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IONE.

The curse which all remember. Call at will

PHANTASM.
Thine own ghost, or the ghost of Jupiter,
Hades or Typhon, or what mightier Gods

Fiend, I defy thee ! with a calm, fixed mind, From all-prolific Evil, since thy ruin

All that thou canst inflict I bid thee do; Have sprung, and trampled on my prostrate sons.

Foul Tyrant both of Gods and Human-kind, Ask, and they must reply: so the revenge

One only being shalt thou not subdue. Of the Supreme may sweep through vacant shades,

Rain then thy plagues upon me here, As rainy wind through the abandoned gate

Ghastly disease and frenzying fear; Of a fallen palace.

And let alternate frost and fire

Eat into me, and be thine ire
PROMETHEUS.

Lightning, and cutting hail, and legioned forms
Mother, let not aught

Of furies, driving by upon the wounding storms. or that which may be evil, pass again My lips, or those of aught resembling me.

Ay, do thy worst. Thou art omnipotent. Phantasm of Jupiter, arise, appear!

O'er all things but thyself I gave thee power, And my own will. Be thy swift mischiefs sent

To blast mankind, from yon ethereal tower My wings are folded o'er mine ears :

Let thy malignant spirit move My wings are crossed o'er mine eyes :

In darkness over those I love: Yet through their silver shade appears,

On me and mine I imprecate And through their lulling plumes arise,

The utmost torture of thy hate ; A Shape, a throng of sounds;

And thus devote to sleepless agony, May it be no ill to thee

This undeclining head while thou must reign on high. O thou of many wounds ! Near whom, for our sweet sister's sake,

But thou, who art the God and Lord: 0, thou Ever thus we watch and wake.

Who fillest with thy soul this world of woe, PANTHEA

To whom all things of Earth and Heaven do bow The sound is of whirlwind underground,

In fear and worship: all-prevailing foe ! Earthquake, and fire, and mountains cloven ;

I curse thee ! let a sufferer's curse The shape is awful like the sound,

Clasp thee, his torturer, like remorse! Clothed in dark purple, star-inwoven.

Till thine Infinity shall be
A sceptre of pale gold

A robe of envenomed agony ;
To stay steps proud, o'er the slow cloud And thine Omnipotence a crown of pain,
His veined hand doth hold.

To cling like burning gold round thy dissolving brain.
Cruel he looks, but calm and strong,
Like one who does, not suffers wrong.

Heap on thy soul, by virtue of this curse,

Ill deeds, then be thou danined, beholding good; PHANTASM OF JUPITER.

Both infinite as is the universe, Why have the secret powers of this strange world And thou, and thy self-torturing solitude. Driven me, a frail and empty phantom, hither An awful image of calm power On direst storms? What unaccustomed sounds

Though now thou sittest, let the hour Are hovering on my lips, unlike the voice

Coine, when thou must appear to be With which our pallid race hold ghastly talk That which thou art internally. In darkness ? And, proud sufferer, who art thou? And after many a false and fruitless crime,

Scorn track thy lagging fall through boundless space PROMETHEUS.

and time. Tremendous Image! as thou art must be He whom thou shadowest forth. I am his foe,

PROMETHEUS, The Titan. Speak the words which I would hear, Were these my words, 0 Parent ? Although no thought inform thine empty voice.

They were thine. Listen! And though your echoes must be mute, Grey mountains, and old woods, and haunted springs,

PROMETHEUS. Prophetic caves, and isle-surrounding streams, It doth repent me : words are quick and vain; Rejoice to hear what yet ye cannot speak.

Grief for a while is blind, and so was mine.

I wish no living thing to suffer pain.
PHANTASM.
A spirit seizes me and speaks within :

THE EARTH.
It tears me as fire tears a thunder-cloud.

Misery, Oh misery to me,

That Jove at length should vanquish thee. See, how he lifts his mighty looks, the Heaven

Wail, howl aloud, Land and Sea, Darkens above.

The Earth's rent heart shall answer ye.

Howl, Spirits of the living and the dead,
He speaks! O shelter me !

