Imágenes de páginas


Sway'd by the summer air; my streams will flow Whispering without from tree to tree, and birds,
Round many peopled continents, and round And bees; and all around are mossy seats,
Fortunate isles; and from their glassy thrones And the rough walls are clothed with long soft grass;
Blue Proteus and his humid nymphs shall mark A simple dwelling, which shall be our own;
'The shadow of fair ships, as morials see

Where we will sit and talk of time and change, The floating bark of the light-laden moon

As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest, What can hide man from mutability ? Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea ; And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and thou, Tracking their path no more by blood and groans, lone, shalt chant fragments of sea-music, And desolation, and the mingled voice

Until I weep, when ye shall smile away
Of slavery and command; but by the light The tears she brought, which yet were sweet to shed
Of wave-reflected flowers, and floating odors, We will entangle buds and flowers and beams
And music soft, and mild, free, gentle voices, Which twinkle on the fountain's brim, and make
That sweetest music, such as spirits love.

Strange combinations out of common things,
Like human babes in their brief innocence;

And we will search, with looks and words of love And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make

For hidden thoughts, each lovelier than the last, My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse

Our unexhausted spirits; and like lules Darkens the sphere I guide ; but list, I hear

Touch'd by the skill of the enamor'd wind, The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit

Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new, That sits on the morning star.

From difference sweet where discord cannot be ;

And hither come, sped on the charmed winds,
Thou must away;

Which meet from all the points of Heaven, as bees
Thy steeds will pause at even, till when farewell: From every flower aërial Enna feeds,
The loud deep calls me home even now to feed it At their known island-homes in Himera,
With azure calm out of the emerald urns

The echoes of the human world, which tell Which stand for ever full beside my throne. of the low voice of love, almost unheard, Behold the Nereids under the green sea,

And dove-eyed pity's murmur'd pain, and music, Their wavering limbs borne on the wind-like stream, Itself the echo of the heart, and all Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair That tempers or improves man's life, now free; With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns, And lovely apparitions, dim at first, Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy. Then radiant, as the mind, arising bright

(A sound of waves is heard. From the embrace of beauty, whence the forms It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm. Of which these are the phantoms, casts on them Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.

The gather'd rays which are reality,
Shall visit us, the progeny immortal

Of Painting, Sculpture, and wrapt Poesy,

And arts, though unimagined, yet to be.
The wandering voices and the shadows these

Of all that man becomes, the mediators

Of that best worship love, by him and us
Caucasus. PROMETHEUS, Hercules, Ione, the Earth, Given and return'd; swift shapes and sounds, which
SPIRITS, Asia, and PANTHEA, borne in the Car with


More fair and soft as man grows wise and kind,

And veil by veil, evil and error fall : HERCULES unbinds PROMETHEUS, who descends.

Such virtue has the cave and place around.

[Turning to the SPIRIT OF THE HOUR Most glorious among spirits ! thus doth strength

For thee, fair Spirit, one toil remains. Ione, To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love,

Give her that curved shell, which Proteus old And thee, who art the form they animate,

Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing within it Minister like a slave.

A voice to be accomplish'd, and which thou

Didst hide in grass under the hollow rock.
Thy gentle words

Are sweeter even than freedom long desired Thou most desired Hour, more loved and lovely
And long delay'd.

Than all thy sisters, this is the mystic shell;
Asia, thou light of life,

See the pale azure fading into silver
Shadow of beauty unbeheld: and ye,

Lining it with a soft yet glowing light:
Fair sister nymphs, who made long years of pain Looks it not like lulld music sleeping there?
Sweet to remember, through your love and care :
Henceforth we will not part. There is a cave,

All overgrown with trailing odorus plants,

It seems in truth the fairest shell of Ocean:
Which curtain out the day with leaves and flowers, Its sound must be at once both sweet and strange.
And paved with veined emerald, and a fountain
Leaps in the midst with an awakening sound.

