“It does seem that way,” replied Migwan.
“Here is the spring!” cried both girls in unison, as they reached the end of the path and came upon a deep, rocky basin, filled with crystal clear water that gushed out from the rock above their heads, trickling down through ferns to be caught and held in the pool below, so still and shining that it reflected the faces of the two girls like a mirror.
“Oh-h!” breathed Migwan in rapture, sinking down among the ferns and lilies that bordered the spring and dabbling her fingers in the limpid water, “I feel just like a wood-nymph, or a naiad, or whatever those folks were that lived by the springs and fountains in the Greek mythology.”
Withdrawing her fingers from the water and clasping her hands loosely around her knees, she began to recite idly:
“Dian white-armed has given me this
Deep in the bosom of a wood of pine;
The silver sparkling showers
That hive me in, the flowers
That prink my fountain’s brim, are hers and mine;
And when the days are mild and fair,
And grass is springing, buds are blowing,
Sweet it is, ’mid waters flowing,
Here to sit and know no care,
’Mid the waters flowing, flowing, flowing,
Combing my yellow, yellow hair.”
“That poem must have been written about this very place,” she added, dreamily gazing into the shadowy depths of the pool beside her.
“Who wrote it?” inquired Gladys.
“I’ve forgotten,” replied Migwan. “I learned it once in Literature, a long time ago.”
Both girls were silent, gazing meditatively into the pool, like _ gazing into a future-revealing crystal, each absorbed in her own day dreams. They were startled by the sound of a clear, musical piping, coming apparently from the tangle of bushes behind them. Now faint, now louder, it swelled and died away on the breeze, now fairly startling in its joyousness, now plaintive as the wind sighing among the reeds in some lonely spot after nightfall; alluring, thrilling, mocking by turns; elusive as the strains of fairy pipers; utterly ravishing in its sweetness.
Migwan and Gladys lifted their heads and looked at each other in wonder.
“Pipes of Pan!” exclaimed Migwan, and both girls glanced around, half expecting to see the graceful form of a faun gliding toward them among the trees. Nothing was to be seen, but the piping went on, merrily as before, rising, falling, swelling, dying away in the distance, breaking out again at near hand.
“Oh, what is it?” cried Gladys. “Is it a bird?”
“It can’t be a bird,” replied Migwan, “it’s a tune—sort of a tune. No, I wouldn’t exactly call it a tune, either, but it’s different from a bird call. It sounds like pipes—fairy pipes—Pipes of Pan. Oh-h-h! Just listen! What can it be?”