(I took this text from this URL. Go to it for some notes on Midas, Pan, and other characters -- GF)
Hating wealth, Midas lived among woods and fields, and the mountain caves Pan always
inhabits. But he remained
dull-witted, and, as before, his foolish mind was destined once again to hurt its owner. Mount Tmolus, stands steep and high,
commanding a wide view of the distant sea, its sloping sides extending to Sardis on the one side, and as far as tiny Hypaepae on
the other. While Pan was there, playing light airs on his reeds glued together with wax, he boasted of his pipings, to the gentle
nymphs, and dared to speak slightingly of Apollos song compared with his own, and entered an unequal contest with Tmolus, the
god of the mountain, as judge.
The aged judge was seated on his mountain-top and shook his ears free of the trees. Only an oak-wreath circled his dark hair,
and acorns brushed against his hollow temples. Looking at the god of the flocks he said: There is nothing to prevent my judging.
Pan sounded the rustic reeds, and entranced Midas (who chanced to be near the playing) with wild pipings. Following this, sacred
Tmolus turned his face towards that of Phoebus: his forests followed.
Phoebuss golden hair was wreathed with laurel from Parnassus, and his robes dyed with Tyrian purple, swept the earth. He
held his lyre, inlaid with gems and Indian ivory, in his left hand, and the plectrum in the other. His attitude was that of a true artist.
Then with skilled fingers, he plucked the strings, and Tmolus, captivated by their sweetness, ordered Pan to lower his pipes in
submission to the lyre.
The judgment of the sacred mountain-god satisfied all opinions, and yet Midass
voice alone challenged it and called it
unjust. The god of Delos did not allow such undiscriminating ears to keep their human form, but drew them out and covered them
with shaggy grey hair, and made them flexible at the base, and gave them powers of movement. Though the rest was human, he
was punished in that sole aspect: he wore the ears of a slow-moving ass. He was anxious to conceal them, and tried to detract
from the shameful ugliness of his head with a purple turban. But the servant who used to trim his long hair with a blade, found it
out, who, since he dare not reveal the disgrace he had seen, but eager to broadcast it to the four winds, and unable to keep it to
himself, went off quietly and dug a hole in the soil. In a tiny voice, he whispered to the hollow earth, and buried his spoken
evidence under the infill, and stole away having closed up the hidden trench. But a thick bed of quivering reeds began to shoot up
there, and as soon as they had grown, at the end of the year, they gave the burrower away: stirred gently, then, by the wind they
repeated the buried words, and testified against his master.