A Winter Holiday

by Bliss Carman




WHERE the Southern liners go,
In the push of the purple seas,
When sky and ocean merge
Their blue immensities,

A creature novel and fine

Will break from the foam and play,
Swift as a leaf on the wind,
Part of the light and spray.

Will scud like a gust of snow,
Silver diaphanous things,


As if, when the sun gave will,
The sea for his part gave wings.

For æons the Titan deep
Forged and fashioned and framed,
In the great water-mills,


Forms that no man has named.

With hammer of thunderous seas,
With smooth attrition of tides,
Shaping each joint and valve,
Putting the heart in their sides,


Blindly he labored and slow,
With patience ungrudging and vast,
Moulding the marvels he wrought
Nearer some purpose at last.

Not his own. Those creatures of his


Were endowed with an alien spark,
And a hint of groping mind
That made for an unseen mark.

For part was the stroke of force,
Fortuitous, blind, and fell,


And part was the breath of soul
Inhabiting film and cell.

Finer and frailer they grew;
Must dare and be glad and aspire,
Out of the nether gloom


Into the pale sea-fire,

Out of the pale sea-day
Into the sparkle and air,
Quitting the elder home
For the venture bright and rare.


Ah, Silver-fin, you too
Must follow the faint ahoy
Over the welter of life
To radiant moments of joy!