Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1484. The Dancing Faun
 
By Robert Cameron Rogers
 
 
THOU dancer of two thousand years,
  Thou dancer of to-day,
What silent music fills thine ears,
  What Bacchic lay,
That thou shouldst dance the centuries        5
  Down their forgotten way?
 
What mystic strain of pagan mirth
  Has charmed eternally
Those lithe, strong limbs, that spurn the earth?
  What melody,        10
Unheard of men, has Father Pan
  Left lingering with thee?
 
Ah! where is now the wanton throng
  That round thee used to meet?
On dead lips died the drinking-song,        15
But wild and sweet,
What silent music urged thee on,
  To its unuttered beat,
 
That when at last Time’s weary will
  Brought thee again to sight,        20
Thou cam’st forth dancing, dancing still,
  Into the light,
Unwearied from the murk and dusk
  Of centuries of night?
 
Alas for thee!—Alas, again,        25
  The early faith is gone!
The Gods are no more seen of men,
  All, all are gone,—
The shaggy forests no more shield
  The Satyr and the Faun.        30
 
On Attic slopes the bee still hums,
  On many an Elian hill
The wild-grape swells, but never comes
  The distant thrill
Of reedy fluted; for Pan is dead,        35
  Broken his pipes and still.
 
And yet within thy listening ears
  The pagan measures ring—
Those limbs that have outdanced the years
  Yet tireless spring:        40
How canst thou dream Pan dead when still
  Thou seem’st to hear him sing!
 

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