Carolina Chansons eBook

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

Some souls are strangers in this bourne;
Beauty is born from such men’s discontent;
Earth’s grass and stones,
Her seas, her forests, and her air
Are seas and forests till they mirror on some pool
Unusually reflecting in an exile’s mind,
Who tarries here protesting and alone;
And then they get strange shapes from memories of other stars
The banished knew, or spheres he dreams will be. 
Thus is the fivefold vision of the earth recast
By ghostly alchemy.

But there are favored spots
Where all earth’s moods conspire to make a show
Of things to be transmuted into beauty
By alchemic minds. 
Such is this island beach where Poe once walked,
And heard the melic throbbing of the sea,
With muffled sound of harbor bells—­
Bells—­he loved bells! 
And here are drifting ghosts of city chimes
Come over water through the evening mist,
Like knells from death-ships off the coasts of spectral lands.

I think some dusk their metal voices
Yet will call him back
To walk upon this magic beach again,
While Grief holds carnival upon the harbor bar. 
Heralded by ravens from another air,
The master will pass, pacing here,
Wrapped in a cape dark as the unborn moon. 
There will be lightning underneath a star;
And he will speak to me
Of archipelagoes forgot,
Atolls in sailless seas, where dreams have married thought.


[9] See the note on Poe.



The feathers of the eagle-bonnets ride upon the north wind;
The sachems and their totems have perished in the fire;
Through the valleys and the rivers and the mountains that you fought for
Beats the quick desire. 
In the happy hunting ground of proven warriors,
You have passed the pipe of peace at council fire
With the pale-face and the Zulus’ mighty chieftains—­
Rest with dead desire.


[10] The Indian Chief, Osceola, lies buried at Fort Moultrie.



In the spring when the first midges dance and warm days lure the last-year’s butterfly, the scarlet of the cardinals begins to flicker through the ivory smoke of the mosses.  Then the alligator leaves his winter ooze, and the widening “O” of the ripple which his gar-like nose makes, travels slowly across the sullen ponds, where the pendant gonfalons of the mosses kiss their imaginary duplicates, hanging head downward in the red water.

When the first frog honks with the bull-voiced trumpet of resurgent spring, the jasmine rings its little hawk-bells, golden harp notes through the forest; and the usurping wistaria assumes the purple, reigning imperial and alone, flaunting its palidementum in a cascade of lilac amid the matrix of the mosses.  Its sleek, muscular vine-arms writhe round the clasped bodies of live oaks as if two lovers slept beneath a cloak, and the cloisonne pavilion of their dalliance drips a blue-glaze of shadows overhead.

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Carolina Chansons from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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