From its curved roof the mountain's frozen tears Go, borne over the cities of mankind
Like snow, or silver, or long diamond spires, On whirlwind-footed coursers: once again
Hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light: Outspeed the sun around the orbed world ;
And there is heard the ever-moving air,

And as thy chariot cleaves the kindling air,




Thou breathe into the many-folded shell,

And through their veined leaves and amber stenis Loosening its mighty music; it shall be

The flowers whose purple and translucid bowls As thunder mingled with clear echoes: then Stand ever mantling with aërial dew, Return; and thou shalt dwell beside our cave. The drink of spirits : and it circles round, And thou, O, Mother Earth !

Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,

Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like mine,

Now thou art thus restored. This cave is thine.

I hear, I feel; Arise! Appear! Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs down

[A Spirit rises in the likeness of a winged child Even to the adamantine central gloom

This is my torch-bearer; Along these marble nerves; 'tis life, 'tis joy,

Who let his lamp out in old time with gazing And through my wither'd, old, and icy frame

On eyes from which he kindled it anew The warmth of an immortal youth shoots down

With love, which is as fire, sweet daughter mine, Circling. Henceforth the many children fair

For such is that within thine own. Run, wayward, Folded in my sustaining arms; all plants,

And guide this company beyond the peak
And creeping forms, and insects rainbow-wing'd,
And birds, and beasts, and fish, and human shapes, And beyond Indus and its tribute rivers,

of Bacchic Nysa, Månad-haunted mountain, Which drew disease and pain from my wan bosom, Trampling the torrent streams and glassy lakes Draining the poison of despair, shall take

With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying, And interchange sweet nutriment; to me

And up the green ravine, across the vale, Shall they become like sister-antelopes

Beside the windless and crystalline pool, By one fair dam, snow-white and swift as wind,

Where ever lies, on unerasing waves, Nursed among lilies near a brimming stream.

The image of a temple, built above, The dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall float

Distinct with column, arch, and architrave, Under the stars like balm: night-folded flowers

And palm-like capital, and over-wrought, Shall suck unwitting hues in their repose :

And populous most with living imagery, And men and beasts in happy dreams shall gather

Praxitelean shapes, whose marble smiles Strength for the coming day, and all its joy:

Fill the hush'd air with everlasting love. And death shall be the last embrace of her

It is deserted now, but once it bore Who takes the life she gave, even as a mother

Thy name, Prometheus; there the emulous youths Folding her child, says, “ Leave me not again.”

Bore to thy honor through the divine gloom
The lamp which was thine emblem ; even as those

Who bear the untransmitted torch of hope
Oh, mother! wherefore speak the name of death? Into the grave, across the night of life,
Cease they to love, and move, and breathe, and speak, As thou hast borne it most triumphantly
Who die?

To this far goal of Time. Depart, farewell.

Beside that temple is the destined cave.
It would avail not to reply:
Thou art immortal, and this tongue is known
But to the uncommunicating dead.

Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted : and meanwhile A Forest. In the back-ground a Cave. PROMETHEUS,
In mild variety the seasons mild

Asia, PANTHEA, Ione, and the SPIRIT OF THE With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds, EARTH. And long blue meteors cleansing the dull night, And the life-kindling shafts of the keen sun's All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled rain

Sister, it is not earthly: how it glides of the calm moonbeams, a sost influence mild,

Under the leaves! how on its head there burns Shall clothe the forests and the fields, ay, even

A light, like a green star, whose emerald beams The crag-built deserts of the barren deep,

Are twined with its fair hair! how, as it moves, With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers.

