Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Perdita

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For works with similar titles, see Perdita.
For other versions of this work, see Perdita (Coates).



SHE dances,
And I seem to be
In primrose vales of Sicily,
Beside the streams once looked upon
By Thyrsis and by Corydon:
The sunlight laughs as she advances,
Shyly the zephyrs kiss her hair,
And she seems to me as the wood-fawn, free,
And as the wild rose, fair.

Dance, Perdita! and shepherds, blow!
Your reeds restrain no longer!
Till weald and welkin gleeful ring,
Blow, shepherds, blow! and, lasses, sing,
Yet sweeter strains and stronger!
Let far Helorus softer flow
'Twixt rushy banks, that he may hear;
Let Pan, great Pan himself, draw near!

She moves, half smiling
With girlish look beguiling,—
A dawn-like grace in all her face;
Stately she moves, sedately,
Through the crowd circling round her;
But—swift as light—
See! she takes flight!
Empty, alas! is her place.

Follow her, follow her, let her not go!
Mirth ended so—
Why, 't is but woe!
Follow her, follow her! Perdita!—lo,
Love hath with wreaths enwound her!

She dances,
And I seem to see
The nymph divine, Terpsichore,
As when her beauty dazzling shone
On eerie heights of Helicon.
With bursts of song her voice entrances
The dreamy, blossom-scented air,
And she seems to me as the wood-fawn, free,
And as the wild rose, fair.