Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

303

Are there, and all the powers of name

less worlds, Vast, sceptred phantoms; heroes, men,

and beasts ; And Demogorgon, a tremendous gloom ; And he, the supreme Tyrant, on his

throne Of burning gold. Son, one of these

shall utter
The curse which all remember. Call

at will
Thine own ghost, or the ghost of Jupiter,
Hades or Typhon, or what mightier Gods
From all-prolific Evil, since thy ruin
Have sprung, and trampled on my pros-

trate sous.
Ask, and they must reply : so the revenge
Of the Supreme may sweep thro' vacant

shades, As rainy wind thro' the abandoned gate Of a fallen palace.

Prometheus. Mother, let not aught
Of that which may be evil, pass again
My lips, or those of aught resembling me.
Phantasm of Jupiter, arise, appear !

Ione
My wings are folded o'er mine ears :

My wings are crossèd o'er mine eyes:
Yet thro' their silver shade appears,

And thro' their lulling plumes arise,
A Shape, a throng of sounds;

May it be no ill to thee
O thou of many wounds!
Near whom, for our sweet sister's sake,
Ever thus we watch and wake.

Panthea
The sound is of whirlwind underground
Earthquake, and fire, and mountains

cloven ;
The shape is awful like the sound,

Clothed in dark purple, star-inwoven.
A sceptre of pale gold
To stay steps proud, o'er the slow

cloud
His veinéd haud doth hold.
Cruel he looks, but calm and strong,
Like one who does, not suffers wrong.
Phantasm of Jupiter.

Why have
the secret powers of this strange

world Driven me, a frail and empty phantom,

hither On direst storms? What unaccustomed

sounds Are hovering on my lips, unlike the voice With which our pallid race hold ghastly

talk

In darkness ? And, proud sufferer, who

art thou Prometheus. Tremendous Image, as

thou art must be He whom thou shadowest forth. I am

his foe, The Titan. Speak the words which I

would hear, Although no thought inform thine

empty voice. The Earth. Listen! And tho' your

eclioes must be mute, Gray mountains, and old woods, and

haunted springs, Prophetic caves, and isle-surrounding

streams, Rejoice to hear what yet ye cannot speak. Phantasm. A spirit seizes me and

speaks within : It tears me as fire tears a thunder-cloud. Panthea. See, how he lifts his mighty

looks, the Heaven
Darkens above.

Ione. He speaks! O shelter me!
Prometheus. I

the curse on
gestures proud and cold,
And looks of firm defiance, and calm hate,
And such despair as mocks itself with

smiles,
Written as on a scroll : yet speak :
Oh, speak!

Phantasm
Fiend, I defy thee! with a calm, fixed

mind,
All that thou canst inflict I bid thee

see

do ;

Foul Tyrant both of Gods and Human

kind,
One only being shalt thou not

subdue.
Rain then thy plagues upon me here,
Ghastly disease, and frenzying fear ;
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.
Ay, do thy worst. Thou art om

nipotent.
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.
Let thy malignant spirit move

In darkness over those I love :
On me and mine I imprecate

The utmost torture of thy hate ;
And thus devote to sleepless agony,
This undeclining head, while thou must

reign on high.

But thou, who art the God and Lord :

O, thou, Who fillest with thy soul this world

of woe,

To whom all things of Earth and

Heaven do bow'
In fear and worship : all-prevailing

foe!
I curse thee! let a sufferer's curse
Clasp thee, liis torturer, like remorse ;
Till thine Infinity shall be

A robe of envenomed agony ; And thine Omnipotence a crown of pain, To cling like burning gold round thy

dissolving vrain. Heap on thy soul, by virtue of this

Curse
Ill deeds, then be thou damned,

beholding good ; Both infinite as is the universe, And thou, and thy self torturing

solitude. An awful image of calm power Though now thou sittest, let the hour Come, when thou must appear to be

That which thou art internally. And after many a false and fruitless

crime Scorn track thy lagging fall thro' bound

less space and time.

First Echo
Lies fallen and vanquished !

Second Echo
Fallen and vanquished !

Ione
Fear not: 'tis but some passing spasm,

The Titan is unvanquished still. But see, where thro' the azure chasm

Of yon forked and snowy hill Trampling the slant winds on high With golden-sandalled feet, that

glow Under plumes of purple dye, Like rose-ensanguined ivory,

A Shape comes now,
Stretching on high from his right land
A serpent-cinctured wand.
Panthea. 'Tis Jove's world-wander-
ing herald, Mercury.

