Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Piper - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

I'VE heard the pipes of Pan
Somewhere, just beyond,--
Over the edge of dawn, I think,
Where the clouds hang soft on the world's dim brink,
Where the red suns rise and the blue stars sink,
I heard the pipes of Pan!

Hush! what you heard was the wind,
The feet of the wind through the leaves,
Or the sigh of the waking night as it stirred.
Or a bird's note afar,
Or the deep breath of June,
Or the fall of a star,
Or the shimmering skirts of the sea-slipping tide
In the wake of the wandering moon!

Nay! 'twas the pipes of Pan!
Somewhere--just beyond--
My soul awoke with a rapturous sigh
(Would I wake my soul for a night bird's cry?)
I heard the winds of the worlds sweep by
To follow the pipes of Pan!

Stay! 'twas a voice that you heard,
A voice that you love, in the wood,
The vibrating note of a half spoken word--
For the great Pan is slain,
Of his pipings we know not one magical strain,
They have fled down the years of a world that was young
Oh, ages and ages ago!

Nay, 'twas the pipes of Pan!
Somewhere--just beyond--
Far as a star, yet piercing sweet,
A passionate, poignant, rhythmic beat--
Till my mad blood raced with my racing feet
To follow the piper--Pan!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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