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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Marsyas
By Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860–1943)
 
From ‘Songs of the Common Day’

A LITTLE gray hill-glade, close-turfed, withdrawn
Beyond resort or heed of trafficking feet,
Ringed round with slim trunks of the mountain-ash.
  Through the slim trunks and scarlet bunches flash—
Beneath the clear, chill glitterings of the dawn—        5
Far off, the crests where down the rosy shore
        The Pontic surges beat.
  The plains lie dim below. The thin airs wash
The circuit of the autumn-colored hills,
        And this high glade whereon        10
The satyr pipes, who soon shall pipe no more.
He sits against the beech-tree’s mighty bole;
  He leans, and with persuasive breathing fills
    The happy shadows of the slant-set lawn.
The goat-feet fold beneath a gnarled root,        15
  And sweet and sweet the note that steals and thrills
    From slender stops of that shy flute.
    Then to the goat-feet comes the wide-eyed fawn
Hearkening: the rabbits fringe the glade, and lay
        Their long ears to the sound;        20
  In the pale boughs the partridge gather round,
And quaint hern from the sea-green river reeds;
    The wild ram halts upon a rocky horn
O’erhanging; and unmindful of his prey,
The leopard steals with narrow lids to lay        25
    His spotted length along the ground.
The thin airs wash, the thin clouds wander by,
    And those hushed listeners move not. All the morn
He pipes, soft swaying, and with half-shut eye
In rapt content of utterance,—
                        Nor heeds
        30
The young god standing in his branchy place;
The languor on his lips; and in his face
    Divinely inaccessible, the scorn.
 
 
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