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Bliss Carman Poems

A collection of select Bliss Carman famous poems that were written by Bliss Carman or written about the poet by other famous poets. PoetrySoup is a comprehensive educational resource of the greatest poems and poets on history.

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by Carman, Bliss
Soul, what art thou in the tribes of the sea?

LORD, said a flying fish, 
Below the foundations of storm 
We feel the primal wish 
Of the earth take form. 

Through the dim green water-fire 
We see the red sun loom, 
And the quake of a new desire 
Takes hold on us down in the gloom. 

No more can the...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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....Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 I like the old house tolerably well, 
Where I must dwell 
Like a familiar gnome; 
And yet I never shall feel quite at home. 
I love to roam. 
Day after day I loiter and explore 
From door to door; 
So many treasures lure 
The curious mind. What histories obscure 
They must immure! 

I hardly know which room I care...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 In Memory of John Keats
By the Aurelian Wall,
Where the long shadows of the centuries fall
From Caius Cestius' tomb,
A weary mortal seeking rest found room
For quiet burial,
Leaving among his friends
A book of lyrics.
Such untold amends
A traveller might make
In a strange country, bidden to partake
Before he farther wends;

Who slyly should bestow
The foreign reed-flute they had seen him blow
And finger cunningly,
On one...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 (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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 (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?...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 TO the assembled folk 
At great St. Kavin’s spoke 
Young Brother Amiel on Christmas Eve; 
I give you joy, my friends, 
That as the round year ends, 
We meet once more for gladness by God’s leave. 

On other festal days 
For penitence or praise 
Or prayer we meet, or fullness of thanksgiving; 
To-night we calendar 
The rising of that...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 Love's of itself too sweet; the best of all
Is, when love's honey has a dash of gall....Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 Where are the ships I used to know,
That came to port on the Fundy tide
Half a century ago,
In beauty and stately pride?
In they would come past the beacon light,
With the sun on gleaming sail and spar,
Folding their wings like birds in flight
From countries strange and far.
Schooner and brig and barkentine,
I watched them slow as the sails were furled,
And wondered...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 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...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 We are the vagabonds of time, 
And rove the yellow autumn days, 
When all the roads are gray with rime 
And all the valleys blue with haze. 
We came unlooked for as the wind 
Trooping across the April hills, 
When the brown waking earth had dreams 
Of summer in the Wander Kills. 
How far afield we joyed to fare,...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
The rutted roads are all like iron; skies
Are keen and brilliant; only the oak-leaves cling
In the bare woods, or the hardy bitter-sweet;
Drivers have put their sheepskin jackets on;
And all the ponds are sealed with sheeted ice
That rings with stroke of skate and hockey-stick,
Or in the twilight cracks with running whoop.
Bring in the logs of oak and hickory,
And make an...Read more of this...

by Carman, Bliss
 There is fog upon the river, there is mirk upon the town;
You can hear the groping ferries as they hoot each other down;
From the Battery to Harlem there's seven miles of slush,
Through looming granite canyons of glitter, noise, and rush.
Are you sick of phones and tickers and crazing cable gongs,
Of the theatres, the hansoms, and the breathless Broadway throngs,
Of...Read more of this...

Book: Shattered Sighs