Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1061. Perdita
(On Seeing Miss Anderson in the Rôle)
By Florence Earle Coates
        SHE dances,
            And I seem to be
In primrose vales of Sicily,
Beside the streams once looked upon
By Thyrsis and by Corydon:        5
The sunlight laughs as she advances,
Shyly the zephyrs kiss her hair,
And she seems to me as the wood-fawn, free,
        And as the wild rose, fair.
Dance, Perdita! and, shepherds, blow!        10
        Your reeds restrain no longer!
Till weald and welkin gleeful ring,
Blow, shepherds, blow! and, lasses, sing
    Yet sweeter strains and stronger!
Let far Helorus softer flow        15
’Twixt rushy banks, that he may hear;
Let Pan, great Pan himself, draw near!
        She moves, half smiling,
        With girlish look beguiling,—        20
A dawn-like grace in all her face;
      Stately she moves, sedately,
      Through the crowd circling round her;
      But—swift as light—
      See! she takes flight!        25
    Empty, alas! is her place.
Follow her, follow her, let her not go!
        Mirth ended so—
        Why, ’t is but woe!
Follow her, follow her! Perdita!—lo,        30
    Love hath with wreaths enwound her!
    She dances,
        And I seem to see
The nymph divine, Terpsichore,
As when her beauty dazzling shone        35
On eerie heights of Helicon.
With bursts of song her voice entrances
The dreamy, blossom-scented air,
And she seems to me as the wood-fawn, free,
        And as the wild rose, fair.        40


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