Ione
And who are those with hydra tresses

And iron wings that climb the wind, Whom the frowning God represses

Like vapors steaming up behind, Clanging loud, an endless crowd

Panthea These are Jove's tempest-walking

hounds, Whom he gluts with groans and blood, When charioted on sulphurous cloud

He bursts Heaven's bounds.

Prometheus. Were these my words,

O, Parent? The Earth.

They were thine. Prometheus. It doth repent me:

worls are quick and vain ; Grief for awhile is blind, and so was

inine. I wish no living thing to suffer pain.

Ione Are they now led, from the thin dead On new pangs to be fed ?

Panthea The Titan looks as ever, firm, not

proud. First Fury. Ha! I scent life! Second Fury. Let me but look into

his eyes! Third Fury. The hope of torturing

him smells like a heap Of corpses, to a death-bird after battle. First Fury. Darest thou delay, 0

Herald ! take cheer, Hounds Of Hell: what if the Son of Maia soon Should make us food and sport--who

can please long The Omnipotent? Mercury. Back to your towers of

iron,

The Earth Misery, Oh misery to me, That Jove at length should vanquish

thee. Wail, howl aloud, Land and Sea, The Earth's rent heart shall answer

ye. Howl. Spirits of the living and the dead, Your refuge, your defence lies fallen and

vanquished.

And like a suppliant in some gorgeous

fane, Let the will kneel within thy haughty

heart: For benefits and meek submission tame The fiercest and the mightiest. Prometheus.

Evil minds Change good to their own nature. I

gave all

my hair:

And gnash, beside the streams of fire

and wail, Your foodless teeth. Geryon, arise !

and Gorgon, Chimæra, and thou Sphinx, subtlest of

fiends Who ministered to Thebes Heaven's

poisoned wine, Unnatural love, and more unnatural

hate : These shall perform your task.

First Fury. Oh, mercy ! mercy! We die with our desire: drive us riot

back! Mercury. Crouch then in silence.

Awful Sufferer To thee uuwilling, most unwillingly I come, by the great Father's will driven

down, To execute a doom of new revenge. Alas! I pity thee, and hate myself That I can do no more: aye from thy

sight Returning, for a season, Heaven seems

Hell, 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 Against the Omnipotent; as yon clear

lamps That measure and divide the weary

years From which there is no refuge, long

have taught And long must teach. Even now thy

Torturer arms With the strange might of unimagined

pains The powers who scheme slow agonies in

Hell, And my commission is to lead them

here, Or what more subtle, foul, or savage

fiends People the abyss, and leave them to

their task. Be it not so ! there is a secret known To thee, and to none else of living

things, Which may transfer the sceptre of wide

Heaven, The fear of which perplexes the Su

preme: Clothe it in words, and bid it clasp his

throne In intercession ; bend thy soul in prayer,

He has; and in return he chains me here Years, ages, night and day: whether

the Sun Split my parched skin, or in the moony

night The crystal-winged snow cling round Whilst my beloved race is trampled

down By his thought-executing ministers. Such is the tyrant's recompense: 'tis

just : He who is evil can receive no good ; And for a world bestowed, or a friend

lost, He can feel hate, fear, shame ; not gra

titude: He but requites me for his own mis

deed. Kindness to such is keen reproach, which

breaks With bitter stings the light sleep of

Revenge. Submission, thou dost know I cannot

try : For what submission but that fatal word, The death-seal of mankind's captivity, Like the Sicilian's hair-suspended sword, Which trembles o'er his crowy, would

he accept, Or could I yield ? Which yet I will not

yield. Let others flatter Crime, where it sits

throned In brief Omnipotence : secure are they : For Justice, when triumphant, will

weep down Pity, not punishment, on her own

wrongs, Too much avenged by those who err.

I wait, Enduring thus, the retributive hour Which since we spake is even nearer

now.

But hark, the hell-hounds clamor : fear

delay : Behold! Heaven lowers under thy

Father's frown. Mercury. Oh, that we might be

spared : I to inflict

came

And thou to suffer ! Once more answer

me : Thou knowest not the period of Jove's

power? Prometheus. I know but this, that it

must oome. Mercury.

Alas! Thou canst not count thy years to come

of pain? Prometheus. They last while Jove

must reign : hor more, nor less Do I desire or fear.

