Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE GREAT GOD PAN, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY Poet's Biography
First Line: O pan is the goodliest god, I wist,
Last Line: To his rollicking wraith below.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Fantasy; Love; Mythology - Classical; Pan (Mythology); Wind
O PAN is the goodliest god, I wist,
Of all of the lovable gods that be! --
For his two strong hands were the first to twist
From the depths of the current, through spatter and mist,
The long-hushed reeds that he pressed in glee
To his murmurous mouth, as he chuckled and kissed
Their souls into melody.
And the wanton winds are in love with Pan:
They loll in the shade with him day by day;
And betimes as beast, and betimes as man,
They love him as only the wild winds can, --
Or sleeking the coat of his limbs one way,
Or brushing his brow with the locks they fan
To the airs he loves to play.
And he leans by the river, in gloom and gleam,
Blowing his reeds as the breezes blow --
His cheeks puffed out, and his eyes in a dream,
And his hoof-tips, over the leaves in the stream,
Tapping the time of the tunes that flow
As sweet as the drowning echoes seem
To his rollicking wraith below.
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