Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792-1822 / Horsham / England)

Hymn Of Pan


FROM the forests and highlands
We come, we come;
From the river-girt islands,
Where loud waves are dumb
Listening to my sweet pipings.
The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
The bees on the bells of thyme,
The birds on the myrtle-bushes,
The cicale above in the lime,
And the lizards below in the grass,
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was,
Listening to my sweet pipings.

Liquid Peneus was flowing,
And all dark Temple lay
In Pelion's shadow, outgrowing
The light of the dying day,
Speeded by my sweet pipings.
The Sileni and Sylvans and fauns,
And the Nymphs of the woods and wave
To the edge of the moist river-lawns,
And the brink of the dewy caves,
And all that did then attend and follow,
Were silent with love,--as you now, Apollo,
With envy of my sweet pipings.

I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the dedal earth,
And of heaven, and the Giant wars,
And love, and death, and birth.
And then I changed my pipings,--
Singing how down the vale of Maenalus
I pursued a maiden, and clasped a reed:
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus;
It breaks in our bosom, and then we bleed.
All wept--as I think both ye now would,
If envy or age had not frozen your blood--
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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