Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Von Gloeden, ca 1900 (private collection)

"Teach me to kiss the Dorian flute,
The Dorian pipe to blow;
I with my own breath would salute
Great Pan before I go;
And may the genius of the place
Adopt me in the shepherd race!"

So, perched on Monte Venere,
I prayed a little goat-skin boy
To leave his herd and sit by me,
And teach me all the shepherd's joy.
"What is your name?" to him I said:
"Orfèo," blithe reply he made. 

I took the flute, I took the pipe;
No reed would to my breath respond,
He laughed to see me blow, and wipe
My lips, the pretty vagabond;
Still nature's child, though notes I snatch,
Was victor in that singing match.

But I was paid when, as behooved,
I threw into his shaggy lap
The gifts by ancient time approved,
My London scarf and Naples cap;
And, as of old, the happy boy
Leaped high, and clapped his hands for joy".

George Edward Woodberry

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