High on the shore sate the great god Pan,

While turbidly flowed the river,

And hacked and hewed as a great god can,
With his hard bleak steel at the patient reed,
Till there was not a sign of a leaf indeed
To prove it fresh from the river.

He cut it short, did the great god Pan,
(How tall it stood in the river!)

Then drew the pith, like the heart of a man,
Steadily from the outside ring,

And notched the poor dry empty thing

In holes, as he sate by the river.

This is the way," laughed the great god Pan, (Laughed while he sate by the river,)

"The only way, since gods began

To make sweet music, they could succeed." Then, dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed, He blew in power by the river.

Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan!
Piercing sweet by the river!
Blinding sweet, O great god Pan !
The sun on the hill forgot to die,
And the lilies revived, and the dragon-fly
Came back to dream on the river.

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan,
To laugh as he sits by the river,
Making a poet out of a man:

The true gods sigh for the cost and the pain,For the reed which grows never more again As a reed with the reeds in the river.


[graphic][merged small]

WHAT is hope? A smiling rainbow
Children follow through the wet.
'Tis not here,-still yonder, yonder :
Never urchin found it yet.

What is life? A thawing iceboard
On a sea with cunning shore.
Gay we sail. It melts beneath us:

We are sunk, and seen no more.

What is man? A foolish baby,

Vainly strives and fights and frets;
Demanding all, deserving nothing,
One small grave is what he gets.



(Translated from the French of Gustave Naudaud, by John R. Thompson.)

I'M growing old, I've sixty years;
I've labored all my life in vain ;
In all that time of hopes and fears
I've failed my dearest wish to gain.
I see full well that here below

Bliss unalloyed there is for none.
My prayer will neʼer fulfilment know—-
I never have seen Carcassonne.

I never have seen Carcassonne !

You see the city from the hill,

It lies beyond the mountains blue,
And yet to reach it one must still
Five long and weary leagues pursue,
And to return, as many more!

Ah! had the vintage plenteous grown!

grape withheld its yellow store:

I shall not look on Carcassonne.
I shall not look on Carcassonne !



They tell me every day is

Not more or less than
Sunday gay;

In shining robes and gar-
ments fair

The people walk upon
their way.

One gazes there on castle walls
As grand as those of Babylon,
A bishop and two generals!

I do not know fair Carcassonne.
I do not know fair Carcassonne !

The vicar's right: he says that we
Are ever wayward, weak and blind;
He tells us in his homily

Ambition ruins all mankind;
Yet could I there two days have spent
While still the autumn sweetly shone,
Ah, me! I might have died content
When I had looked on Carcassonne.
When I had looked on Carcassonne !

Thy pardon, Father, I beseech,

In this, my prayer, if I offend;
One something sees beyond his reach
From childhood to his journey's end!
My wife, our little boy Aignan,

Have travelled even to Narbonne ;
My grandchild has seen Perpignan,
And I have not seen Carcassonne.
And I have not seen Carcassonne !

So crooned, one day, close by Limoux,
A peasant, double-bent with age.
"Rise up, my friend," said I;

I'll go upon this pilgrimage."

[ocr errors]

We left next morning his abode,

with you

But (Heaven forgive him!) half-way on
The old man died upon the road,

He never gazed on Carcassonne.

Each mortal has his Carcassonne !


JUST for a handful of silver he left us;
Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat-
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote.
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allowed.
How all our copper had gone for his service!
Rags were they purple, his heart had been

« ForrigeFortsett »