Carolina Chansons eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 83 pages of information about Carolina Chansons.

    Memory expects those hymns for shrimp and prawn,
    Or the mellifluous chaunt from the black gorge
    Of Orpheus inside a murky skin,
    Who looked the gold sun in the eye
    While garden mists grew thin,
    And intoned “Hoppin’ John!”

    As when the shadow of the gray eclipse
    Haggards the countryside,
    When moon-fooled birds have nothing more to say,
    And soft untimely bats begin to slide;
    As darkness sweeps the morning light away,
    So silence brushes music now from lips.

    Oh!  Can it be the songless spirit of this age
    Has slain the ancient music, or that ears
    Have harsher thresholds?  Only this I know: 
    The streets grow more discordant with the years;
    And that which bids the huckster sing no more,
    Will drive the flower-woman from the door.



    Once in the starlight
    When the tides were low,
    And the surf fell sobbing
    To the undertow,
    I trod the windless dunes
    Alone with Edgar Poe.

    Dim and far behind us,
    Like a fabled bloom
    On the myrtle thickets,
    In the swaying gloom
    Hung the clustered windows
    Of the barrack-room.

    Faint on the evening
    Tenuous and far
    As the beauty shaken
    From a vagrant star,
    Throbbed the ache and passion
    Of an old guitar.

    Life closed behind us
    Like a swinging gate,
    Leaving us unfettered
    And emancipate;
    Confidants of Destiny,
    Intimates of Fate.

    I could only cower,
    Silent, while the night,
    Seething with its planets,
    Parted to our sight,
    Showing us infinity
    In its breadth and height.

    But my chosen comrade,
    Tossing back his hair
    With the old loved gesture,
    Raised his face, and there
    Shone the agony that those
    Loved of God must bear.

    Oh, we heard the many things
    Silence has to say;
    He and I together
    As alone we lay
    Waiting for the slow, sweet
    Miracle of day.

    When the bugle’s silver
    Spiralled up the dawn,
    Dew-dear, night-cool,
    And the stars were gone,
    I arose exultant,
    Like a man new born.

    But my friend and master,
    Heavy-limbed and spent,
    Turned, as one must turn at last
    From the sacrament;
    And his eyes were deep with God’s
    Burning discontent.


[8] See the note on Poe.


Project Gutenberg
Carolina Chansons from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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