The splendor drops in flakes upon the grass ! And thou! There is a cavern where my spirit

Knowest thou it? Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy pain

PANTHEA. Made my heart mad, and those that did inhale it

It is the delicate spirit Became mad too, and built a temple there, That guides the earth through Heaven. From afar And spoke, and were oracular, and lured

The populous constellations call that light
The erring nations round to mutual war,

The loveliest of the planets; and sometimes
And faithless faith, such as Jove kept with thee; It floats along the spray of the salt sea,
Which breath now rises, as amongst tall weeds Or makes its chariot of a foggy cloud,
A violet's exhalation, and it fills

Or walks through fields or cities while men sleep, With a serener light and crimson air

Or o'er the mountain-tops, or down the rivers, Intense, yet soft, the rocks and woods around; Or through the green waste wilderness, as now It feeds the quick growth of the serpent vine, Wondering at all it sees. Before Jove reign'd, And the dark-link'd ivy tangling wild,

It loved our sister Asia, and it came
And budding, blown, or odor-faded blooms Each leisure hour to drink the liquid light
Which star the winds with points of color'd light, Out of her eyes, for which it said it thirsted
As they rain through them, and bright golden globes As one bit by a dipsas, and with her
Of fruit, suspended in their own green Heaven, It made its childish confidence, and told her








All it had kuown or seen, for it saw much, And thinning one bright bunch of amber berries,
Yet idly reason'd what it saw; and callid her, With quick long beaks, and in the deep there lay
For whence it sprung it knew not, nor do I, Those lovely forms imaged as in a sky;
Mother, dear mother.

So with my thoughts full of these happy changes,

We meet again, the happiest change of all. THE SPIRIT OF THE EARTH (running to Asia).

Mother, dearest mother ; May I then talk with thee as I was wont?

And never will we part, till thy chaste sister May I then hide my eyes in thy soft arms,

Who guides the frozen and inconstant moon After thy looks have made them tired of joy?

Will look on thy more warm and equal light May I then play beside thee the long noons,

Till her heart thaw like flakes of April snow When work is none in the bright silent air ?

And love thee.


What! as Asia loves Prometheus I love thee, gentlest being! and henceforth Can cherish thee unenvied: speak, I pray :

Peace, wanton: thou art yet not old enough.
Thy simple talk once solaced, now delights.

Think ye by gazing on each other's eyes

To multiply your lovely selves, and fill
Mother, I am grown wiser, though a child

With sphered fires the interlunar air?
Cannot be wise like thee, within this day ;
And happier too; happier and wiser both.

Nay, mother, while my sister trims her lamp,
Thuu knowest that toads, and snakes, and lothely "Tis hard I should go darkling.

worms, And venomous and malicious beasts, and boughs That bore ill berries in the woods, were ever

Listen ; look! A hindrance to my walks o'er the green world :

The SPIRIT OF THE HOur enters. And thal, among the haunts of human-kind,

PROMETHEUS. Hard-featured men, or with proud, angry looks,

We feel what thou hast heard and seen: yet speak. Or cold, staid gait, or false and hollow smiles, Or the dull speer of self-loved ignorance, Or other such foul masks, with which ill thoughts Soon as the sound had ceased whose thunder fill'd Hide that fair being whom we spirits call man; The abysses of the sky and the wide earth, And women too, ugliest of all things evil

There was a change: the impalpable thin air (Though fair, even in a world where thou art fair, And the all-circling sunlight vere transform’d, When good and kind, free and sincere like thee), As if the sense of love dissolved in them When false or frowning made me sick at heart Had folded itself round the sphered world. To pass them, though they slept, and I unseen. My vision then grew clear, and I could see Well, my path lately lay through a great city Into the mysteries of the universe : Into the woody hills surrounding it :

Dizzy as with delight I floated down, A sentinel was sleeping at the gate :

Winnowing the lightsome air with languid plumes When there was heard a sound, so loud, it shook My coursers sought their birth-place in the sun, The towers amid the moonlight, yet more sweet Where they henceforth will live exempt from toil Than any voice but thine, sweetest of all; Pasturing flowers of vegetable fire. A long, long sound, as it would never end :

And where my moonlike car will stand within And all the inhabitants leapt suddenly

A temple, gazed upon by Phidian forms Out of their rest, and gather'd in the streets, Of thee, and Asia, and the Earth, and me, Looking in wonder up to Heaven, whilo yet And you fair nymphs looking the love we feel; The music peal'd along. I hid myself

