The myth of Syrinx was told by Mercury to Argos as a means of putting the many-eyed beast to sleep, in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Although Argos falls asleep long before the story is told, Ovid continues to tell the tale. As he tells it, Syrinx was a nymph who was loved by Pan, but who wanted nothing to do with him, since she wanted to be like Diana, the virgin goddess. When coming down from Mount Lysaeus, he saw Syrinx and began to chase the nymph. He had almost caught her when she reached the river Ladon, where she prayed to the nymphs and the god of the river. As she stepped into the water, she was transformed into reeds, at the same moment in which she was caught by Pan. It was from these reeds that he made his panpipe, which is also known as a syrinx.

Syrinx was an Arcadian river-nymph who was pursued by Pan. To escape him she fled into the waters of her river where she pleaded the gods for help, and they changed her into a reed. Disappointed, Pan cut the reed into pieces of gradually decreasing lengths, fastened them together with wax and thus produced the shepherd's flute, or "pipes of Pan", upon which he plays.

The Canadian rock group, Rush, has a song, entitled "Temples of Syrinx". It is the second track from their album "2112", first released in April 1976, on the Mercury/Polygram label.

Temples of Syrinx

... "The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from
the heart of every Federation city. I have always been
awed by them, to think that every single facet of every
life is regulated and directed from within! Our books,
our music, our work and play are all looked after by the
benevolent wisdom of the priests..."

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes.

It's one for all and all for one
We work together common sons
Never need to wonder how or why.

We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

Look around this world we made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh what a nice contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand.

We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls.
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls.

Syr"inx (?), n.; pl. Syringes (#). [NL., from Gr. a pipe.]

1. Mus.

A wind instrument made of reeds tied together; -- called also pandean pipes.

<-- pipes of Pan -->

2. Anat.

The lower larynx in birds.

⇒ In birds there are two laringes, an upper or true, but voiceless, larynx in the usual position behind the tongue, and a lower one, at or near the junction of the trachea and bronchi, which is the true organ of the voice.

 

© Webster 1913.

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