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Poems About Adventure

Table of Contents

  1. Adventurers by Madison Cawein
  2. The Enchanted Traveller by Bliss Carman
  3. The Pioneers by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. Birch and Paddle by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  5. Columbus by Helen L. Smith

  1. Adventurers

    by Madison Cawein

    Seemingly over the hill-tops,
    Possibly under the hills,
    A tireless wing that never drops,
    And a song that never stills.

    Epics heard on the stars' lips?
    Lyrics read in the dew?—
    To sing the song at our finger-tips,
    And live the world anew!

    Cavaliers of the Cortés kind,
    Bold and stern and strong,—
    And, oh, for a fine and muscular mind
    To sing a new-world's song!

    Sailing seas of the silver morn,
    Winds of the balm and spice,
    To put the old-world art to scorn
    At the price of any price!

    Danger, death, but the hope high!
    God's, if the propose fail!
    Into the deeds of a vaster sky
    Sailing a dauntless sail.

  2. The Enchanted Traveller

    by Bliss Carman

    We travelled empty-handed
    With hearts all fear above,
    For we ate the bread of friendship,
    We drank the wine of love.

    Through many a wondrous autumn,
    Through many a magic spring,
    We hailed the scarlet banners,
    We heard the blue-bird sing.

    We looked on life and nature
    With the eager eyes of youth,
    And all we asked or cared for
    Was beauty, joy, and truth.

    We found no other wisdom,
    We learned no other way,
    Than the gladness of the morning,
    The glory of the day.

    So all our earthly treasure
    Shall go with us, my dears,
    Aboard the Shadow Liner,
    Across the sea of years.

  3. The Pioneers

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Thy waves, proud OHIO, in majesty roll
    Through banks with rich verdure and flowers filly dressed,
    Like the strong tide of mind—like the bright flow of soul,
    That heaves nobly on to the fair, blooming WEST.

    Thy music is set to the motion of years,
    Like thee, bearing down to a fathomless flood;
    But ours, to the march of the bold PIONEERS,
    Who purchased thy borders with peril and blood.

    They fearless went forth where the red heathen foe
    With tomahawk raised, as in ambush he lay,
    And poison-tipped arrows to speed from his bow,
    Concealed like a serpent, infested the way.

    They saw the tall flame, when the council-fire glared
    Along the deep gloom through the wilderness spread.
    They heard the loud whoop, when the knife was prepared
    Its trophy to cleave from the white victim's head!

    The apple tree then, 'mid the trees of the wood,
    They reared among savages human and brute,
    And felled the dark forest around it that stood,
    To let in the sun-beams, and ripen the fruit.

    Their footsteps are traced by the lily and vine;
    Where they lopped the boughs, stands the full-headed sheaf,
    And here, from the pillow, the oil and the wine,
    The weary find rest, and the wounded, relief.

    Where all was in nature's first wildness and night,
    Till they ventured forth, an invincible band,
    The SUN of eternity pours down his light—
    The beauty of holiness spreads o'er the land!

    Roll on, proud OHIO! and long as the voice,
    That sounds from thy waters posterity hears,
    'T will come in bold numbers to hearts that rejoice,
    In chorus responding, 'The brave PIONEERS!'

  4. Birch and Paddle

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Friend, those delights of ours
    Under the sun and showers,—

    Athrough the noonday blue
    Sliding our light canoe,

    Or floating, hushed, at eve,
    When the dim pine-tops grieve!

    What tonic days were they
    Where shy streams dart and play,—

    Where rivers brown and strong
    As caribou bound along,

    Break into angry parle
    Where wildcat rapids snarl,

    Subside, and like a snake
    Wind to the quiet lake!

    We've paddled furtively,
    Where giant boughs hide the sky,—

    Have stolen, and held our breath,
    Thro' coverts still as death,—

    Have left with wing unstirred
    The brooding phoebe-bird,

    And hardly caused a care
    In the water-spider's lair.

    For love of his clear pipe
    We've flushed the zigzag snipe,—

    Have chased in wilful mood
    The wood-duck's flapping brood,—

    Have spied the antlered moose
    Cropping the young green spruce,

    And watched him till betrayed
    By the kingfisher's sharp tirade.

    Quitting the bodeful shades
    We've run thro' sunnier glades,

    And dropping craft and heed
    Have bid our paddles speed.

    Where the mad rapids chafe
    We've shouted, steering safe,—

    With sinew tense, nerve keen,
    Shot thro' the roar, and seen,

    With spirit wild as theirs,
    The white waves leap-like hares.

    And then, with souls grown clear
    In that sweet atmosphere,

    With influences serene
    Our blood and brain washed clean,

    We've idled down the breast
    Of broadening tides at rest,

    And marked the winds, the birds,
    The bees, the far-off herds,

    Into a drowsy tune
    Transmute the afternoon.

    So, Friend, with ears and eyes
    Which shy divinities

    Have opened with their kiss,
    We need no balm but this,—

    A little space for dreams
    On care-unsullied streams,—

    'Mid task and toil, a space
    To dream on Nature's face!

  5. Columbus

    by Helen L. Smith

    A harbor in a sunny, southern city;
    Ships at their anchor, riding in the lee;
    A little lad, with steadfast eyes, and dreamy,
    Who ever watched the waters lovingly.

    A group of sailors, quaintly garbed and bearded;
    Strange tales, that snared the fancy of the child:
    Of far-off lands, strange beasts, and birds, and people,
    Of storm and sea-fight, danger-filled and wild.

    And ever in the boyish soul was ringing
    The urging, surging challenge of the sea,
    To dare,—as these men dared, its wrath and danger,
    To learn,—as they, its charm and mystery.

    Columbus, by the sunny, southern harbor,
    You dreamed the dreams that manhood years made true;
    Thank God for men—their deeds have crowned the ages—
    Who once were little dreamy lads like you.