Ralph Waldo Emerson: Pan

Pan

O what are heroes, prophets, men, But pipes through which the breath of Pan doth blow A momentary music. Being's tide Swells hitherward, and myriads of forms Live, robed with beauty, painted by the sun; Their dust, pervaded by the nerves of God, Throbs with an overmastering energy Knowing and doing. Ebbs the tide, they lie White hollow shells upon the desert shore, But not the less the eternal wave rolls on To animate new millions, and exhale Races and planets, its enchanted foam.