Pan In Vermont

A poem by Rudyard Kipling


It’s forty in the shade to-day, the spouting eaves declare;
The boulders nose above the drift, the southern slopes are bare;
Hub-deep in slush Apollo’s car swings north along the Zod,
iac. Good luck, the Spring is back, and Pan is on the road!

His house is Gee & Tellus’ Sons,, so goes his jest with men,
He sold us Zeus knows what last year; he’ll take us in again.
Disguised behind the livery-team, fur-coated, rubber-shod,
Yet Apis from the bull-pen lows, he knows his brother God!

Now down the lines of tasseled pines the yearning whispers wake,
Pithys of old thy love behold! Come in for Hermes’s sake!
How long since that so-Boston boot with reeling Maenads ran!
Numen adest! Let be the rest. Pipe and we pay, O Pan.

(What though his phlox and hollyhocks ere half a month demised?
What though his ampelopsis clambered not as advertised?
Though every seed was guaranteed and every standard true,
Forget, forgive they did not live! Believe, and buy anew!)

Now o’er a careless knee he flings the painted page abroad,
Such bloom hath never eye beheld this side of Eden Sword;
Such fruit Pomona marks her own, yea, Liber oversees,
That we may reach (one dollar each) the Lost Hesperides!

Serene, assenting, unabashed, he writes our orders down:,
Blue Asphodel on all our paths, a few true bays for crown,
Uncankered bud, immoral flower, and leaves that never fall,
Apples of Gold, of Youth, of Health, and, thank you, Pan, that’s all….

He’s off along the drifted pent to catch the Windsor train,
And swindle every citizen from Keene to Lake Champlain.
But where his goat’s-hoof cut the crust, beloved, look below,
He’s left us (I’ll forgive him all) the may-flower ‘neath her snow!

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