By Vincent Starrett.

In a dim grotto of the wood, they said,

Great Pan lies dead;

And then they flew

Laughing across the sand, but paused anew,

Clad in white chastity, upon the brink —

Shy fawns at drink,

Half-frightened by

The murmuring treetops and the water’s sigh —

Viewing the wood with half-alarmed grimace

For a strange face.

The goat-eared Pan,

They said in bravado, is not a man

But a dead god; an antique legend sung

To charm the young.

And then the sea

Robed them in living jewels lavishly;

Clasped his wet arms about them — ah, so slim! —

Drew them to him.

Beware, old sea!

Dost thou not fear Pan’s maddened jealousy?

Dost thou think, too, that Pan is dead and cold,

Deep in the gold

Dead leaves of fall,

Leaving all this to thee as seneschal?

Long since thou heard the cloven hoof resound

Upon the ground;

Since thy pale glass

Gave back his image. Ah, the years may pass

But Pan lives yet, for love is more than death.

Hear’st thou a breath

Hot in the wood,

Where in thy youth the shaggy lover stood?

Then — not too far, thou graybeard charlatan,

For I am Pan!


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