Hymn of Pan

By Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792–1822 Percy Bysshe Shelley
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 Tempe 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 the waves,
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 daedal Earth,
And of Heaven, and the giant wars,
         And Love, and Death, and Birth—
                And then I chang'd my pipings,
Singing how down the vale of Maenalus
         I pursu'd a maiden and clasp'd 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.

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Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792–1822

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Pastoral

 Percy  Bysshe Shelley

Biography

The life and works of Percy Bysshe Shelley exemplify Romanticism in both its extremes of joyous ecstasy and brooding despair. The major themes are there in Shelley’s dramatic if short life and in his works, enigmatic, inspiring, and lasting: the restlessness and brooding, the rebellion against authority, the interchange with nature, the power of the visionary imagination and of poetry, the pursuit of ideal love, and the untamed . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Mythology & Folklore, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Pastoral

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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