Pan’s Warning

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I am the voice that speaks in desert places, The voice a man hears when he’s most alone, Among the wilderness, where are no faces, But sage and thyme; scale, feather, fur, and bone. I am the voice of everything connected, And you must tarry here where you most hasten, I speak to you of all that you’ve neglected, I am what silence tells you when you listen. And I’m the voice that trebles in the crowd, So hectic blood runs gelid as meltwater, And heart constricts, and strength and youth are cowed, And men in terror bolt headlong toward slaughter, Or petrify, limbs heavy and mechanic, As I shout my name, which soldiers know as Panic.