Songs from a Northern Garden

by Bliss Carman




My hillside garden half-way up 
The mountains from the purple sea,
Beholds the pomp of days go by 
In summer's gorgeous pageantry.

I watch the shadows of the clouds


Stream over Grand Pré in the sun, 
And the white fog seethe up and spill 
Over the rim of Blomidon.

For past the mountains to the North,
Like a great caldron of the tides, 


Is Fundy, boiling round their base, 
And ever fuming up their sides.

Yet here within my valley world
No breath of all that tumult stirs;
The little orchards sleep in peace;

Forever dream the dark blue firs.

And while far up the gorges sweep
The silver legions of the showers, 
I have communion with the grass 
And conversation with the flowers.


More wonderful than human speech
Their dialect of silence is, 
The simple Dorian of the fields, 
So full of homely subtleties.

When the dark pansies nod to say


Good morning to the marigolds,
Their velvet taciturnity 
Reveals as much as it withholds.

I always half expect to hear 
Some hint of what they mean to do; 


But never is their fine reserve 
Betrayed beyond a smile or two.

Yet very well at times I seem 
To understand their reticence, 
And so, long since, I came to love 


My little brothers by the fence.

Perhaps some August afternoon, 
When earth is only half-aware, 
They will unlock their heart for once,— 
How sad if I should not be there!