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Great Pan ascended from the vales below.
Heard by the Gods between their nectar bowls, Or when, from out the chambers of the sea,
Comes the triumphant Morning, and unrolls A pathway for the sun ; then, following swift,
The dædal harmonies of awful caves Cleft in the hills, and forests that uplift
Their sea-like boom, in answer to the waves, With many a lighter strain, that dances o'er The wedded reeds, till Echo strives in vain
To follow :
In answer to Apollo !
“ The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
The bees on the bells of thyme,
The cicale above in the lime,
Listening to my sweet pipings.”
I cannot separate the minstrels' worth ;
Each is alike transcendent and divine. What were the Day, unless it lighted Earth ?
And what were Earth, should Day forget to shine ? But were you here, my Friend, we twain would build
Two altars, on the mountain's sunward side :
There Pan should o'er my sacrifice preside,
Yet, as their music no discordance made,
So shall our offerings side by side be laid, And the same wind the rival incense fan.
You strain your ear to catch the harmonies
That in some finer region have their birth; I turn, despairing, from the quest of these,
And seek to learn the native tongue of Earth.
A shining miracle of rarest art ;
And the tall palm, that plumes the orient lands,
Can with its beauty satisfy my heart.
Of lost Elysium, pluck the snowy bells
Of lotus and Olympian asphodels,
Gazed on its glory, heard the grand acclaim
Wherewith its trumpets hail the sons of Fame, And striven its speech to master — but in vain. And now I turn, to find a late content
In Nature, making mine her myriad shows;
Better contented with one living rose Than all the Gods' ambrosia ; sternly bent On wresting from her hand the cup, whence flow . The flavors of her ruddiest life
the change Of climes and races
the unshackled range Of all experience; - that my songs may show The warm red blood that beats in hearts of men, And those who read them in the festering den
Of cities, may behold the open sky,
Instinct with Freedom. Blame me not, that !
And leave the Heavens, where you are wandering still
With bright Apollo, to converse with Pan;
For, though full soon our courses separate ran, We, like the Gods, can meet on Tmolus' hill.
There is no jealous rivalry in Song :
I see your altar on the hill-top shine,
And mine is built in shadows of the Pine, Yet the same worships unto each belong. Different the Gods, yet one the sacred awe
Their presence brings us, one the reverent heart Wherewith we honor the immortal law
Of that high inspiration, which is Art. Take, therefore, Friend! these Voices of the Earth -
The rhythmic records of my life's career, Humble, perhaps, yet wanting not the worth
Of Truth, and to the heart of Nature near. Take them, and your acceptance, in the dearth
Of the world's tardy praise, shall make them dear.