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The curse which all remember. Call at will
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
Lightning, and cutting hail, and legioned forms
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 robe of envenomed agony ;
To cling like burning gold round thy dissolving brain.
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.
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,
Your refuge, your defence lies fallen and van
Lies fallen and vanquished ?
So thy worn form pursues me night and day,
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,
And long must teach. Even now thy Torturer
With the strange might of unimagined pains
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
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
The crystal-winged snow cling round my hair:
By his thought-executing ministers.
Such is the tyrant's recompense : 'tis just :
He who is evil can receive no gooil;
And for a world bestowed, or a friend lost,
He but requites me for his own misdeed.
With bitter stings the light sleep of Revenge.
Submission, thou dost know I cannot try;
The death-seal of mankind's captivity,
Like the Sicilian's hair-suspended sword,
Which trembles o'er his crown, would he accept,
Or could I yield ? Which yet I will not yield.
Let others Hatter Crime, where it sits throned The Omnipotent?
For Justice, when triumphant, will weep down
Pity, not punishment, on her own wrongs,
Enduring thus, the retributive hour
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?
I know but this, that it must come.
Thou canst not count thy years to come of pain?
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,
Yet pause, and plunge
Perchance no thought can count them, yet they pass. Can aught exult in its deformity?
The beauty of delight makes lovers glad,
Gazing on one another: so are we.
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
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.
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.
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.
Like animal life, and though we can obscure not
Beside it, like a vain loud multitude
That we will be dread thought beneath thy brain, Immortal Titan!
And foul desire round thine astonished heart,
And blood within thy labyrinthine veins
Why, ye are thus now;
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 ;
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 :
To the maniac dreamer: cruel
Come, come, come!
And we burthen the blasts of the atmosphere,
His words outlived him, like swift poison
Withering up truth, peace, and pity.
Many a million-peopled city
Wailing for the faith he kindled :
To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled :
Joy, joy, joy!
Sister, I hear the thunder of new wings.
Till Despair anothers
[All the Furies vanish, except one.
Kingly conclaves, stern and cold,
Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Of the good Titan, as storms tear the deep,
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
Alas! I looked forth twice, but will no more.
What didst thou see?
A woful sight: a youth
With patient looks nailed to a crucifix.
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.
Behold an emblem: those who do endure
Deep wrongs for man, and scorn, and chains, but
heap Smiling on the sanguine earth :
Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.
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.
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
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!
And see! more come,
Like fountain-vapours when the winds are dumb,
And hark! is it the music of the pines!
Is it the lake? Is it the waterfall!
'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 we breathe, and sicken not,
Like a storm-extinguished day,
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,
As the fish within the wave,
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:
Thence we bear the prophecy
Which begins and ends in thee !
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,
There was mingled many a cry-
Freedom ! Hope! Death! Victory !
Till they faded through the sky ;
And one sound above, around,
One sound beneath, around, above,
Was moving ; 'twas the soul of love;
Which begins and ends in thee.