Carolina Chansons eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about Carolina Chansons.
    As if the earth turned slowly,
    Or looked with one still face upon the sun
    As Venus does—­
    Until the trees, the fields, the marshes,
    All turn dun, dull Quaker-brown,
    And a mild winter settles down,
    And mosses are more gray.

    All human souls are glasses which reflect
    The aspects of the outer world;
    See what terrible gods the huge Himalayas bred! 
    And the fierce Jewish Jaywah came
    From the hot Syrian deserts
    With his inhibitory decalogue. 
    The gods of little hills are always tame;
    Here God is dull, where all things stay the same.

    No change on these sea-islands! 
    The huge piled clouds range
    White in the cobalt sky;
    The moss hangs,
    And the strong, tiring sea-winds blow—­
    While day on glistering day goes by.

    The horses plow with hanging heads,
    Slow, followed by a black-faced man,
    Indifferent to the sun;
    The old cotton bushes hang with whitened heads;
    And there among the live-oak trees,
    Peep the small whitewashed cabins,
    Painted blue, perhaps, and scarlet-turbaned women,
    Ample-hipped, with voices soft and warm
    With the lean hounds and chocolate children swarm.

    Day after day the ocean pumps
    The awful valve-gates of his heart,
    Diastole and systole through these estuaries;
    The tides flow in long, gray, weed-streaked lines;
    The salt water, like the planet’s lifeblood, goes
    As if the earth were breathing with long-taken breaths
    And we were very near her heart.

    No wonder that these faces show a tired dismay,
    Looking on burning suns, and scarcely blithe in May;
    Spring’s coming is too fierce with life;
    And summer is too long;
    The stunted pine trees struggle with the sand
    Till the eyes sicken with their dwarfing strife.

    There are old women here among these island homes,
    With dull brown eyes that look at something gray,
    And tight silver hair, drawn back in lines,
    Like the beach grass that’s always blown one way;
    With such a melancholy in their faces
    I know that they have lived long in these places. 
    The tides, the hooting owls, the daylight moons,
    The leprous lights and shadows of the mosses,
    The funereal woodlands of these coasts,
    Draped like a perpetual hearse,
    And memories of an old war’s ancient losses,
    Dwell in their faces’ shadows like gray ghosts. 
    And worse—­
    The terror of the black man always near—­
    The drab level of the ricefields and the marsh
    Lends them a mask of fear.



Project Gutenberg
Carolina Chansons from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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