The Islands of the Blest

By George Sterling

In Carmel pines the summer wind
    Sings like a distant sea.
O harps of green, your murmurs find
    An ecnoing chord in me!

On Carmel shore the breakers moan
    Like pines that breast a gale.
O whence, ye winds and billows, flown
    To cry your wordless tale?

Perchance the crimson sunsets drown
    In waters whence ye sped;
Perchance the sinking stars go down
    To seek the Isles ye fled.

Sometimes from ocean dusks I seem
    To glimpse their crystal walls,
Dim jewels of mirage that gleam
    In twilight's western halls.

Sometimes I hear below the moon
    A music that pursues—
A wraith of melody, that soon
    I doubt, and douhting, lose.

Those palmy shores no prow may find,
    But once it seemed to me
A ghost of fragrance roamed the wind.
    Yet was not of the sea.

What tho' my tale the seaman scorns?
    The Chart of Dreams, unrolled,
Attests their haven's jasper bourns,
    Their reefs of sunken gold.

I do not know what lonely strands
    Await the wing éd star;
I only know their evening sands
    Seem wonderful and far.

A Wine of Wizardry and Other Poems by George Sterling, A.M Roberston, 1909.

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