Your refuge, your defence lies fallen and van

quished.
PROMETHEUS.
I see the ourse on gestures proud and cold,

Lies fallen and vanquished ?
And looks of firm defiance, and calm hate,
And such despair as mocks itself with smiles,

SECOND ECHO.
Written as on a scroll : yet speak: Oh, speak ! Fallen and vanquished !

THE EARTH.

THE EARTH.

PANTHEA.

IONE.

PIRST ECHO.

arms

PANTHEA.

IONE.

PANTHEA.

IONE,

PANTHEA.

So thy worn form pursues me night and day,
IONE
Fear not : 'tis but some passing spasm,

Smiling reproach. Wise art thou, firm and good,

But vainly wouldst stand forth alone in strife The Titan is unvanquished stili.

Against the Omnipotent; as yon clear lamps But see, where through the azure chasm

That measure and divide the weary years ON yon forked and snowy hill

From which there is no refuge, long have taught,
Trampling the slant winds on high

And long must teach. Even now thy Torturer
With golden-sandalled feet, that glow
Under plumes of purple dye,

With the strange might of unimagined pains
Like rose-ensanguined ivory,

The powers who scheme slow agonies in Hell, A Shape comes now,

And my commission is to lead them here, Stretching on high from his right hand

Or wliat more subtle, foul, or savage fiends A serpent-cinctured wand.

People the abyss, and leave them to their task,

Be it not so ! there is a secret known
Tis Jove's world-wandering herald, Mercury. To thee, and to none else of living things,

Which may transfer the sceptre of wide Heaven,

The fear of which perplexes the Supreme ; And who are those with hydra tresses

Clothe it in words, and bid it clasp his throne And iron wings that climb the wind,

In intercession ; bend thy soul in prayer, Whom the frowning God represses

And like a suppliant in some gorgeous fane, Like vapours steaming up behind,

Let the will kneel within thy haughty heart : Clanging loud, an endless crowd

For benefits and meek submission tame

The fiercest and the mightiest. These are Jove's tempest-walking hounds,

PROMETHEUS. Whom he gluts with groans and blood,

Evil minds When charioted on sulphurous cloud

Change good to their own nature. I gave all He bursts Heaven's bounds.

He has; and in return he chains me here

Years, ages, night and day; whether the Sun Are they now led, from the thin dead

Split my parched skin, or in the moony night
On now pangs to be fed?

The crystal-winged snow cling round my hair:
Whilst my beloved race is trampled down

By his thought-executing ministers.
The Titan looks as ever, firm, not proud.

Such is the tyrant's recompense : 'tis just :

He who is evil can receive no gooil;
Ha! I scent life!

And for a world bestowed, or a friend lost,
He can feel hate, fear, shame ; not gratitude :

He but requites me for his own misdeed.
Let me but look into his eyes! Kindness to such is keen reproach, which breaks

With bitter stings the light sleep of Revenge.
THIRD FURY.

Submission, thou dost know I cannot try;
The hope of torturing him smells like a heap For what submission but that fatal word,
Of corpses, to a death-bird after battle.

The death-seal of mankind's captivity,

Like the Sicilian's hair-suspended sword,
FIRST FURY

Which trembles o'er his crown, would he accept,
Darest thou delay, 0 Herald ! take cheer, Hounds
Of Hell : what if the Son of Maia soon

Or could I yield ? Which yet I will not yield.
Should make us food and sport—who can please long In brief Omnipotence ; secure are they :

Let others Hatter Crime, where it sits throned The Omnipotent?

For Justice, when triumphant, will weep down

Pity, not punishment, on her own wrongs,
Back to your towers of iron, Too much avenged by those who err. I wait,
And gnash beside the streams of fire, and wail

Enduring thus, the retributive hour
Your foodless teeth. Gervon, arise ! and Gorgon, which since we spake is even nearer now.
Chimera, and thou Sphinx, subtlest of fiends, But hark, the hell-hounds clamour. Fear delay !
Who ministered to Thebes Heaven's poisoned wine, Behold! Heaven lowers under thy Father's frown.
Unnatural love, and more unnatural hate :
These shall perform your task.

Oh, that we might be spared : I to inflict,

And thou to suffer ! once more answer me

Oh, mercy! mercy! | Thou knowest not the period of Jove's power?
We die with our desire: drive us not back !

PROMETHEUS.
MERCURY
Crouch then in silence.

