
How small a thing is man In all that world-sown vast, That he should hope or plan Or dream his dream could last! O doubter of the light, Confused by fear and wrong, Lean on the heart of night And let love make thee strong! The Good that is the True Is clothed with Beauty still.
Lo, in their tent of blue, The stars above the hill!


by Bliss Carman | |

A Song before Sailing

 Wind of the dead men's feet,
Blow down the empty street
Of this old city by the sea
With news for me!
Blow me beyond the grime
And pestilence of time!
I am too sick at heart to war
With failure any more.
Thy chill is in my bones; The moonlight on the stones Is pale, and palpable, and cold; I am as one grown old.
I call from room to room Through the deserted gloom; The echoes are all words I know, Lost in some long ago.
I prowl from door to door, And find no comrade more.
The wolfish fear that children feel Is snuffing at my heel.
I hear the hollow sound Of a great ship coming round, The thunder of tackle and the tread Of sailors overhead.
That stormy-blown hulloo Has orders for me, too.
I see thee, hand at mouth, and hark, My captain of the dark.
O wind of the great East, By whom we are released From this strange dusty port to sail Beyond our fellows' hail, Under the stars that keep The entry of the deep, Thy somber voice brings up the sea's Forgotten melodies; And I have no more need Of bread, or wine, or creed, Bound for the colonies of time Beyond the farthest prime.
Wind of the dead men's feet, Blow through the empty street; The last adventurer am I, Then, world, goodby!


by Bliss Carman | |

Earth Voices

 I
I heard the spring wind whisper
Above the brushwood fire,
"The world is made forever
Of transport and desire.
"I am the breath of being, The primal urge of things; I am the whirl of star dust, I am the lift of wings.
"I am the splendid impulse That comes before the thought, The joy and exaltation Wherein the life is caught.
"Across the sleeping furrows I call the buried seed, And blade and bud and blossom Awaken at my need.
"Within the dying ashes I blow the sacred spark, And make the hearts of lovers To leap against the dark.
"II I heard the spring light whisper Above the dancing stream, "The world is made forever In likeness of a dream.
"I am the law of planets, I am the guide of man; The evening and the morning Are fashioned to my plan.
"I tint the dawn with crimson, I tinge the sea with blue; My track is in the desert, My trail is in the dew.
"I paint the hills with color, And in my magic dome I light the star of evening To steer the traveller home.
"Within the house of being, I feed the lamp of truth With tales of ancient wisdom And prophecies of youth.
"III I heard the spring rain murmur Above the roadside flower, "The world is made forever In melody and power.
"I keep the rhythmic measure That marks the steps of time, And all my toil is fashioned To symmetry and rhyme.
"I plow the untilled upland, I ripe the seeding grass, And fill the leafy forest With music as I pass.
"I hew the raw, rough granite To loveliness of line, And when my work is finished, Behold, it is divine! "I am the master-builder In whom the ages trust.
I lift the lost perfection To blossom from the dust.
"IV Then Earth to them made answer, As with a slow refrain Born of the blended voices Of wind and sun and rain, "This is the law of being That links the threefold chain: The life we give to beauty Returns to us again.
"


by Bliss Carman | |

I Loved Thee Atthis in the Long Ago

 (Sappho XXIII)
I loved thee, Atthis, in the long ago,
When the great oleanders were in flower
In the broad herded meadows full of sun.
And we would often at the fall of dusk Wander together by the silver stream, When the soft grass-heads were all wet with dew And purple-misted in the fading light.
And joy I knew and sorrow at thy voice, And the superb magnificence of love,— The loneliness that saddens solitude, And the sweet speech that makes it durable,— The bitter longing and the keen desire, The sweet companionship through quiet days In the slow ample beauty of the world, And the unutterable glad release Within the temple of the holy night.
O Atthis, how I loved thee long ago In that fair perished summer by the sea!


by Bliss Carman | |

If Death be Good

 (Sappho LXXIV)
If death be good,
Why do the gods not die?
If life be ill,
Why do the gods still live?
If love be naught,
Why do the gods still love?
If love be all,
What should men do but love?


