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Sorcery

by Walter de la Mare
“What voice is that I hear
  Crying across the pool?”
“It is the voice of Pan you hear,
Crying his sorceries shrill and clear,
  In the twilight dim and cool.”

 ”What song is it he sings,
  Echoing from afar;
While the sweet swallow bends her wings,
Filling the air with twitterings,
  Beneath the brightening star?”

The woodman answered me,
  His faggot on his back:–
“Seek not the face of Pan to see;
Flee from his clear note summoning thee
  To darkness deep and black!”

 ”He dwells in thickest shade,
  Piping his notes forlorn
Of sorrow never to be allayed;
Turn from his coverts sad
  Of twilight unto morn!”

The woodman passed away
  Along the forest path;
His ax shone keen and grey
In the last beams of day:
  And all was still as death:–

Only Pan singing sweet
  Out of Earth’s fragrant shade;
I dreamed his eyes to meet,
And found but shadow laid
  Before my tired feet.

Comes no more dawn to me,
  Nor bird of open skies.
Only his woods’ deep gloom I see
  Till, at the end of all, shall rise,
Afar and tranquilly,
Death’s stretching sea.

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