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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Hymn to Pan

John Keats (1795–1821)

From ‘Endymion

O THOU, whose mighty palace roof doth hang

From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth

Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death

Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness;

Who lov’st to see the hamadryads dress

Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken;

And through whole solemn hours dost sit, and hearken

The dreary melody of bedded reeds—

In desolate places, where dank moisture breeds

The pipy hemlock to strange overgrowth;

Bethinking thee, how melancholy loth

Thou wast to lose fair Syrinx—do thou now,

By thy love’s milky brow!

By all the trembling mazes that she ran,

Hear us, great Pan!

O thou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles

Passion their voices cooingly ’mong myrtles,

What time thou wanderest at eventide

Through sunny meadows, that outskirt the side

Of thine enmossed realms: O thou, to whom

Broad leaved fig trees even now foredoom

Their ripen’d fruitage; yellow girted bees

Their golden honeycombs; our village leas

Their fairest-blossom’d beans and poppied corn;

The chuckling linnet its five young unborn,

To sing for thee; low creeping strawberries

Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies

Their freckled wings; yea, the fresh budding year

All its completions—be quickly near,

By every wind that nods the mountain pine,

O forester divine!

Thou, to whom every fawn and satyr flies

For willing service; whether to surprise

The squatted hare while in half sleeping fit;

Or upward ragged precipices flit

To save poor lambkins from the eagle’s maw;

Or by mysterious enticement draw

Bewildered shepherds to their path again;

Or to tread breathless round the frothy main

And gather up all fancifullest shells

For thee to tumble into Naiads’ cells,

And, being hidden, laugh at their out-peeping;

Or to delight thee with fantastic leaping,

The while they pelt each other on the crown

With silvery oak apples, and fir cones brown—

By all the echoes that about thee ring,

Hear us, O satyr king!

O Hearkener to the loud clapping shears,

While ever and anon to his shorn peers

A ram goes bleating: Winder of the horn,

When snouted wild-boars routing tender corn

Anger our huntsman: Breather round our farms,

To keep off mildews, and all weather harms:

Strange ministrant of undescribed sounds,

That come a swooning over hollow grounds,

And wither drearily on barren moors:

Dread opener of the mysterious doors

Leading to universal knowledge—see,

Great son of Dryope,

The many that are come to pay their vows

With leaves about their brows!

Be still the unimaginable lodge

For solitary thinkings; such as dodge

Conception to the very bourne of heaven,

Then leave the naked brain: be still the leaven,

That spreading in this dull and clodded earth

Gives it a touch ethereal—a new birth:

Be still a symbol of immensity;

A firmament reflected in a sea;

An element filling the space between;

An unknown—but no more: we humbly screen

With uplift hands our foreheads, lowly bending,

And giving out a shout most heaven-rending,

Conjure thee to receive our humble Pæan,

Upon thy Mount Lycean!