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7 Reeds

7 Reeds
 

With an exultant shout, Pan grasped her as she fell. And lo, in his arms he held no exquisite body with fiercely beating heart, but a clump of slender reeds. Baffled he stood for a little space, and, as he stood, the savagery of the beast faded from his eyes that were fathomless as dark mountain tarns where the sun-rays seldom come, and there came into them a man's unutterable woe. At the reeds by the river he gazed, and sighed a great sigh, the sigh that comes from the heart of a god who thinks of the pain of the world. Like a gentle zephyr the sigh breathed through the reeds, and from the reeds there came a sound as of the sobbing sorrow of the world's desire. Then Pan drew his sharp knife, and with it he cut seven of the reeds that grew by the murmuring river.

"Thus shalt thou still be mine, my Syrinx," he said.

Deftly he bound them together, cut them into unequal lengths, and fashioned for himself an instrument, that to this day is called the Syrinx, or Pan's Pipes.

So did the god make music.

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