Littell's Living Age/Volume 144/Issue 1856/In Arcadia

Originally published in Good Words.

In Arcadia

Dreamy-soft thy lay and tender,
     Exile in Australian wild;
Happy thou, with power to render
     Ditties that might soothe a child.

But, oh, touch not strain that's bolder —
     Strain that echoed o'er the hills
Of your native land, when older
     Days were free from modern ills!

Play for rude content and pleasure;
     Waken not the thoughts untold:
Let the memory hold the measure
     Dimly of the songs of old.

Hark, the bell-bird, sudden sounding,
     Fills the pauses of the strain;
And the wayward heart goes bounding,
     Hearing village bells again!

Still the sheep are resting yonder,
     All the land is softly fair;
It needs but Pan, with sudden wonder,
     To appear, with pan-pipes there.

Alas! but Pan is dead, and only
     Exiled shepherds chant the strain;
Pipe to pass the day so lonely,
     Daring not some songs again.