Sacred Texts  Classics  Index  Previous  Next 

Click to enlarge

Pan and Psyche

Part V

Then Pan, the rustical God, sitting on the riverside, embracing and teaching the Goddess Canna to tune her songs and pipes, by whom were feeding the young and tender goats, after that he perceived Psyche in so sorrowful case, not ignorant, I know not by what means, of her miserable estate, endeavoured to pacify her in this sort: "O fair maid, I am a rustic and rude herdsman, howbeit, by reason of my old age, expert in many things; for as far as I can learn by conjecture, which, according as wise men do term, is called divination, I perceive by your uncertain gait, your pale hue, your sobbing sighs, and your watery eyes, that you are greatly in love. Wherefore hearken to me, and go not about to slay yourself, nor weep not at all, but rather adore and worship the great God Cupid, and win him unto you by your gentle promise of service." When the God of Shepherds had spoken these words, she gave no answer but made reverence unto him as to a God, and so departed.

After that Psyche had gone a little way, she fortuned unawares to come to a city where the husband of one of her sisters did dwell; which when Psyche did understand, she caused that her sister had knowledge of her coming, and so they met together, and after great embracing and salutation, the sister of Psyche demanded the cause of her travel thither. "Marry," quoth she, "do not you remember the counsel that you gave me, whereby you would that I should kill the beast, who under colour of my husband did lie with me every night? You shall understand, that as soon as I brought forth the lamp to see and behold his shape, I perceived that he was the son of Venus, even Cupid himself that lay with me. Then I, being stroken with great pleasure, and desirous to embrace him, could not thoroughly assuage my delight, but alas! by evil chance, the boiling oil of the lamp fortuned to fall on his shoulder, which caused him to awake, who, seeing me armed with fire and weapon, gan say: 'How darest thou be so bold as to do so great a mischief? Depart from me, and take such things as thou didst bring: for I will have thy sister (and named you) to my wife, and she shall be placed in my felicity.' And by and by he commanded Zephyrus to carry me away from the bounds of his house."

Next: Part VI