Let me honor you with my fear,
o Lord of the woodlands and meadows.
Goat-footed god, great Pan, Hermes’ son,
there is wisdom in your wildness,
and ecstasy to be found at your revels,
but all the libations poured out to you
are less a fitting tribute than that primal terror
setting the heart to roaring
and the skin to grow cold.
I taste metal streaking my tongue,
the song of adrenaline and cortisol,
a thunder in the ears akin
to the pounding of drums.
No matter how steady my feet have been
on the forest path,
when my mouth goes dry and
my breath comes quick,
I know it is reverence for you,
ripped from my bosom
even when there is no obvious cause—
no bear or wolf to menace with claw and fang,
no strange sound, sourced in silence,
no bolt of lightning or earth shaking beneath my feet,
raw and relentless,
climbing up my throat from
my heart and my gut.
Great god Pan,
accept that offering that I bring you,
the gift of fear that you, in turn, give to me,
a gift for a gift,
given to the giver,
the respect and awe that I have for you,
and let my cries rise up to you.