« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
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
shades, As rainy wind thro' the abandoned gate Of a fallen palace.
Prometheus. Mother, let not aught
My wings are crossèd o'er mine eyes:
And thro' their lulling plumes arise,
May it be no ill to thee
Clothed in dark purple, star-inwoven.
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
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
Ione. He speaks! O shelter me!
the curse on
Foul Tyrant both of Gods and Human
Eat into me, and be thine ire
In darkness over those I love :
The utmost torture of thy hate ;
reign on high.
But thou, who art the God and Lord :
O, thou, Who fillest with thy soul this world
To whom all things of Earth and
Heaven do bow'
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
And hollow underneath, like death.
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,
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
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
Come, come, come!
Fire is left for future burning :
It will burst in bloodier fashion,
When ye stir it, soon returning :
Misery's yet unkiudled fuel:
To the maniac dreamer ; cruel
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.
The stern of thought;
The pale stars of the morn Shine on a misery, dire to be borne.