Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts 1860–1943



A LITTLE gray hill-glade, close-turfed, withdrawn

Beyond resort or heed of trafficking feet,

Ringed round with slim trunks of the mountain ash.

Through the slim trunks and scarlet bunches flash—

Beneath the clear chill glitterings of the dawn—

Far off, the crests, where down the rosy shore

The Pontic surges beat.

The plains lie dim below. The thin airs wash

The circuit of the autumn-colored hills,

And this high glade, whereon

The satyr pipes, who soon shall pipe no more.

He sits against the beech-tree’s mighty bole,—

He leans, and with persuasive breathing fills

The happy shadows of the slant-set lawn.

The goat-feet fold beneath a gnarléd root;

And sweet, and sweet the note that steals and thrills

From slender stops of that shy flute.

Then to the goat-feet comes the wide-eyed fawn

Hearkening; the rabbits fringe the glade, and lay

Their long ears to the sound;

In the pale boughs the partridge gather round,

And quaint hern from the sea-green river reeds;

The wild ram halts upon a rocky horn

O’erhanging; and, unmindful of his prey,

The leopard steals with narrowed lids to lay

His spotted length along the ground.

The thin airs wash, the thin clouds wander by,

And those hushed listeners move not. All the morn

He pipes, soft-swaying, and with half-shut eye,

In rapt content of utterance,—nor heeds

The young God standing in his branchy place,

The languor on his lips, and in his face,

Divinely inaccessible, the scorn.