Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | March 29, 2011

“Fables,” A Poem Inspired by Spring


Published in Elk River Review, Fall `91

“Pan, Pan is dead.” E.B. Browning


If I had not heard the dirge’s tune

sung upon the death of Pan,

then I could hear a lilting flute

chasing through each April breeze.

Had I not seen the funeral bier,

topped with a silent shepherd’s pipe;

flashes of dogwood white I see,

while walking in dark pines at dusk,

-skirts of a laughing wood-nymph

running to a moonlight dance.

But I felt Earth’s grinding moan,

trembling through the Grecian Isles,

and knew Olympus’ deities,


wandered in darkness as vagrants,

that night when great Pan died.


My hand, I knew then, would never feel

the water-sleek tentative touch

of a Naiad’s brief and playful kiss,

as I dipped my arm in a haunted pool.


Sacred groves no longer stand:

storied oaks, once proud and strong,

where wood-nymphs danced and Dryads lived,

bow down their heads to the chainsaw song.


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