Pan came out of the woods one day,–
His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray,
The gray of the moss of walls were they,–
And stood in the sun and looked his fill
At wooded valley and wooded hill.

He stood in the zephyr, pipes in hand,
On a height of naked pasture land;
In all the country he did command
He saw no smoke and he saw no roof.
That was well! and he stamped a hoof.

His heart knew peace, for none came here
To this lean feeding save once a year
Someone to salt the half-wild steer,
Or homespun children with clicking pails
Who see so little they tell no tales.

He tossed his pipes, too hard to teach
A new-world song, far out of reach,
For sylvan sign that the blue jay’s screech
And the whimper of hawks beside the sun
Were music enough for him, for one.

Times were changed from what they were:
Such pipes kept less of power to stir
The fruited bough of the juniper
And the fragile bluets clustered there
Than the merest aimless breath of air.

They were pipes of pagan mirth,
And the world had found new terms of worth.
He laid him down on the sun-burned earth
And raveled a flower and looked away–
Play? Play?–What should he play?

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3 Comments

  1. Rachel Sheldon says:

    I did a project on this poem in school this year. My teacher never saw it before. My poetry group thought that it was telling of the death of Pan by unbelief in him (the spread of Christianity and industry). It’s odd, though, that Pan is the only Greek god who died and people still worship him.

  2. Terersa says:

    I really found that quote quite interesting. The authors tone was kind of negative because he doesn’t agree with people who hide their identity. But people act different sometimes because they want to fit in a society. Overall the poem was great.

  3. Shimon Weinroth says:

    Pan the personification of Nature; God of woods and fields whose name seemed to signify all.he was considered a symbol of the universe and personification of nature by Milton as expressed in “Universal Pan” in his description of creation.”knit with Graces and Hours in dance Led on the Eternal Spring”

    Some regarded Pan as the representatives of paganism istself.At the birth of Christ the God Pan is Dead, yet many of the poets lament his passing. Schiller filled with sorrow for the decadence of the ancient mythology.Wordswoth expresses his sorrow for the loss of imaginative sympathy among the moderns.” The world is Too Much with us” Elizabeth Browning joins this chorus ” Look up poets Pan is Dead” the times are changing.

    Shelley’s Hymn of Pan presents a mischievous taunting God who calls for a competition of musical pipes with Appolo which of course he loses.

    More in stride with Frost is Steadman in his poem “Pan in Wall street” describes the loss of individuality as well as the cities and the industrial revolution in full swing. ” With Nais at the Brooklyn Ferry”

    Frost the poet of the rustic has ample reason to worry
    about the romantics of the wild and the territoty of God Pan disappearing. Who can no longer play to the tune of his pipes, there is no room for play or playing the music of this God of the cleft foot
    “The world had found new terms of worth”
    Even Frost’s poetry of rhyming is in jeapordy.
    The following two short poems perhaps make his laments and worry clearer,

    Sequences

    Now and Before
    Know the score of then
    Now and tomorrow
    The story of when

    Shimon Weinroth

    entreating nature;
    Calm of Harmony

    I wish you would
    Hide me under your pillow
    In the warm crevices of your being

    To wait to serve and sing for always

    Shimon weinroth

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