Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SYRINX, by EDITH MATILDA THOMAS



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First Line: Come forth, too timid spirit of the reed
Last Line: Pan has been gone this many a silent year!


COME forth, too timid spirit of the reed!
Leave thy plashed coverts and elusions shy,
And find delight at large in grove and mead.
No ambushed harm, no wanton peering eye;
The shepherd's uncouth god thou need'st not fear, --
Pan has not passed this way for many a year.

'Tis but the vagrant wind that makes thee start, --
The pleasure-loving south, the freshening west;
The willow's woven veil they softly part,
To fan the lily on the stream's warm breast;
No ruder stir, no footstep passing near, --
Pan has not passed this way for many a year.

Whether he lies in some mossed wood, asleep,
And heeds not how the acorns drop around,
Or in some shelly cavern near the deep,
Lulled by its pulses of eternal sound,
He wakes not, answers not our sylvan cheer, --
Pan has been gone this many a silent year.

Else we had seen him, through the mists of morn,
To upland pasture lead his bleating charge:
There is no shag upon the stunted thorn,
No hoof-print on the river's silver marge;
Nor broken branch of pine, nor ivied spear, --
Pan has not passed that way for many a year.

O tremulous elf, reach me a hollow pipe,
The best and smoothest of thy mellow store!
Now I may blow till Time be hoary ripe,
And listening streams forsake the paths they wore:
Pan loved the sound, but now will never hear, --
Pan has not trimmed a reed this many a year!

And so, come freely forth, and through the sedge
Lift up a dimpled, warm, Arcadian face,
As on that day when fear thy feet did fledge,
And thou didst safely win the breathless race....
I am deceived: nor Pan nor thou art here, --
Pan has been gone this many a silent year!





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