In memory of the tidings it has borne ; Within a fountain in the public square,

Beneath a dome fretled with graven flowers, Where I lay like the reflex of the moon

Poised on twelve columns of resplendent stone, Seen in a wave under green leaves : and soon And open to the bright and liquid sky. Those ugly human shapes and visages

Yoked to it by an amphisbenic snake, I of which I spoke as having wrought me pain, The likeness of those winged steeds will mock Past floating through the air, and fading still The light from which they find repose. Alas, Into the winds that scatler'd them; and those Whither has wander'd now my partial tongue From whom they past seem'd mild and lovely forms When all remains untold which ye would hear ? After some foul disguise had fallen, and all

As I have said, I foaied to the earth : Were somewhat changed, and after brief surprise It was, as it is still, the pain of bliss And greetings of delighted wonder, all

To move, 10 breathe, 10 be ; I wandering went Went to their sleep again ; and when the dawn Among the haunts and dwellings of mankind, Came, wouldst thou think that toads, and snakes, and And first was disappointed not to see efts,

Such mighty change as I had felt within Could e'er be beautiful ? yet so they were, Express'd in outward things; but soon I look'd, And that with little change of shape or hue: And bebold, thrones were kingless, and men walk'd All things had put their evil nature off :

One with the other even as spirits do. I cannot tell my joy, when o'er a lake

None fawn'd, none trampled; hate, disdain, or fear, Upon a drooping bough with nightshade twined, Self-love or self-contempl, on human brows I saw two azure halcyons clinging downward No more inscribed, as o'er the gate of hell,



“ All hope abandon ye who enter herc;"

From chance, and death, and mutability, None frown'd, none trembled, none with eager fear The clogs of that which else might oversoar Gazed on another's eye of cold command,

The loftiest star of unascended heaven,
Until the subject of a tyrant's will

Pinnacled dim in the intense inane.
Became, worse fate, the abject of his own,
Which spurr'd him, like an outspent horse, to death.
None wrought his lips in truth-entangling lines

Which smiled the lie his tongue disdain'd to speak;
None, with firm sneer, trod out in his own heart

SCENE-A part of the Forest near the Cave of ProThe sparks of love and hope till there remain'd

PANTHEA and lone are sleeping ; they Those bitler ashes, a soul self-consumed,

awaken gradually during the first Song.
And the wretch crept a vampire among men,
Infecting all with his own hideous ill ;
None talk'd that common, false, cold, hollow talk

The pale stars are gone!
Which makes the heart deny the yes it breathes,

For the sun, their swift shepherd, Yet question that unmeant hypocrisy

To their fold them compelling, With such a self-ristrust as has no name.

In the depths of the dawn, And women, too, frank, beautiful, and kind

Hastes, in meteor-eclipsing array, and they flee As the free heaven which rains fresh light and dew

Beyond his blue dwelling, On the wide earth, past; gentle, radiant forms,

As fawns flee the leopard, From custom's evil taint exempt and pure;

But where are ye? Speaking the wisdom once they could not think, Looking emotions once they fear'd to feel, A Train of dark Forms and Shadows passes by conAnd changed to all which once they dared not be,

fusedly, singing Yet being now, made earth like heaven; nor pride, Nor jealousy, nor envy, nor ill shame,

Here, oh! here: The bitterest of those drops of treasured gall,

We bear the bier Spoilt the sweet taste of the nepenthe, love.

Of the Father of many a cancelled year!

Spectres we

Of the dead Hours be,
Thrones, altars, judgment-seats, and prisons; wherein,

We bear Time to his tomb in eternity.
And beside which, by wretched men were borne
Sceptres, tiaras, swords, and chains, and tomes

Strew, oh! strew
Of reason'd wrong, glozed on by ignorance,

Hair, not yew! Were like those monstrous and barbaric shapes.