I know but this, that it must come.
Awful Sufferer;
To theo unwilling, most unwillingly

Alas!
I come, by the Great Father's will driven down,
To execute a doom of new revenge.

Thou canst not count thy years to come of pain?
Alas! I pity thee, and hate myself

PROMETHEUS. That I can do no more; aye from thy sight

They last while Jove must reignönor more, nor less Returning, for a season, heaven seems hell,

Do I desire or fear,

FIRST FURY.

SECOND FURY.

MERCURY.

MERCURY.

FIRST FURY,

1

MERCURY.

MERCURY.

Yet pause, and plunge
Into Eternity, where recorded time,
Even all that we imagine, age on age,
Seems but a point, and the reluctant mind
Flags, wearily in its unending flight,
Till it sink, dizzy, blind, lost, shelterless;
Perchance it has not numbered the slow years
Which thou must spend in torture, unreprieved ?

PROMETHEUS.
Oh! many fearful natures in one name,
I know ye; and these lakes and echoes know
The darkness and the clangour of your wings.
But why more hideous than your loathed selves
Gather ye up in legions from the deep?

SECOND FURY.
We knew not that: Sisters, rejoice, rejoice!

PROMETHEUS.

PROMETHEUS.

JONE.

PROMETHEUS.

SECOND FURY.

Perchance no thought can count them, yet they pass. Can aught exult in its deformity?
MERCURY.

SECOND FURY.
If thou might'st dwell among the Gods the while,
Lapped in voluptuous joy?

The beauty of delight makes lovers glad,

Gazing on one another: so are we.
PROMETHEUS.

As from the rose which the pale priestess kneels

I would not quit To gather for her festal crown of Powers This bleak ravine, these unrepentant pains.

The aerial crimson falls, flushing her cheek,

So from our victim's destined agony
MERCURY.

The shade which is our form invests us round, Alas! I wonder at, yet pity thee.

Else we are shapeless as our mother Night. PROMETHEUS.

PROMETHEUS. Pity the self-despising slaves of Heaven,

I laugh your power, and his who sent you here, Not me, within whose mind sits peace serene, To lowest scorn.

Pour forth the cup of pain. As light in the sun, throned : how vain is talk ! Call up the fiends.

FIRST FURY.

Thou thinkest we will rend thee bone from bone, O, sister, look! White fire

And nerve from nerve, working like fire within! Has cloven to the roots yon huge snow-loaded cedar; How fearfully God's thunder howls behind !

Pain is my element, as hate is thine ;

Ye rend me now: I care not.
MERCURY.
I must obey his words and thine : alas !
Most heavily remorse hangs at my heart!

Dost imagine
We will but laugh into thy lidless eyes ?
PAXTHEA.
See where the child of Heaven, with winged feet,

PROMETHEUS. Runs down the slanted sunlight of the dawn. I weigh not what ye do, but what ye suffer,

Being evil. Cruel was the power which called Dear sister, close thy plumes over thine eyes

You, or aught else so wretched, into light.
Lest thou behold and die: they come: they come
Blackening the birth of day with countless wings, Thou think’st we will live through thee, one by one,
And hollow underneath, like death.

Like animal life, and though we can obscure not
The soul which burns within, that we will dwell

Beside it, like a vain loud multitude
Prometheus ! Vexing the self-content of wisest men:

That we will be dread thought beneath thy brain, Immortal Titan!

And foul desire round thine astonished heart,
THIRD FURY,

And blood within thy labyrinthine veins
Champion of Heaven's slaves! | Crawling like agony.

PROMETHEUS.
He whom some dreadful voice invokes is here,

Why, ye are thus now;
Prometheus, the chained Titan. Horrible forms, Yet am I king over myself, and rule
What and who are ye? Never yet there came

The torturing and conflicting throngs within, Phantasms so foul through monster-teeming Hell As Jove rules you when Hell grows mutinous. From the all-misoreative brain of Jove; Whilst I behold such execrable shapes,

CHORUS OF FURIES. Methinks I grow like what I contemplate,

From the ends of the earth, from the ends of the And laugh and stare in loathsome sympathy.

earth, Where the night has its grave and the morning its

birth, We are the ministers of pain and fear,

Come, come, come! And disappointment, and mistrust, and hate, Oh, ye who shake hills with the scream of your mirth, And clinging crime; and as lean dogs pursue [fawn, When cities sink howling in ruin ; and yo Through wood and lake some struck and sobbing Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea, We track all things that weep, and bleed, and live, And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's track, When the great King betrays them to our will. Sit chattering with joy on the foodless wreck ;

IONE.