by Bliss Carman | |

Low Tide on Grand Pré

 The sun goes down, and over all
These barren reaches by the tide
Such unelusive glories fall,
I almost dream they yet will bide
Until the coming of the tide.
And yet I know that not for us, By any ecstasy of dream, He lingers to keep luminous A little while the grievous stream, Which frets, uncomforted of dream-- A grievous stream, that to and fro Athrough the fields of Acadie Goes wandering, as if to know Why one beloved face should be So long from home and Acadie.
Was it a year or lives ago We took the grasses in our hands, And caught the summer flying low Over the waving meadow lands, And held it there between our hands? The while the river at our feet-- A drowsy inland meadow stream-- At set of sun the after-heat Made running gold, and in the gleam We freed our birch upon the stream.
There down along the elms at dusk We lifted dripping blade to drift, Through twilight scented fine like musk, Where night and gloom awhile uplift, Nor sunder soul and soul adrift.
And that we took into our hands Spirit of life or subtler thing-- Breathed on us there, and loosed the bands Of death, and taught us, whispering, The secret of some wonder-thing.
Then all your face grew light, and seemed To hold the shadow of the sun; The evening faltered, and I deemed That time was ripe, and years had done Their wheeling underneath the sun.
So all desire and all regret, And fear and memory, were naught; One to remember or forget The keen delight our hands had caught; Morrow and yesterday were naught.
The night has fallen, and the tide .
.
.
Now and again comes drifting home, Across these aching barrens wide, A sigh like driven wind or foam: In grief the flood is bursting home.


by Bliss Carman | |

Rivers of Canada

 O all the little rivers that run to Hudson's Bay,
They call me and call me to follow them away.
Missinaibi, Abitibi, Little Current--where they run Dancing and sparkling I see them in the sun.
I hear the brawling rapid, the thunder of the fall, And when I think upon them I cannot stay at all.
At the far end of the carry, where the wilderness begins, Set me down with my canoe-load--and forgiveness of my sins.
O all the mighty rivers beneath the Polar Star, They call me and call me to follow them afar.
Peace and Athabasca and Coppermine and Slave, And Yukon and Mackenzie--the highroads of the brave.
Saskatchewan, Assiniboine, the Bow and the Qu'Appelle, And many a prairie river whose name is like a spell.
They rumor through the twilight at the edge of the unknown, "There's a message waiting for you, and a kingdom all your own.
"The wilderness shall feed you, her gleam shall be your guide.
Come out from desolations, our path of hope is wide.
" O all the headlong rivers that hurry to the West, They call me and lure me with the joy of their unrest.
Columbia and Fraser and Bear and Kootenay, I love their fearless reaches where winds untarnished play-- The rush of glacial water across the pebbly bar To polished pools of azure where the hidden boulders are.
Just there, with heaven smiling, any morning I would be, Where all the silver rivers go racing to the sea.
O well remembered rivers that sing of long ago, Ajourneying through summer or dreaming under snow.
Among their meadow islands through placid days they glide, And where the peaceful orchards are diked against the tide.
Tobique and Madawaska and shining Gaspereaux, St.
Croix and Nashwaak and St.
John whose haunts I used to know.
And all the pleasant rivers that seek the Fundy foam, They call me and call me to follow them home.


by Bliss Carman | |

The Eavesdropper

 In a still room at hush of dawn,
My Love and I lay side by side
And heard the roaming forest wind
Stir in the paling autumn-tide.
I watched her earth-brown eyes grow glad Because the round day was so fair; While memories of reluctant night Lurked in the blue dusk of her hair.
Outside, a yellow maple tree, Shifting upon the silvery blue With tiny multitudinous sound, Rustled to let the sunlight through.
The livelong day the elvish leaves Danced with their shadows on the floor; And the lost children of the wind Went straying homeward by our door.
And all the swarthy afternoon We watched the great deliberate sun Walk through the crimsoned hazy world, Counting his hilltops one by one.
Then as the purple twilight came And touched the vines along our eaves, Another Shadow stood without And gloomed the dancing of the leaves.
The silence fell on my Love's lips; Her great brown eyes were veiled and sad With pondering some maze of dream, Through all the splendid year was glad.
Restless and vague as a gray wind Her heart had grown, she knew not why.
But hurrying to the open door, Against the verge of western sky I saw retreating on the hills, Looming and sinister and black, The stealthy figure swift and huge Of One who strode and looked not back.


