by: Maurice Hewlett (1861-1923)

      HERE between the trees
      The prying Fauns and Woodmen dark
      And prick-ear'd Satyrs her did mark,
      How all abandon'd to her mood
      Of careless lovely lassitude--
      So ripe, so melting, like a rose
      That dewy-hearted throbs and blows
      Languorous in the wind's caresses--
      She lay becurtained in loose tresses,
      Not seeing what her half-dropt zone
      Let of her bosom's bower be shown,
      Or that soft thing abeating there,
      Ungirdled treasure, warm and bare.
      And as they peept and spied upon
      The goodly sight she made, came One
      Adventurous, whom the Woodfolk dreaded,
      Great Pan the goat-foot, horny-headed,
      And saw her, and began to woo her
      With his fierce music to undo her,
      And make her former shames go pale
      Beside her latter. Here's no tale
      For me who walk in Hymnia's beam,
      Under her moon-wove eyes adream,
      To tell you how Pan workt his will,
      Or how she fended, with what skill
      Garner'd within that sweeter nest
      When she had laid on her Mare's breast,
      And one the other comforted.
      Little enough that serv'd her stead
      This turn! Callisto was too tender
      For the chill part: she must surrender.
      Like white dawns hung in golden mist
      That soon repent their wintry tryst
      And go aweeping, she too soon
      Gave him his hire, her body's boon;
      And, all the kinder for late frost,
      Was painful that he nothing lost
      By tardy chaffering. So he brought her
      To his tree-haunts, and lightly taught her
      All of love's mystery; and this maid
      For love's sake thought that well betray'd
      Which had been life, had she but known it
      As afterwards she had to own it.
      Ah, passion of the love-denied
      That ventures all for't far and wide,
      That lacking sweet love falls to foul,
      And feeds the flesh and starves the soul!
      Her woe was working in her womb
      Where that seed lay that was her doom:
      Gotten by Pan, by Pan let lie
      While he to other game gave eye,
      Forgetful of what he had wrought
      In the green forest when he taught
      Callisto love, and found her apt.

"Leto's Child" is reprinted from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith. New York: Crown Publishers, 1921.




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