Pan tröstet Psyche (1892)

Pan tröstet Psyche, 1892 - by Ernst and Gustav Klimt

Pan tröstet Psyche, 1892 – by Ernst and Gustav Klimt

In the story of Eros and Psyche, it was Pan who comforted Psyche as she was about to kill herself, after her cruel sisters tricked her into holding up a lamp to Eros as he was sleeping, to glimpse his divine presence, as he had forbade her to do. This was right after Eros left her, disappointed with with her lack of trust. She attempted to hurl herself from a river bank, or cliff of sorts, to the water below, and she was stopped and calmed by Pan, who offered her the following advice.

From Apuleius, The Golden Ass 4. 28 – 6. 24 (Roman novel C2nd A.D.)

The rustic god Pan chanced to be sitting at that moment on the brow of the stream, holding the mountain deity Echo in his arms, and teaching her to repeat after him all kinds of songs. Close by the bank nanny-goats were sporting as they grazed and cropped the river-foliage here and there. The goat-shaped god was well aware of the calamity that had befallen Psyche. He called her gently to him, lovesick and weary as she was, and soothed her with these consoling words.

“O fair maid, I am a rustic and rude herdsman, howbeit, an ancient god, and an 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 the god he was, and so departed.

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