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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

RUDYARD KIPLING: Pan in Vermont

Pan in Vermont

1893
About the 15th of this month you may expect
our Mr. -- , with the usual Spring Seed, etc., Catalogues.
– Florist’s Announcement.
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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