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Poem 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?

And 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. 

Bliss Carman

Bliss Carman's other poems:
  1. Behind the Arras
  2. I Loved Thee, Atthis, in the Long Ago
  3. Triumphalis
  4. The Rainbird
  5. White Nassau

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