Fifty-One Tales: Prayer of the Flowers

The Flowers watch the cities approach with despair, but Pan is unconcerned.

This story is from Lord Dunsany’s Fifty-One Tales, originally published in 1915, and is read aloud by Kay Mack.

You can read the story here, or online at: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7838

It was the voice of the flowers on the West wind, the lovable, the old, the lazy West wind, blowing ceaselessly, blowing sleepily, going Greecewards.

“The woods have gone away, they have fallen and left us; men love us no longer, we are lonely by moonlight. Great engines rush over the beautiful fields, their ways lie hard and terrible up and down the land.

“The cancrous cities spread over the grass, they clatter in their lairs continually, they glitter about us blemishing the night.

“The woods are gone, O Pan, the woods, the woods. And thou art far, O Pan, and far away.”

I was standing by night between two railway embankments on the edge of a Midland city. On one of them I saw the trains go by, once in every two minutes, and on the other, the trains went by twice in every five.

Quite close were the glaring factories, and the sky above them wore the fearful look that it wears in dreams of fever.

The flowers were right in the stride of that advancing city, and thence I heard them sending up their cry. And then I heard, beating musically up wind, the voice of Pan reproving them from Arcady–

“Be patient a little, these things are not for long.”

Photo by Robin Spielmann on Unsplash

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