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The Pipe of Pan

The cool brook runs as clear and sweet
As ever water ran;

I almost hear the rhythmic beat
Of pattering footfalls, light and fleet,
As Daphne speeds, with flying feet
To hide in leaves her safe retreat,-
But not the pipe of Pan.

On yonder rocky mountain's sides
Do oreads dance and climb?
In that dark grot what nymph abides?
And when the freakish wind-god rides,
Do sylphs float on the breezy tides,
While in the hollow tree-trunk hides
The dryad of old time?

Or is the world so changed to-day
That all the sylvan clan,
Nymph, dryad, oread, sylph and fay,
Have flown forevermore away,

So, though we watch, and wait, and pray,
Never again on earth will play

The witching pipe of Pan?

Come, sit on yonder stone and play
O Pan, thy pipe of reeds,

As when the earth was young and gay,
Long ere this dull and sordid day,—
Play till we learn thy simple lay,
And grief and discord fade away,
And selfish care recedes!

O, darkened sense! O, dense, deaf ear!
The world has placed its ban

Against the genii, once so dear,

And strife and greed, for many a year,
Have spoiled the sweet old atmosphere,

So, though he play, we cannot hear
The wondrous pipe of Pan!


Elizabeth Akers [1832-1911]


WHAT though I sing no other song?
What though I speak no other word?
Is silence shame? Is patience wrong?-
At least one song of mine was heard:

One echo from the mountain air,

One ocean murmur, glad and free, One sign that nothing grand or fair In all this world was lost to me.

I will not wake the sleeping lyre;

I will not strain the chords of thought; The sweetest fruit of all desire

Comes its own way, and comes unsought.

Though all the bards of earth were dead,
And all their music passed away,
What Nature wishes should be said
She'll find the rightful voice to say!

Her heart is in the shimmering leaf,
The drifting cloud, the lonely sky,
And all we know of bliss or grief

She speaks, in forms that cannot die.

The mountain peaks that shine afar,
The silent stars, the pathless sea,

Are living signs of all we are,
And types of all we hope to be.

William Winter [1836


PHOEBUS, arise,


And paint the sable skies

With azure, white, and red:

Rouse Memnon's mother from her Tithon's bed,
That she thy càreer may with roses spread:
The nightingales thy coming each where sing,
Make an eternal Spring!

Give life to this dark world which lieth dead;
Spread forth thy golden hair

In larger locks than thou wast wont before,

And, emperor-like, decore

With diadem of pearl thy temples fair:

Chase hence the ugly night,

Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light.

This is that happy morn,

That day, long-wished day,

Of all my life so dark,

(If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn,

And fates not hope betray,)

Which, only white, deserves

A diamond for ever should it mark.

This is the morn should bring unto this grove

My Love, to hear and recompense my love.
Fair king, who all preserves,

But show thy blushing beams,

And thou two sweeter eyes

Shalt see, than those which by Peneus' streams

Did once thy heart surprise.

Nay, suns, which shine as clear

As thou, when two thou didst to Rome appear. Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest guise:

If that ye, winds, would hear

A voice surpassing far Amphion's lyre,
Your stormy chiding stay;

Let Zephyr only breathe,

And with her tresses play,

Kissing sometimes these purple ports of death.
-The winds all silent are,
And Phoebus in his chair
Ensaffroning sea and air,
Makes vanish every star:
Night like a drunkard reels

Beyond the hills, to shun his flaming wheels:
The fields with flowers are decked in every hue,
The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue:
Here is the pleasant place,

And everything save her, who all should grace. William Drummond [1585-1649]


THE sleepless Hours who watch me as I lie,
Curtained with star-inwoven tapestries,
From the broad moonlight of the sky,

Fanning the busy dreams from my dim eyes,Waken me when their Mother, the gray Dawn, Tells them that dreams and that the moon is gone.

Then I arise, and climbing Heaven's blue dome,
I walk over the mountains and the waves,
Leaving my robe upon the ocean foam;

My footsteps pave the clouds with fire; the caves Are filled with my bright presence, and the air Leaves the green Earth to my embraces bare.

The sunbeams are my shafts, with which I kill
Deceit, that loves the night and fears the day;
All men who do or even imagine ill

Fly me, and from the glory of my ray
Good minds and open actions take new might,
Until diminished by the reign of Night.



I feed the clouds, the rainbows, and the flowers,
With their ethereal colors; the Moon's globe,
And the pure stars in their eternal bowers,

Are cinctured with my power as with a robe;
Whatever lamps on Earth or Heaven may shine,
Are portions of one power, which is mine.

I stand at noon upon the peak of Heaven;
Then with unwilling steps I wander down
Into the clouds of the Atlantic even;

For grief that I depart they weep and frown:
What look is more delightful than the smile
With which I soothe them from the western isle?

I am the eye with which the Universe
Beholds itself, and knows itself divine;
All harmony of instrument or versc,
All prophecy, all medicine, are mine,
All light of art or nature;-to my song
Victory and praise in their own right belong.

Percy Bysshe Shelley [1792-1822]


From "The New Day"

THE night was dark, though sometimes a faint star
A little while a little space made bright.

The night was dark and still the dawn seemed far,
When, o'er the muttering and invisible sea,

Slowly, within the East, there grew a light

Which half was starlight, and half seemed to be

and up the height

The herald of a greater. The pale white
Turned slowly to pale rose,
Of heaven slowly climbed.
Rose-colored like the sky.

The gray sea grew
A white gull flew

Straight toward the utmost boundary of the East
Where slowly the rose gathered and increased.
There was light now, where all was black before:
It was as on the opening of a door

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