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Poem by Bliss Carman
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, With June in every blade and tree! Now with the sea-wind in our hair We turn our faces to the sea. We go unheeded as the stream That wanders by the hill-wood side, Till the great marshes take his hand And lead him to the roving tide. The roving tide, the sleeping hills, These are the borders of that zone Where they may fare as fancy wills Whom wisdom smiles and calls her own. It is a country of the sun, Full of forgotten yesterdays, When Time takes Summer in his care, And fills the distance of her gaze. It stretches from the open sea To the blue mountains and beyond; The world is Vagabondia To him who is a vagabond. In the beginning God made man Out of the wandering dust, men say; And in the end his life shall be A wandering wind and blown away. We are the vagabonds of time, Willing to let the world go by, With joy supreme, with heart sublime, And valor in the kindling eye. We have forgotten where we slept, And guess not where we sleep to-night, Whether among the lonely hills In the pale streamers’ ghostly light We shall lie down and hear the frost Walk in the dead leaves restlessly, Or somewhere on the iron coast Learn the oblivion of the sea. It matters not. And yet I dream Of dreams fulfilled and rest somewhere Before this restless heart is stilled And all its fancies blown to air. Had I my will! . . . The sun burns down And something plucks my garment’s hem: The robins in their faded brown Would lure me to the south with them. ’Tis time for vagabonds to make The nearest inn. Far on I hear The voices of the Northern hills Gather the vagrants of the year. Brave heart, my soul! Let longings be! We have another day to wend. For dark or waylay what care we Who have the lords of time to friend? And if we tarry or make haste, The wayside sleep can hold no fear. Shall fate unpoise, or whim perturb, The calm-begirt in dawn austere? There is a tavern, I have heard, Not far, and frugal, kept by One Who knows the children of the Word, And welcomes each when day is done. Some say the house is lonely set In Northern night, and snowdrifts keep The silent door; the hearth is cold, And all my fellows gone to sleep.... Had I my will! I hear the sea Thunder a welcome on the shore; I know where lies the hostelry And who should open me the door.
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