THIRD FURY

FIRST FURY.

SECOND FURY.

PROMETHEUS.

FIRST FURY.

Come, come, come! Leave the bed, low, cold, and red, Strewed beneath a nation dead; Leave the hatred, as in ashes

Fire is left for future burning: It will burst in bloodier flashes

When ye stir it, soon returning : Leave the self-contempt implanted In young spirits, sense enchanted,

Misery's yet unkindled fuel :
Leave Hell's secrets half unchanted

To the maniac dreamer: cruel
More than ye can be with hate
Is he with fear.

Come, come, come!
We are steaming up from Hell's wide gate,

And we burthen the blasts of the atmosphere,
But vainly we toil till ye come here.

His words outlived him, like swift poison

Withering up truth, peace, and pity.
Look! where round the wide horizon

Many a million-peopled city
Vomits smoke in the bright air.
Mark that outcry of despair !
'Tis his mild and gentle ghost

Wailing for the faith he kindled :
Look again! the flames almost

To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled :
The survivors round the embers
Gather in dread.

Joy, joy, joy!
Past ages crowd on thee, but each one remembers,
And the future is dark, and the present is spread
Like a pillow of thorns for thy slumberless head.

IONE.

Sister, I hear the thunder of new wings.

PANTHEA.
These solid mountains quiver with the sound
Even as the tremulous air: their shadows make
The space within my plumes more black than night.

FIRST FURY.
Your call was as a winged car,
Driven on whirlwinds fast and far;
It rapt us from red gulfs of war.

SEMICHORUS I.
Drops of bloody agony flow
From his white and quivering brow.
Grant a little respite now:
See a disenchanted nation
Springs like day from desolation;
To truth its state is dedicate,
And Freedom leads it forth, her mate;
A legioned band of linked brothers,
Whom Love calls children

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SEMICHORUS II.

'Tis another's.
See how kindred murder kin!
'Tis the vintage-time for death and sin.
Blood, like new wine, bubbles within :

Till Despair anothers
The struggling world, which slaves and tyrants win.

[All the Furies vanish, except one.

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FOURTH FURY.

IONE.

PANTHEA.

FURY.

Kingly conclaves, stern and cold,

Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Where blood with gold is bought and sold ; Quite unsuppressed is tearing up the heart

Of the good Titan, as storms tear the deep,
FIFTH FURY.

And beasts hear the sea moan in inland caves. From the furnace, white and hot,

Darest thou observe how the fiends torture him! In which

PANTHEA.
A FURY.
Speak not; whisper not:

Alas! I looked forth twice, but will no more.
I know all that ye would tell,

1ONE.
But to speak might break the spell
Which must bend the Invincible,

What didst thou see?
The stern of thought;
He yet defies the deepest power of Hell.

A woful sight: a youth

With patient looks nailed to a crucifix.
Tear the veil!
ANOTHER FURY

What next?
It is torn.

PANTHEA.

The heaven around, the earth below CHORUS.

Was peopled with thick shapes of human death, The pale stars of the morn Shine on a misery, dire to be borne.

All horrible, and wrought by human hands, Dost thou faint, mighty Titan! We laugh thee to for men were slowly killed by frowns and smiles : Dost thou buast the clear knowledge thou waken’dst

And other sights too foul to speak and live

Were wandering by. Let us not tempt worse fear Then was kindled within him a thirst which outran

By looking forth : those groans are grief enough.
Those perishing waters; a thirst of fierce fever,
Hope, love, doubt, desire, which consume him for

Behold an emblem: those who do endure
One came forth of gentle worth,

Deep wrongs for man, and scorn, and chains, but

heap Smiling on the sanguine earth :

Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.

IONE.

scorn.

for man!

FURY.

ever,

PROMETII EUS.

FURY.

PROMETHEUS.

PANTHEA.

