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Fiamma
October 30th, 2007, 03:56 AM
As translated by HG Evelyn-White

XIX. TO PAN (49 lines)

(ll. 1-26) Muse, tell me about Pan, the dear son of Hermes, with
his goat's feet and two horns -- a lover of merry noise. Through
wooded glades he wanders with dancing nymphs who foot it on some
sheer cliff's edge, calling upon Pan, the shepherd-god, long-
haired, unkempt. He has every snowy crest and the mountain peaks
and rocky crests for his domain; hither and thither he goes
through the close thickets, now lured by soft streams, and now he
presses on amongst towering crags and climbs up to the highest
peak that overlooks the flocks. Often he courses through the
glistening high mountains, and often on the shouldered hills he
speeds along slaying wild beasts, this keen-eyed god. Only at
evening, as he returns from the chase, he sounds his note,
playing sweet and low on his pipes of reed: not even she could
excel him in melody -- that bird who in flower-laden spring
pouring forth her lament utters honey-voiced song amid the
leaves. At that hour the clear-voiced nymphs are with him and
move with nimble feet, singing by some spring of dark water,
while Echo wails about the mountain-top, and the god on this side
or on that of the choirs, or at times sidling into the midst,
plies it nimbly with his feet. On his back he wears a spotted
lynx-pelt, and he delights in high-pitched songs in a soft meadow
where crocuses and sweet-smelling hyacinths bloom at random in
the grass.

(ll. 27-47) They sing of the blessed gods and high Olympus and
choose to tell of such an one as luck-bringing Hermes above the
rest, how he is the swift messenger of all the gods, and how he
came to Arcadia, the land of many springs and mother of flocks,
there where his sacred place is as god of Cyllene. For there,
though a god, he used to tend curly-fleeced sheep in the service
of a mortal man, because there fell on him and waxed strong
melting desire to wed the rich-tressed daughter of Dryops, and
there he brought about the merry marriage. And in the house she
bare Hermes a dear son who from his birth was marvellous to look
upon, with goat's feet and two horns -- a noisy, merry-laughing
child. But when the nurse saw his uncouth face and full beard,
she was afraid and sprang up and fled and left the child. Then
luck-bringing Hermes received him and took him in his arms: very
glad in his heart was the god. And he went quickly to the abodes
of the deathless gods, carrying the son wrapped in warm skins of
mountain hares, and set him down beside Zeus and showed him to
the rest of the gods. Then all the immortals were glad in heart
and Bacchie Dionysus in especial; and they called the boy Pan
(32) because he delighted all their hearts.

(ll. 48-49) And so hail to you, lord! I seek your favour with a
song. And now I will remember you and another song also.

Endnote:
(32) The name Pan is here derived from PANTES, `all'. Cp.
Hesiod, "Works and Days" ll. 80-82, "Hymn to Aphrodite" (v)
l. 198. for the significance of personal names.