Strings In The Earth And Air

Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
The willows meet.

There's music along the river
For Love wanders there,
Pale flowers on his mantle,
Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,
With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
Upon an instrument.

by James Joyce

Comments (2)

this is a poem about poetry and its affinity to music. The slightly melancholy cadences suggest youthful love, sweet, but actually validated in the Romantic tradition by that same melancholy. There is indeed a sense of the presence of Pan in the identification with nature and landscape: Pan the creative perhaps? but of course in pagan mythology the laurel crown would be Apollo's. So the numinous here is expressed in a minor key...another factor in the overall sense of wistfulness and melancholy.
What is this poem about? Pan?