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Poem by Bliss Carman
Lo, now comes the April pageant And the Easter of the year. Now the tulip lifts her chalice, And the hyacinth his spear; All the daffodils and jonquils With their hearts of gold are here. Child of the immortal vision, What hast thou to do with fear? When the summons wakes the impulse, And the blood beats in the vein, Let no grief thy dream encumber, No regret thy thought detain. Through the scented bloom-hung valleys, Over tillage, wood and plain, Comes the soothing south wind laden With the sweet impartial rain. All along the roofs and pavements Pass the volleying silver showers, To unfold the hearts of humans And the frail unanxious flowers. Breeding fast in sunlit places, Teeming life puts forth her powers, And the migrant wings come northward On the trail of golden hours. Over intervale and upland Sounds the robin's interlude From his tree-top spire at evening Where no unbeliefs intrude. Every follower of beauty Finds in the spring solitude Sanctuary and persuasion Where the mysteries still brood. Now the bluebird in the orchard, A warm sighing at the door, And the soft haze on the hillside, Lure the houseling to explore The perennial enchanted Lovely world and all its lore; While the early tender twilight Breathes of those who come no more. By full brimming river margins Where the scents of brush fires blow, Through the faint green mist of springtime, Dreaming glad-eyed lovers go, Touched with such immortal madness Not a thing they care to know More than those who caught life's secret Countless centuries ago. In old Egypt for Osiris, Putting on the green attire, With soft hymns and choric dancing They went forth to greet the fire Of the vernal sun, whose ardor His earth children could inspire; And the ivory flutes would lead them To the slake of their desire. In remembrance of Adonis Did the Dorian maidens sing Linus songs of joy and sorrow For the coming back of spring,Ч Sorrow for the wintry death Of each irrevocable thing, Joy for all the pangs of beauty The returning year could bring. Now the priests and holy women With sweet incense, chant and prayer, Keep His death and resurrection Whose new love bade all men share Immortality of kindness, Living to make life more fair. Wakened to such wealth of being, Who would not arise and dare? Seeing how each new fulfilment Issues at the call of need From infinitudes of purpose In the core of soul and seed, Who shall set the bounds of puissance Or the formulas of creed? Truth awaits the test of beauty, Good is proven in the deed. Therefore, give thy spring renascence,Ч Freshened ardor, dreams and mirth,Ч To make perfect and replenish All the sorry fault and dearth Of the life from whose enrichment Thine aspiring will had birth; Take thy part in the redemption Of thy kind from bonds of earth. So shalt thou, absorbed in beauty, Even in this mortal clime Share the life that is eternal, Brother to the lords of time,Ч Virgil, Raphael, Gautama,Ч Builders of the world sublime. Yesterday was not earth's evening Every morning is our prime. All that can be worth the rescue From oblivion and decay,Ч Joy and loveliness and wisdom,Ч In thyself, without dismay Thou shalt save and make enduring Through each word and act, to sway The hereafter to a likeness Of thyself in other clay. Still remains the peradventure, Soul pursues an orbit here Like those unreturning comets, Sweeping on a vast career, By an infinite directrix, Focussed to a finite sphere,Ч Nurtured in an earthly April, In what realm to reappear?
Bliss Carman's other poems:
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