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Poem by Eugene Field

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;
     Soso 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 methose lambsthey 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!

Eugene Field

Eugene Field's other poems:
  1. Christmas Hymn
  2. Fitte the Fifth
  3. The Old Homestead
  4. Fitte the Sixth
  5. After Reading Trollope's History of Florence

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