A Water Color

By Bliss Carman

There’s a picture in my room
Lightens many an hour of gloom, —
Cheers me under fortune’s frown
And the drudgery of town.
Many and many a winter day
When my soul sees all things gray,
Here is veritable June,
Heart’s content and spirit’s boon.
It is scarce a hand-breadth wide,
Not a span from side to side,
Yet it is an open door
Looking back to joy once more,
Where the level marshes lie,
A quiet journey of the eye,
And the unsubstantial blue
Makes the fine illusion true.
So I forth and travel there
In the blessed light and air,
Miles of green tranquillity
Down the river to the sea.
Here the sea-birds roam at will,
And the sea-wind on the hill
Brings the hollow pebbly roar
From the dim and rosy shore,
With the very scent and draft
Of the old sea’s mighty craft.
I am standing on the dunes,
By some charm that must be June’s,
When the magic of her hand
Lays a sea-spell on the land.
And the old enchantment falls
On the blue-gray orchard walls
And the purple high-top boles,
While the orange orioles
Flame and whistle through the green
Of that paradisal scene.
Strolling idly for an hour
Where the elder is in flower,
I can hear the bob-white call
Down beyond the pasture wall.
Musing in the scented heat,
Where the bayberry is sweet,
I can see the shadows run
Up the cliff-side in the sun.
Or I cross the bridge and reach
The mossers’ houses on the beach,
Where the bathers on the sand
Lie sea-freshened and sun-tanned.
Thus I pass the gates of time
And the boundaries of clime,
Change the ugly man-made street
For God’s country green and sweet.
Fag of body, irk of mind,
In a moment left behind,
Once more I possess my soul
With the poise and self-control
Beauty gives the free of heart
Through the sorcery of art.

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