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Fourth Voice. And we shrank back: for dreams of ruin To frozen caves our flight pursuing Made us keep silence—thus—and thus— Though silence is as hell to us.

the EAtath. The tongueless Caverns of the craggy hills Cried, “Misery !” then; the hollow Heaven replied, “Misery !” And the Ocean's purple waves, Climbing the land, howled to the lashing winds, And the pale nations heard it, “Misery 1”

ProMetheus.

I hear a sound of voices: not the voice Which I gave forth. Mother, thy sons and thou Scorn him, without whose all-enduring will Beneath the fierce omnipotence of Jove, Both they and thou had vanished, like thin mist Unrolled on the morning wind. Know ye not me, The Titan? He who made his agony The barrier to your else all-conquering foe! Oh, rock-embosomed lawns, and snow-fed streams, Now seen athwart frone vapours, deep below, Through whose o’ershadowing woods I wandered With Asia, drinking life from her loved eyes; [once Why scorns the spirit which informs ye, now To commune with me? me alone, who checked, As one who checks a fiend-drawn charioteer, The falsehood and the force of him who reigns Supreme, and with the groans of pining slaves Fills your dim glens and liquid wildernesses: Why answer ye not, still? Brethren

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ProMETHEUS.

And what art thou, O melancholy Voice?

The EARth.

I am the Earth, Thy mother; she within whose stony veins, To the last fibre of the loftiest tree Whose thin leaves trembled in the frozen air, Joy ran, as blood within a living frame, When thou didst from her bosom, like a cloud Of glory, arise, a spirit of keen joy! And at thy voice her pining sons uplifted Their prostrate brows from the polluting dust, And our almighty Tyrant with fierce dread Grew pale, until his thunder chained thee here. Then, see those million worlds which burn and roll Around us: their inhabitants beheld My sphered light wane in wide Heaven; the sea Was lifted by strange tempest, and new fire From earthquake-rifted mountains of bright snow Shook its portentous hair beneath Heaven's frown; Lightning and Inundation vexed the plains; Blue thistles bloomed in cities; foodless toads Within voluptuous chambers panting crawled; When Plague had fallen on man, and beast, and

worm,

And Famine; and black blight on herb and tree;
And in the corn, and vines, and meadow-grass,
Teemed ineradicable poisonous weeds
Draining their growth, for my wan breast was dry
With grief; and the thin air, my breath, was stained
With the contagion of a mother's hate
Breathed on her child's destroyer; aye, I heard
Thy curse, the which, if thou rememberest not,
Yet my innumerable seas and streams,
Mountains, and caves, and winds, and yon wide air,
And the inarticulate people of the dead,
Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate
In secret joy and hope those dreadful words
But dare not speak them.

ProMetheus. Venerable mother! All else who live and suffer take from thee Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and happy sounds, And love, though fleeting; these may not be mine. But mine own words, I pray, deny me not.

the EARth. They shall be told. Ere Babylon was dust, The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child, Met his own image walking in the garden. That apparition, sole of men, he saw. For know there are two worlds of life and death: One that which thou beholdest; but the other Is underneath the grave, where do inhabit The shadows of all forms that think and live Till death unite them and they part no more; Dreams and the light imaginings of men, And all that faith creates or love desires, Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous shapes. There thou art, and dost hang, a writhing shade, "Mid whirlwind-peopled mountains; all the gods Are there, and all the powers of nameless worlds, Wast, 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

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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 I 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 Supreme ;
Clothe it in words, and bid it clasp his throne
In intercession; bend thy soul in prayer,
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
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 my hair:
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 gratitude:
He but requites me for his own misdeed.
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 crown, 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 clamour. 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

ProMEThe US. I know but this, that it must come. Mercur-Y. Alas ! Thou canst not count thy years to come of pain?

PROMETHEUS.

They last while Jove must reign; nor 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, shelterless;
Perchance it has not numbered the slow years
Which thou must spend in torture, unreprieved

proMetheus. Perchance no thought can count them, yet theypass.

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.

provietheus. Pity the self-despising slaves of Heaven, Not me, within whose mind sits peace serene, As light in the sun, throned: how vain is talk 1 Call up the fiends.

Ione.

0, sister, look | White fire Has cloven to the rootsyon huge snow-loaded cedar; How fearfully God's thunder howls behind

Mercury. I must obey his words and thine : alas ! Most heavily remorse hangs at my heart!

PANthe A. See where the child of Heaven, with winged 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 countless wings, And hollow underneath, like death.

First FURY. Prometheus!

SECOND FURY. Immortal Titan

Third rury.
Champion of Heaven's slaves!

ProMetheus. He whom some dreadful voice invokes is here, Prometheus, the chained Titan. Horrible forms, What and who are ye? Never yet there came Phantasms so foul through monster-teeming Hell From the all-miscreative brain of Jove; Whilst I behold such execrable shapes, Methinks I grow like what I contemplate, And laugh and stare in loathsome sympathy.

First Fury. We are the ministers of pain and fear, And disappointment, and mistrust, and hate, Andelinging crime; and as lean dogs pursue [fawn, Through wood and lake some struck and sobbing We track all things that weep, and bleed, and live,

PROMEThe US. 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!

PROM etheus. 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 priestess kneels To gather for her festal crown of flowers The aerial 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 PURY. 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?

PROM eth EUs. 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 through thee, one by one, 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 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 puries. 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 whoshake hills with the scream of yourmirth, When cities sink howling in ruin; and ye Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea,

| 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 : 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.

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.

SECOND FURY. From wide cities, famine-wasted;

third FURY. Groans half 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. Dost thou faint, mighty Titan . We laugh thee to scorn. Dost thou boast the clear knowledge thou waken'dst for man Then was kindled within him a thirst which outran Those perishing waters; a thirst of fierce fever, | Hope, love, doubt, desire, which consume him for ever. One came forth of gentle worth, Smiling on the sanguine earth:

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