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Butterflies

From The Birmingham Age-Herald, January 6, 1913.
 By Harlowe Randall Hoyt.
 

 Butterflies, golden, and red, and brown,
     Dancing delirious to and fro,
 Light as the ghost of a thistle down,
     Where do you come from, where do you go?
 Flitting your fairy minuette,
     Silent as sunbeams you seem to be,
 Catching their gossamer gleams; and yet
     You are the spirit of melody.
 
 Back through the dark of the ages fled,
     When the world was young in its coat of green,
 Bearded Pan raised his shaggy head
     By the reedy marshes of Thrasymene;
 And seized his pipes, for his heart was rife
     With the thrill that pulsed through each leaf and tree,
 And he piped of Spring and the joy of life
     Till the forest echoed his melody.
 
 And the quiet people flocked forth to hear:
     Dryad and nymph, from wood and stream;
 Satyr, and faun, and the timid deer,
     Harking with velvet eyes agleam.
 As if ‘twere the ghost of the tune, indeed,
     Each liquid note, as it raised on high,
 Sprang from the end of the brown, dead reed,
     Into a fluttering butterfly.
 
 No more they listen to shaggy Pan,
     Piping his lilt by the water there;
 Ages ago they fled the van
     Of mortals, freightened with woe and care.
 But still from the reeds of the riverside,
     When the winds are whispering fancies free,
 Butterflies, fluttering far and wide,
     Spring from the magic melody.