Pan liveth

They told me once that Pan was dead,
 And so, in sooth, I thought him;
For vainly where the streamlets led
 Through flowery meads I sought him--
Nor in his dewy pasture bed
 Nor in the grove I caught him.
 "Tell me," 'twas so my clamor ran--
 "Tell me, oh, where is Pan?"

But, once, as on my pipe I played
 A requiem sad and tender,
Lo, thither came a shepherd-maid--
 Full comely she and slender!
I were indeed a churlish blade
 With wailings to offend 'er--
  For, surely, wooing's sweeter than
  A mourning over Pan!

So, presently, whiles I did scan
 That shepherd-maiden pretty,
And heard her accents, I began
 To pipe a cheerful ditty;
And so, betimes, forgot old Pan
 Whose death had waked my pity;
  So--so did Love undo the man
  Who sought and pined for Pan!

He was not dead! I found him there--
 The Pan that I was after!
Caught in that maiden's tangling hair,
 Drunk with her song and laughter!
I doubt if there be otherwhere
 A merrier god or dafter--
  Nay, nor a mortal kindlier than
  Is this same dear old Pan!

Beside me, as my pipe I play,
 My shepherdess is lying,
While here and there her lambkins stray
 As sunny hours go flying;
They look like me--those lambs--they say,
 And that I'm not denying!
  And for that sturdy, romping clan,
  All glory be to Pan!

Pan is not dead, O sweetheart mine!
 It is to hear his voices
In every note and every line
 Wherein the heart rejoices!
He liveth in that sacred shrine
 That Love's first, holiest choice is!
  So pipe, my pipe, while still you can,
  Sweet songs in praise of Pan!

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Eugene Field

Eugene Field, Sr. was an American writer, best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays. more…

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"Pan liveth" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 2 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/13028/pan-liveth>.

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