From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman




I thought it chill and lonesome,
And too far from the road 
For an ideal dwelling, 
When here I first abode.

But yesterday a lodger 


Smiled as she passed my door, 
With mien of gay contentment 
That lured me to explore.

Unerringly she leads me,
Compassionate and wise,

Soul of immortal beauty
Wearing the mortal guise.

She knows from sill to attic
The great house through and through,
Its treasures of the ages,

Surprises ever new.

From room to room I follow,
Entranced with each in turn,
Enchanted by each wonder
She bids my look discern.


She names them: here is First-love,
A chamber by the sea;
Here in a flood of noonday
Is spacious Charity.

Here is a cell, Devotion;

And lonely Courage here,
Where child-deserted windows
Look on the Northern year;

Friendship and Faith and Gladness,
Fragrant of air and bloom,

Where one might spend a lifetime
Secure from fear of gloom.

And often as we wander,
I fancy we have neared
The Master of the Mansion,

Who has not yet appeared.