non sibi sed toti

Classics Teaching Resources

Hymn to Pan from Endymion

by John Keats

 “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;	        235
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	        240
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,	        245
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	        250
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;	        255
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,	        	260
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;	        265
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,	        270
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	        275
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	        	280
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,	        285
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,	        290
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,	        295
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;	        		300
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 Paean,	        305
Upon thy Mount Lycean!



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