Maurice Thompson

Seven Gold Reeds

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Seven gold reeds grew tall and slim,
Close by the river's beaded brim.


Syrinx, the naiad, flitted past;
Pan, the goat-hoofed, followed fast.


Oh, such a race was joy to see,
Swift as the flight of bird or bee.


As lightly beat the girl's white feet
They made strange music low and sweet;


So heavily trod the lusty Pan
His hoofs clashed loudly as he ran.


He spread his arms to clasp her there
(Just as she vanished into air),


And to his bosom, warm and rough,
Drew the gold reeds close enough.


Then the wind's low voice began
To hum in the furry ears of Pan.


Out of green bark he made a tether,
And bound seven joints of the reeds together,


And blew a tune so sweet and clear
That all the wild things came to hear.


So, to this day, the poet's fire
Springs out of his unslaked desire,


When Love on wing√ęd feet has fled,
And seven gold reeds are clasped instead!

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Maurice Thompson