Behind the Arras - A Book of the Unseen
62 pages

Behind the Arras - A Book of the Unseen


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62 pages
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Publié le 08 décembre 2010
Nombre de lectures 18
Langue English


The Project Gutenberg EBook of Behind the Arras, by Bliss Carman This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at
Title: Behind the Arras  A Book of the Unseen Author: Bliss Carman Illustrator: T. B. Meteyard Release Date: April 24, 2006 [EBook #18242] Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK BEHIND THE ARRAS ***
Produced by Louise Hope, Thierry Alberto and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by the Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions (
Behind the Arras
Behind the Arras A Book of the Unseen
By Bliss Carman With Designs by T. B. Meteyard
Boston and New York Lamson, Wolffe, and Company M·DCCC·XC·V
Copyright, 1895. by Lamson, Wolffe, & Co. All rights reserved.
Behind the Arras Fancy’s Fool The Moondial The Face in the Stream The Cruise of the Galleon A Song before Sailing In the Wings The Red Wolf The Faithless Lover The Crimson House The Lodger Beyond the Gamut The Juggler Hack and Hew The Night Express The Dustman The Sleepers At the Granite Gate Exit Anima
To G. H. B.
1 16 19 23 29 32 35 37 44 46 49 66 81 85 87 91 94 96 100
“I shut myself in with my soul, And the shapes come eddying forth.”
Behind the Arras
LIKE the old house tolerably well, IWhere I must dwell Like a familiar gnome; And yet I never shall feel quite at home: I love to roam.
Day after day I loiter and explore From door to door; So many treasures lure The curious mind. What histories obscure
     They must immure! I hardly know which room I care for best; This fronting west, With the strange hills in view, Where the great sun goes,—where I may go too, When my lease is through,— Or this one for the morning and the east, Where a man may feast His eyes on looming sails, And be the first to catch their foreign hails Or spy their bales. Then the pale summer twilights towards the pole! It thrills my soul With wonder and delight, When gold-green shadows walk the world at night, So still, so bright. There at the window many a time of year, Strange faces peer, Solemn though not unkind, Their wits in search of something left behind Time out of mind; As if they once had lived here, and stole back To the window crack For a peep which seems to say, “Good fortune, brother, in your house of clay!” And then, “Good day!” I hear their footsteps on the gravel walk, Their scraps of talk, And hurrying after, reach Only the crazy sea-drone of the beach In endless speech. And often when the autumn noons are still, By swale and hill I see their gipsy signs, Trespassing somewhere on my border lines; With what designs? I forth afoot; but when I reach the place, Hardly a trace, Save the soft purple haze Of smouldering camp-fires, any hint betrays Who went these ways. Or tatters of pale aster blue, descried B the roadside,
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Like some invisible henchman old and gray, Day after day I hear it come and go, With stealthy swift unmeaning to and fro, Muttering low, Ceaseless and daft and terrible and blind, Like a lost mind. I often chill with fear When I bethink me, What if it should peer At my shoulder here! Perchance he drives the merry-go-round whose track Is the zodiac; His name is No-man’s-friend; And his gabbling parrot-talk has neither trend, Beginning, nor end. A prince of madness too, I’d cry, “A rat!” And lunge thereat,— Let out at one swift thrust The cunning arch-delusion of the dust I so mistrust, But that I fear I should disclose a face Wearing the trace Of my own human guise, Piteous, unharmful, loving, sad, and wise, With the speaking eyes. I would the house were rid of his grim pranks, Moaning from banks Of pine trees in the moon, Startling the silence like a demoniac loon At dead of noon, Or whispering his fool-talk to the leaves About my eaves. And yet how can I know ’T is not a happy Ariel masking so In mocking woe? Then with a little broken laugh I say, Snatching away The curtain where he grinned (My feverish sight thought) like a sin unsinned, “Only the wind!” Yet often too he steals so softly by, With half a sigh, I deem he must be mild, Fair as a woman, gentle as a child, And forest wild.
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