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The Garden of Years and Other Poems from Guy Wetmore Carryl

On the Prow

Strange, silent East! Across the solemn calm
The slender ship outward and onward strives,
Bearing to odorous shores of date and palm
The burden of a hundred little lives.

On a like course drift I toward the verge
Beyond which lies what now I may not know;
Yet my heart whispers these gray wastes of surge
Stretch whither it is good for me to go.

Youth, like the speeding sun, left far behind—
Unanswered questions mutely sent before—
Oh, great, dim East, what welcome shall I find
When thy wide arms unveil the distant shore?

The prow knows not the harbor that it nears,
Nor I if thou shalt bring the seeker rest:—
Yet the strong hand the fragile ship that steers
Will guide her to the haven that is best!

poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1896)Report problemRelated quotes
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June

Lightsome, laughter-loving June,
Days that swoon
In beds of flowers;
Twilights dipped in rose perfume,
Nights of gloom
Washed clear by showers.
Suns that softly sink to rest
In the west,
All purple barred;
And a faint night-wind that sighs
Under skies
Still, silver-starred.
Languorous breaths of meadow land
Overspanned
By clouds like snow;
And a shouting from the brooks,
Where in nooks
Late violets grow.
June, ah, June, to lie and dream
By the stream,

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1895)Report problemRelated quotes
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Hesperia

Across the stretch of southward seas
The zephyr-swept Hesperides
Lie smiling, ever smiling;
And there the laughter-loving Pan
Leads on his joyous woodland clan
Through halcyon haunts, unknown to man,
With song the hours beguiling.
O fair, far land, thy portals
Swing only to immortals!
Thy scented bowers, thy wondrous flowers,
Thy pleasant ways of ease,
Thy nights dew-dipped and breathless,
Thy birds, unwearied, deathless—
These charms untold I’d fain behold,
Fair, far Hesperides!

The dusk with all her wealth of stars,
The dawn, when clouds like crimson bars
Turn all the east to splendor,
Bring roseate dreamings unto me

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1896)Report problemRelated quotes
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The Passing of Pan

Laughter, velvet-lipped, runs ringing
All along the woodland ways,
While a strange, bewitching singing
Fills the glad Arcadian days;
Ripple-rocked, the slender naiads
Rush-fringed shores expectant scan
For attendant hamadryads,
Heralding the path of Pan.

Through the swaying bushes sliding,
Dark-eyed nymphs before him trip,
And the god, with stately striding,
Follows, laughter on his lip;
While the wild bird-hearts that love him
In the haunts untrod by man,
Riot rapturously above him,
Heralding the path of Pan.

From the yellow beds of mallows
Gleams the glint of golden hair,

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1896)Report problemRelated quotes
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A Fragment

When she is forward, querulous, or wild,
Thou knowest, Abba, how in each offence
I stint not patience lest I wrong the child,
Mistaking for revolt defect of sense—
For wilfulness mere sprightliness of mind;
Thou knowest how often, seeing, I am blind.

• • • • • • • •

And how, when twice, for something grievous done,
I could but smite, and though I lightly smote,
I felt my heart rise strangling in my throat;
And when she wept I kissed the poor red hands.
All these things, Father, a father understands;
And am I not Thy son?

• • • • • • • •

Thou’st seen how closely, Abba, when at rest
My child’s head nestles to my breast;

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1893)Report problemRelated quotes
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Shells

Where the long waves put cool, caressing hands
Upon the fevered temples of the shore,
And with their eager lips are telling o’er
Their strange, unspoken secrets to the sands,
Along the shining rim of cape and cove
The shells in fair, unplanned mosaic lie;
And there the children, keen of heart and eye,
Gather their harvest in of treasure-trove.
Yet this is one of ocean’s mysteries—
That, while the humbler shells the breakers brave,
The fairest are most fragile, and the wave,
Ruthless, has crushed and mutilated these!

Ah, sea of life, we, too, like children, stand
Through youth and age, expectant, at thy rim,
To pray for golden argosies from Him
Who holds thee in the hollow of His hand.
Capricious tides delude us, veer and turn,
And flash our dreams to view, again to hide;
A moment on the breaker’s crest they ride,

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1897)Report problemRelated quotes
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Paris

I knew when first I looked into her eyes,
And she in mine, that what has been must be,
And so let others say she told them lies:
She told no lie to me!
She spoke me fair, of lees as well as wine,
Then, with that subtlest charm of all her charms,
Half-dropped her languid lids, and at the sign
I ran into her arms!

Now it is she who flings my window wide
At dawn, and lets the perfumed morning in,
And she who walks so softly at my side,
Through noonday’s dust and din.
But, most of all, ’t is she, where blue night falls,
Whose firm, imperious fingers tap the pane,
And she whose velvet voice it is that calls,
Nor calls her own in vain!

It is as if the siren understood
How that she is so strong at this still hour,

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1901)Report problemRelated quotes
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“The Winds and the Sea Obey Him”

Who once hath heard the sea above her graves
Sing to the stars her requiem, and on whom
Her spell is laid of shoreward-sliding waves,
Alternate gleam and gloom,
In reverent mood and silent, standing where
Her hundred throats their diapason raise,
Hath found the very perfectness of prayer
And plenitude of praise.
Thenceforward is his hope a thing apart
From man’s perplexing dogmas, good or ill;
Deep in the sacred silence of his heart
His faith abideth, still:—
A faith that fails not, steadfast, humble, kind,
Amid a vexing multitude of creeds
That bend and break with every passing wind,
Like tempest-trampled reeds.

The tide of man’s belief may ebb or flow;
Its swift mutations, many though they be,
He heedeth not who once hath come to know

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1897)Report problemRelated quotes
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The Easter Lily

A little child, as winter turned to spring,
Tended a lily-plant with patient care,
Thinking, when she should see it blossoming,
To set it on the chancel-step; that there,
When Easter dawned on Lent, the spotless thing
Might on the feast-day be her offering,
Lifting its own white face to One more fair.

But, as the plant grew upward day by day,
Raising itself from earth towards the sky,
So seemed the child from earth to draw away,
The while she feared to see the lily die;
Unthinking that, ere broke the Easter ray,
She might her own white soul before Him lay
For Whom she sought the flower to sanctify.

Time passed. The lily bloomed not; and the night
Before the feast had come. And so the child
Sent to the church the cherished plant, despite
’T was but an unblown bud; and—reconciled

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1893)Report problemRelated quotes
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Ebb-Tide

A sodden reach of wide and wind-swept lea,
A sky of shattered steel that palls the sight,
And one long shaft of sun that seems to write
Vast letters slowly on a slate of sea;
The dreary wail of gulls that skim the crest
Of sullen breakers sliding in to land,
A world grown empty, full of vague unrest,
And shadow-shapes that stride across the sand!

The gray beach widens. Foot by foot appear
Strange forms of wreckage creeping from the waves,
Like ghosts that steal in silence from their graves
To watch beside the death-bed of the year;
Poor shattered shapes of ships that once stood out
Full-freighted to the far horizon’s sweep
To music of the cheery sailor-shout
Of men who sought the wonders of the deep!

Poor shattered ships! Their gallant cruising o’er,
Their cargoes coral-crusted, leagues below,

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poem by Guy Wetmore Carryl from The Garden of Years and Other Poems (1899)Report problemRelated quotes
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