The nations thronged around, and cried aloud, Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;

As with one voice, 'Truth, liberty, and love! Close those wan lips: let that thorn-wounded brow Suddenly fierce confusion fell from heaven Stream not with blood; it mingles with thy tears !

Among them: there was strife, deceit, and fear: Fix, fix those tortured orbs in peace and death,

Tyrants rushed in, and did divide the spoil

.

This was the shadow of the truth I saw.
So thy sick throes shake not that crucifix,
So those pale fingers play not with thy gore.

THE EARTH. 0, horrible! Thy name I will not speak,

I felt thy torture, son, with such mixed joy It hath become a curse. I see, I see

As pain and virtue give. To cheer thy state The wise, the mild, the lofty, and the just,

I bid ascend those subtle and fair spirits, Whom thy slaves hate for being like to thee, Whose homes are the dim caves of human thought

, i Some hunted by foul lies from their heart's home, And who inhabit, as birds wing the wind, An early-chosen, late-lamented home,

Its world-surrounding ether: they behold
As hooded ounces cling to the driven hind; Beyond that twilight realm, as in a glass,
Some linked to corpses in unwholesome cells : The future: may they speak comfort to thee!
Some-Hear I not the multitude laugh loud !-

PANTIIEA.
Impaled in lingering fire : and mighty realis
Float by my feet, like sea-uprooted isles,

Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather, Whose sons are kneaded down in common blood Like Hocks of clouds in spring's delightful weather, By the red light of their own burning homes.

Thronging in the blue air!

IONE.

And see! more come,
Blood thou canst see, and fire; and canst heargroans:
Worse things unheard, unseen, remain behind.

Like fountain-vapours when the winds are dumb,
That climb up the ravine in scattered lines.

And hark! is it the music of the pines!
Worse?

Is it the lake? Is it the waterfall!
FURY.
In each human heart terror survives
The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear

'Tis something sadder, sweeter far than all. All that they would disdain to think were true:

CHORUS OF SPIRITS. Hypocrisy and custom make their minds

From unremembered ages we The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.

Gentle guides and guardians be They dare not devise good for man's estate,

Of heaven-oppressed mortality!
And yet they know not that they do not dare.

And we breathe, and sicken not,
The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The atmosphere of human thought:
The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. Be it dim, and dank, and grey,
The wise want love; and those who love want

Like a storm-extinguished day,
And all best things are thus confused to ill. [wisdom; Travelled o'er by dying gleams :
Many are strong and rich, and would be just,

Be it bright as all between But live among their suffering fellow-men

Cloudless skies and windless streams, As if none felt: they know not what they do.

Silent, liquid, and serene;

As the birds within the wind,
PROMETHEUS.
Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes;

As the fish within the wave,
And yet I pity those they torture not.

As the thoughts of man's own mind

Float through all above the grave:

We make there our liquid lair, Thou pitiest them? I speak no more! [Vanishes.

Voyaging cloudlike and unpent

Through the boundless element:
PROMETHEUS.

Thence we bear the prophecy

Ah woe!
Ah woe! Alas! pain, pain ever, for ever!

Which begins and ends in thee !
I close my tearless eyes, but see more clear
Thy works within my woe-illumined mind,

More yet come, one by one: the air around them Thou subtle tyrant! Peace is in the grave.

Looks radiant as the air around a star. The grave hides all things beautiful and good:

FIRST SPIRIT, I am a God and cannot find it there,

On a battle-trumpet's blast Nor would I seek it: for, though dread revenge, I fled hither, fast, fast, fast, This is defeat, fierce king! not victory.

'Mid the darkness upward cast. The sights with which thou torturest gird my soul From the dust of creeds outworn, With new endurance, till the hour arrives

From the tyrant's banner torn,
When they shall be no types of things which are. Gathering round me, onward borne,

There was mingled many a cry-
PANTHEA.
Alas! what sawest thou !

Freedom ! Hope! Death! Victory !

Till they faded through the sky ;
PROMETHEUS.

And one sound above, around,
There are two woes :

One sound beneath, around, above,
To speak and to behold; thou spare me one.

Was moving ; 'twas the soul of love;
Names are there, Nature's sacred watch-words, they 'Twas the hope, the prophecy,
Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry ;

Which begins and ends in thee.

FURY.

JONE.

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