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, shelter

less; Perchance it has not numbered the slow

year's Which thou must spend in torture, un

reprieved ? Prometheus. Perchance no thought

can count them, yet they pass. Mercury. If thou might'st dwell

among the Gods the while Lapped in voluptuous joy ?

Prometheus. I would not quit This bleak ravine, these unrepentant

pains. Mercury. Alas! I wonder at, yet

pity thee. Prometheus. Pity the self-despising

slaves of Heaven, Not me, within whose mind sits peace As light in the sun, throned : bow vain

is talk ! Call up the fiends.

Ione. O, sister, look! White fire Has cloven to the roots yon huge snow

loaded cedar ; How fearfully God's thunder howls be

hind! Mercury. I must obey his words and

thine : alas! Most heavily remorse hangs at my heart! Panthen. See where the child of

Heaven, with wingéd feet, Runs down the slanted sunlight of the

dawn. Ione. Dear sister, close thy plumes

over thine eyes Lest thou behold and die: they come :

they come Blackening the birth of day with count

less wings,

And hollow underneath, like death.
First Fury.

Prometheus!
Second Fury. Immortal Titan!
Third Fury.

Chanıpion of Heaven's slaves ! Prometheus. He whom some dread.

ful voice invokes is here, Prometheus, the chained Titan. Horrible

forms, What and who are ye? Never yet there Phantasms so foul thro' monster-teem

ing Hell From the all-miscreative brain of Jove; Whilst I behold such execrable shapes, Methinks I grow like what I contem

plate, And laugh and stare in loathısome sym

pathy. First Fury. We are the ministers of

pain, and fear, And disappointment, and mistrust, and

hate, And clinging crime; and as lean dogs

pursue Thro' wood and lake some struck and

sobbing fawn, We track all things that weep, and

bleed, and live, When the great King betrays them to

our will. Prometheus. Oh! many fearful natures

in one name, I know ye; and these lakes and echoes

know The darkness and the clangor of your

wings. But why more hideous than your r loathed

selves Gather ye up in legions from the deep? Second Fury. We knew not that:

Sisters, rejoice, rejoice! Prometheus. Can aught exult in its

deformity ? Second Fury. The beauty of delight

makes lovers glad, Gazing on one another: so are we. As from the rose which the pale priest

ess kneels To gather for her festal crown of flowers The aërial crimson falls, flushing her

cheek, So from our victim's destined agony The shade which is our form invests us

round, Else we are shapeless as

our mother Night. Prometheus. I laugh your power, and

his who sent you here,

serene,

To lowest scorn. Pour forth the cup of

pain. First Fury. Thou thinkest we will

rend thee bone from bone, And nerve from nerve, working like fire

within ? Prometheus. Pain is my element, as

hate is thine ; Ye rend me now : I care not. Second Fury.

Dost imagine We will but laugh into thy lidless eyes ? Prometheus. I weigh not what ye do,

but what ye suffer, Being evil. Cruel was the power which

called You, or aught else so wretched, into

light. Third Fury. Thou think 'st we will

live thro' thee, one by one, Like animal life, and tho' we can obscure

not The soul which burns within, that we

will dwell Beside it, like à vain loud multitude Vexing the self-content of wisest men: That we will be dread thought beneath

thy brain, And foul desire round thine astonished

heart, And blood within thy labyrinthine veins Crawling like agony.

Prometheus. Why, ye are thus now ; Yet am I king over myself, and rule The torturing and conflicting throngs

within, As Jove rules you when Hell grows mutinous.

Chorus of Furies From the ends of the earth, from the

ends of the earth, Where the night has its grave and the

morning its birth,

Come, come, come! Oh, ye who shake hills with the scream

of

your mirth, When cities sink howling in ruin ; and Who with wingless footsteps trample And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's

track, 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 aslies

Fire is left for future burning :

It will burst in bloodier fashion,

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

Misery's yet unkiudled 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 blast of the

atmosphere, But vainly we toil till ye come here. 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 gulf of war.

Second Fury
From wide cities, famine-wasted ;

Third Fury
Groans hall heard, and blood untasted ;

Fourth Fury
Kingly conclaves stern and cold,
Where blood with gold is bought and
sold;

Fifth Fury
From the furnace, white and hot,
In which

A Fury
Speak not: whisper not
I know all that ye would tell,
But to speak might break the spell
Which must bend the Invincible,

The stern of thought;
He yet defies the deepest power of
Hell.

Fury
Tear the veil!

Another Fury
It is torn.

Chorus

The pale stars of the morn Shine on a misery, dire to be borne.

ye

the sea,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »