I made a journey o'er the sea,
I bade my faithful dog good-bye,
I knew that he would grieve for me,
But did not dream that he would die!
And how could I explain
That I would come again?

At first he mourned, as dogs will mourn
A life-long master they adore,
Till in his mind the fear was born
That he should never see me more.

Ah! then, on every boat intent,
He watched the crowd upon the pier,
While every look and motion meant
“Will he not come? Is he not here?”

At last he merely raised his head,
To see the steamers passing by,
Then sank again upon his bed,
And heaved a long-drawn, plaintive sigh;
For how could one explain
That I would come again?

I hastened back by sea and land,
Forced homeward by remorse and fear;
But no glad barking swept the strand,
Nor did he meet me on the pier!

I climbed the steps with footsteps fleet,
And then beheld him near the wall,
Though tottering, still upon his feet,
And creeping toward me down the hall.

No wish had he to sulk or blame,
Nor did he need to understand,
But simply loved me just the same,-
In silence licking face and hand.

In silence? What could this portend?
Such muteness he had never shown;
Was he so very near the end?
Ah, Leo, had I only known!

For his grand eyes, so large and bright,
Though turned, through sound, my form to find,
Were totally devoid of sight;
He faced me in the darkness … blind!

What could such gloom have been to him,
As weeks and months had crept away,
While all the outer world grew dim,
Till endless night eclipsed the day!

What had it meant to him to wake
And mid familiar things to grope?
To hear old sounds on shore and lake,
Yet wander darkly without hope!

But now, his head upon my knee,
He tried in various ways to show
That, though my face he could not see,
He knew the voice of long ago.
Yes, now it was quite plain
That I had come again.

Within my arms he breathed his last,
In my embrace his noble head
Drooped back, and left to me … the Past,
With tender memories of the dead.

He lies beneath the stately trees,
Whose ample shade he loved the best,
Mid flowers, whose perfume every breeze
Wafts lightly o'er his place of rest.

Yet somehow still I watch and wait
For him, as he once watched for me;
At every footstep near my gate
I look, his bounding form to see.

Good-night? … Good-bye! for I must leave thee,
My boat is waiting on the shore;
May I not hope that it will grieve thee,
When thou shalt see me here no more?

Such thoughts, I know, to-day are flouted;
“Have statues souls?” the cynic sneers;
But I am happier to have doubted,
And loved thee thus these many years.

Behind the form is the ideal,
Forever high, forever true;
Behind the false exists the real,
Known only to the favored few.

Not all can hear the music stealing
From out that lightly-lifted flute;
To those devoid of kindred feeling
Its melody is always mute.

But thou to me hast been a token
Of classic legend, wrought in stone;
In thee the thread of Art, unbroken,
Made all the storied past mine own.

And I have felt, still brooding o'er thee,
The old-time Genius of the Place,
Aware of those who still adore thee,
Unchanged by time, or creed, or race.

Through thee came also inspiration
For many a rare, poetic thought;
And oh, how much of resignation
Thy sweet, unchanging smile hath taught!

Though thine own past hath had its sorrow,
Though all thy sylvan friends have fled,
Thou still canst smile at every morrow,
For Nature lives, though Pan is dead.

Thou didst not grieve with futile wailing
When altars crumbled far and near,
When gods were scoffed, and faith was failing,
And worship lessened year by year.

Above thee still rose lofty mountains,
Before thee lay the lake divine,
Around thee sang the crystal fountains,-
With all these treasures, why repine?

Religions changed, and shrines were banished,
Years slipped away, men came and went,
But thou, whatever pleasures vanished,
With what thou hadst wast still content.

Not thine our fatal strain of sadness,
As cherished fancies fade away;
For thee the simple soul of gladness,-
The careless rapture of to-day!

Farewell! within my heart abiding
I hear thy music, gentle Faun,-
The wounds of disillusion hiding,
The prelude to a happier dawn.