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A Mary T. Hoffman Commentary from


"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


By Mary T. Hoffman

In this elegy Bliss Carman blends together words that express the beauty of nature with the sensitivity that I admire in his poems.

By Bliss Carman
(15 April 1861- 8 June 1929)

Not in the ancient abbey,
Nor in the city ground,
Not in the lonely mountains,
Nor in the blue profound,
Lay him to rest when his time is come
And the smiling mortal lips are dumb;

Here in the decent quiet
Under the whispering pines,
Where the dogwood breaks in blossom
And the peaceful sunlight shines,
Where wild birds sing and ferns unfold,
When spring comes back in her green and gold.

And when that mortal likeness
Has been dissolved by fire,
Say not above the ashes,
"Here ends a man's desire."
For every year when the blue-birds sing,
He shall be part of the lyric spring.

Then dreamful-hearted lovers
Shall hear in wind and rain
The cadence of his music,
The rhythm of his refrain,
For he was a blade of the April sod
That bowed and blew with the whisper of God.

After his death at age sixty-eight in New Canaan, Connecticut, Bliss Carman’s body was returned to his home in Canada where he was buried in the Forest Hill Cemetery in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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