Wet the dusky pall with tean, not dew! The ghosts of a no more remember'd fame

Be the faded flowers
Which, from their unworn obelisks, look forth

Of Death's bare bowers
In triumph o'er the palaces and tombs
Of those who were their conquerors : mouldering

Spread on the corpse of the King of Hours ! round

Haste, oh, haste! Those imaged to the pride of kings and priests,

As shades are chased, A dark yet mighty faith, a power as wide

Trembling, by day, from Heaven's blue waste. As is the world it wasted, and are now

We melt away, But an astonishment; even so the tools

Like dissolving spray, And emblems of its last captivity,

From the children of a diviner day, Amid the dwellings of the peopled earth,

With the lullaby Stand, not o'erthrown, but unregarded now.

Of winds that die
And those foul shapes, abhorr'd by god and man,

On the bosom of their own harmony!
Which, under many a name and many a form
Strange, savage, ghastly, dark, and execrable,
Were Jupiter, the tyrant of the world ;
And which the nations, panic-stricken, served

What dark forms were they ?
With blood, and hearts broken by long hope, and love
Dragg’d to his altars soil'd and garlandless,
And slain among men's unreclaiming tears,

The past Hours weak and gray,
Flattering the thing they fear'd, which fear was hate, With the spoil which their toil
Frown, mouldering fast, o'er their abandon'd shrines :

Raked together
The painted veil, by those who were, call'd life,

From the conquest but One could foil
Which mimick’d, as with colors idly spread,
All men believed and hoped, is torn aside ;

Have they past ?
The lothesome mask has fallen, the man remains
Sceptreless, free, uncircumscribed, but man
Equal, unclass'd, tribeless, and nationless,

They have past ;
Exempt from awe, worship, degree, the king

They outspeeded the blast,
Over himself; just, gentle, wise: but man

While 't is said, they are fled :
Passionless; not yet free from guilt or pain,
Which were, for his will made or suffer'd them,
Nor yet exempi, though ruling them like slaves,

Whither, oh! whither?






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Where are their chariots ?

SEMICHORUS OF HOURS. The voice of the Spirits of Air and of Earth Has drawn back the figured curtain of sleep Which cover'd our being and darken'd our birth In the deep.


In the deep?


Oh! below tne deep.


A hundred ages we had been kept
Cradled in visions of hate and care,
And each one who waked as his brother slept,
Found the truth-

SEMICHORUS II. Worse than his visions were !

We come from the mind

Of human-kind,
Which was late so dusk, and obscene, and blind ;

Now 'tis an ocean

Of clear emotion,
A heaven of serene and mighty motion.

From that deep abyss

Of wonder and bliss, Whose caverns are crystal palaces

From those skiey towers

Where Thought's crowned powers Sit watching your dance, ye happy Hours !

From the dim recesses

Of woven caresses,
Where lovers catch ye by your loose tresses ;

From the azure isles

Where sweet Wisdom smiles, Delaying your ships with her syren wiles.

From the temples high

Of Man's ear and eye, Roof'd over Sculpture and Poesy ;

From the murmurings

Of the unseal'd springs
Where Science bedews his Dædal wings.

Years after years,

Through blood, and tears, And a thick hell of hatreds, and hopes, and fears,

We waded and flew,

And the islets were few Where the bud-blighted flowers of happiness grew

Our feet now, every palm,

Are sandall'd with calm,
And the dew of our wings is a rain of baim.

And, beyond our eyes,

The human love lies
Which makes all it gazes on Paradiso.

SEMICHORUS I. We have heard the lute of Hope in sleep; We have known the voice of Love in dreams, We have felt the wand of Power, and leap

SEMICHORUS II. As the billows leap in the morning beams !

CHORUS. Weave the dance on the floor of the breeze,

Pierce with song heaven's silent light, Enchant the day that 100 swiftly flees,

To check its flight ere the cave of night.

Once the hungry Hours were hounds

Which chased the day like a bleeding deer, And it limp'd and stumbled with many wounds

Through the nightly dells of the desert year.

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