The Faun

By George Sterling

Now in the noontide peace I lie
  Where waving grass is green,
With bosom open to the sky
  And not a cloud between;
At dawn, one cast from out the blue
  A shadow on my lanes,
Then vanished with the dwindling dew
  And not a wisp remains.

An hour ago I watched an ant
  Haste homeward with her spoil;
She had, by Jove his covenant,
  No quittance of her toil;
Doubtless they be a thrifty race,
  Whose works shall not depart:
O Jove, who grandest each his place,
  Teach not to me their art!

I and my kin shall pass ere long,
  And ants shall ever be;
But better now the linnet's song
  Than their eternity.
What tho my people perish soon?
  Awhile the dews we crush
Where nights of summer mould the moon
  And laughters wake the thrush.

From yonder hill I spy on man
  And marvel at his need,
Who fashions, in a season's span,
  A thousand fanes to Greed;
Perchance from each, his worship done,
  He ventures forth repaid,
But grant thou me the spendthrift sun
  And berries of the glade.

At noon great Caesar's chariot past,
  A poison on the air,
But drive he slow or drive he fast,
  The journey's end is Care—
Care, at whose throne all mortals stand
  With tinsel crowns put by,
Too weak to rove the billowed land,
  Too sad to watch the sky.
Mid ivied trunks I see her gleam,
  The nymph, my forest-mate;
She wanders by the lyric stream,
  To us articulate.
A golden house let Caesar build,
  To hold his ghosts and gods—
For me the summer eves are stilled,
  For me the flower nods.

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