Sanctuary Sunshine House Sonnets

by Bliss Carman

Illustrations by Whitman Bailey






How many a time have we not seen with joy
The new moon in the West, the longed-for sign
Glory shall fail not with recurring time.
Each month in flawless wonder reappears
That miracle of light and fantasy—
The faithful lamp the Twilight Sibyl bears,
Protectress of the fond in heart, who dwells
Upon the borders of the sacred night.
In April when the woodlands ring with song
Or in December’s leafless solitude,
She comes to take away the fret of life
And with sheer ecstasy set all things free;
While the adoring soul in stillness waits,
Love like the frailest windflower revives.




Ah, yes! For love is not a graven stone
Nor sainted image cast in changeless bronze,
To front the onslaughts of tempestuous time
And the slow ravages of frost endure.
It is more like a blossom of the field
Springing in meadow corners unobserved
Or from the common roadside in the dust,
To be the marvel of the passer-by.
Within the fallow of the heart there falls
A chance-sown seed of glory on a day;
Our rapture warms it like the kindly sun,
Our tears of sorrow nourish it like rain;
And there, as in our own door-year, behold
An immortal flower the Heavenly Gardener tends.