By the River

Clark Ashton Smith

(From Christophe des Laurières)

I deemed the golden nymphs were gone,
And pausing by the river, mused
On naiads and the forest-faun,
And idly broke the bronzing reeds
The lips of Pan would once have used.

Upon the willow-fretted stream
I watched the ripples fall and melt
Like amorous laughter in a dream,
And saw the silver thistle-seeds
Float wave-ward on a wind unfelt. . . .

I deemed the golden nymphs were gone. . . .
And then—I turned, and saw you rise
Nude as a nymph that flees the faun,
With anklets of the foam's white beads,
And Hellas in your halcyon eyes!

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