Echoes from Vagabondia

by Bliss Carman


 

PAN IN THE CATSKILLS


 

THEY say that he is dead, and now no more
The reedy syrinx sounds among the hills,
When the long summer heat is on the land.
But I have heard the Catskill thrushes sing,
And therefore am incredulous of death,
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Of pain and sorrow and mortality.

In those blue cañons, deep with hemlock shade,
In solitudes of twilight or of dawn,
I have been rapt away from time and care
By the enchantment of a golden strain

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As pure as ever pierced the Thracian wild,
Filling the listener with a mute surmise.

At evening and at morning I have gone
Down the cool trail between the beech-tree boles,
And heard the haunting music of the wood

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Ring through the silence of the dark ravine,
Flooding the earth with beauty and with joy
And all the ardors of creation old.

And then within my pagan heart awoke
Remembrance of far-off and fabled years

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In the untarnished sunrise of the world,
When clear-eyed Hellas in her rapture heard
A slow mysterious piping wild and keen
Thrill through her vales, and whispered, “It is Pan!”