by Bliss Carman | |

The Old Gray Wall

 Time out of mind I have stood 
Fronting the frost and the sun, 
That the dream of the world might endure, 
And the goodly will be done.
Did the hand of the builder guess, As he laid me stone by stone, A heart in the granite lurked, Patient and fond as his own? Lovers have leaned on me Under the summer moon, And mowers laughed in my shade In the harvest heat at noon.
Children roving the fields With early flowers in spring, Old men turning to look, When they heard a blue-bird sing, Have seen me a thousand times Standing here in the sun, Yet never a moment dreamed Whose likeness they gazed upon.
Ah, when will ye understand, Mortals who strive and plod,— Who rests on this old gray wall Lays a hand on the shoulder of God!


by Bliss Carman | |

The Ships of Yule

 When I was just a little boy,
Before I went to school,
I had a fleet of forty sail
I called the Ships of Yule;
Of every rig, from rakish brig
And gallant barkentine,
To little Fundy fishing boats
With gunwales painted green.
They used to go on trading trips Around the world for me, For though I had to stay on shore My heart was on the sea.
They stopped at every port to call From Babylon to Rome, To load with all the lovely things We never had at home; With elephants and ivory Bought from the King of Tyre, And shells and silks and sandal-wood That sailor men admire; With figs and dates from Samarcand, And squatty ginger-jars, And scented silver amulets From Indian bazaars; With sugar-cane from Port of Spain, And monkeys from Ceylon, And paper lanterns from Pekin With painted dragons on; With cocoanuts from Zanzibar, And pines from Singapore; And when they had unloaded these They could go back for more.
And even after I was big And had to go to school, My mind was often far away Aboard the Ships of Yule.


by Bliss Carman | |

Why

 FOR a name unknown,
Whose fame unblown
Sleeps in the hills
For ever and aye;

For her who hears
The stir of the years
Go by on the wind
By night and day;

And heeds no thing
Of the needs of spring,
Of autumn's wonder
Or winter's chill;

For one who sees
The great sun freeze,
As he wanders a-cold
From hill to hill;

And all her heart
Is a woven part
Of the flurry and drift
Of whirling snow;

For the sake of two
Sad eyes and true,
And the old, old love
So long ago.


by Bliss Carman | |

Veni Creator

 I

LORD of the grass and hill, 
Lord of the rain, 
White Overlord of will, 
Master of pain, 

I who am dust and air 
Blown through the halls of death, 
Like a pale ghost of prayer,— 
I am thy breath.
Lord of the blade and leaf, Lord of the bloom, Sheer Overlord of grief, Master of doom, Lonely as wind or snow, Through the vague world and dim, Vagrant and glad I go; I am thy whim.
Lord of the storm and lull, Lord of the sea, I am thy broken gull, Blown far alee.
Lord of the harvest dew, Lord of the dawn, Star of the paling blue Darkling and gone, Lost on the mountain height Where the first winds are stirred, Out of the wells of night I am thy word.
Lord of the haunted hush, Where raptures throng, I am thy hermit thrush, Ending no song.
Lord of the frost and cold, Lord of the North, When the red sun grows old And day goes forth, I shall put off this girth,— Go glad and free, Earth to my mother earth, Spirit to thee.
II Lord of my heart’s elation, Spirit of things unseen, Be thou my aspiration Consuming and serene! Bear up, bear out, bear onward This mortal soul alone, To selfhood or oblivion, Incredibly thine own,— As the foamheads are loosened And blown along the sea, Or sink and merge forever In that which bids them be.
I, too, must climb in wonder, Uplift at thy command,— Be one with my frail fellows Beneath the wind’s strong hand, A fleet and shadowy column Of dust or mountain rain, To walk the earth a moment And be dissolved again.
Be thou my exaltation Or fortitude of mien, Lord of the world’s elation Thou breath of things unseen!