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Fear not: 'tis but some passing spasm,

The Titan is unvanquished still.
But see, where through 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 hand
A serpent-cinctured wand.

Pi NTH El.

Tis Jove's world-wandering herald, Mercury.

IONE.

And who are those with hydra tresses
And iron wings that climb the wind,

Whom the frowning God represses
Like vapours 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.

IONE.

Are they now led, from the thin dead
On new pangs to be fed 1

PANTHEA.

The Titan looks as ever, firm, not proud.

Ha t I scent life!

FIBST FURY.
SECOND FURY.

Let me but look into his eyes!

THIRD FORT.
The hope of torturing him smells like a heap
Of corpses, to a death-bird after battle.

FIRST FORT.
Darest thou delay, O 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 t

MERCURY.

Back to your towers of iron, And gnash beside the streams of fire, and wail Your foodless teeth. Geryon, arise! and Gorgon, Chimaera, 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 not back!

MERCURT.

Crouch then in silence.

Awful Sufferer; To thee unwilling, 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 unhnagined 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 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 naughty 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-Beal 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 1 Behold I 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 t

PROMETHEUS.

I know but this, that it must come.

MERCURY.

Alas! Thou canst not count thy years to come of pain t

PROMETHEUS.

They last while Jove must reign; nor more, nor less Do I desire or fear.

MEUCURY.

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 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 serene,
As light in the sun, throned: how 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 nowls behind!

MERCURY.

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

PANTHEA.

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.

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THIRD FURY.

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 t Never yet there came
Phantasms so foul through monster-teeming Hell
From the all-miscreative brain of Jove;
Whilst I behold such execrable shapes,
M(.'thinks 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,
And clinging 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,
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 clangour of your wings.
But why more hideous than your loathed selves
Gather ye up in legions from the deep t

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 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 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 t

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 through thee, one by one,
Like animal life, and though we can obscure not
The Boui which burns within, that w« 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 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 ye Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea, And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's track, Sit chattering with joy on the foodless wreck;

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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 FUST.
Your call was as a winged car,
Driven on whirlwinds fast and far;
It rapt us from red gulfs of war.

SECOND FtlKT.

From wide cities, famine-wasted;

THIBD FURV.

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.

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:

His words outlived him, like swift poison

Withering up truth, peace, and pity.
Look! where round the wide horizon

Many a million-peopled city
Vomits smoke in the bright air.
Mark that outcry of despair 1
'Tis his mild and gentle ghost

Wailing for the faith he kindled:
Look again! the flames almost

To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled:
The survivors round the embers
Gather in dread.
T> .* „ Joy»Joy,joy!

Fast ages crowd on thee, but each one remembers;
And the future is dark, and the present is spread
Like a pillow of thorns for thy slumberless head.

SEHICHORUS I.

Drops of bloody agony flow

From his white and quivering brow.

Grant a little respite now:

See a disenchanted nation

Springs like day from desolation;

To truth its state is dedicate,

And Freedom leads it forth, her mate;

A legioned band of linked brothers,

Whom Love calls children

SEMICHORUS II.

'Tis another's. See how kindred murder kin! 'Tis the vintage-time for death and sin. Blood, like new wine, bubbles within: Till Despair smothers The struggling world, which slaves and tyrants win. [All tht Funira vaniih, except one.

Hark, sister! what a low yet dreadful groan
Quite unsuppressed is tearing up the heart
Of the good Titan, as storms tear the deep,
And beasts hear the sea moan in inland caves.
Darest thou observe how the fiends torture hhn I

PANTHEA.

Alas! I looked forth twice, but will no more.
IONE.

What didst thou see 1

PANTHEA.

A woful sight: a youth With patient looks nailed to a crucifix.

IONE. What next 1

PANTHEA.

The heaven around, the earth below Was peopled with thick shapes of human death, All horrible, and wrought by human hands, And some appeared the work of human hearts, For men were slowly killed by frowns and smiles: And other sights too foul to speak and live Were wandering by. Let us not tempt worse fear By looking forth: those groans are grief enough.

FURY.

Behold an emblem: those who do endure

Deep wrongs for man, and scorn, and chains, but

Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.

PROMETHEUS.

Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;
Close those wan lips: let that thorn-wounded brow
Stream not with blood; it mingles with thy tears!
Fix, fix those tortured orbs in peace and death,
So thy sick throes shake not that crucifix,
So those pale fingers play not with thy gore.
0, horrible! Thy name I will not speak,
It hath become a curse. I see, I see
The wise, the mild, the lofty, and the just,
Whom thy slaves hate for being like to thee,
Some hunted by foul lies from their heart's home,
An early-chosen, late-lamented home,
As hooded ounces cling to the driven hind;
Some linked to corpses in unwholesome cells:
Some—Hear I not the multitude laugh loud ?—
Impaled in lingering fire: and mighty realms
Float by my feet, like sea-uprooted isles,
Whose sons are kneaded down in common blood
By the red light of their own burning homes.

FURY.

Blood thou canst see, and fire; and canst hear groans: Worse things unheard, unseen, remain behind.

Worse!

rROMETnEUS.

FURY.

In each human heart terror survives The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear All that they would disdain to think were true: Hypocrisy and custom make their minds The fanes of many a worship, now outworn. They dare not devise good for man's estate, And yet they know not that they do not dare. The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. The wise want love; and those who love want AndaUbestthingsarethusconfusedtoill. [wisdom; Many are strong and rich, and would be just, But live among their suffering fellow-men As if none felt: they know not what they do.

PROMETHEUS.

Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes;
And yet I pity those they torture not.

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PROMETHEUS.

Ah woe! Ah woe! Alas! pain, pain ever, for ever 1 I close my tearless eyes, but see more clear Thy works within my woe-illumined mind, Thou subtle tyrant! Peace is in the grave. The grave hides all things beautiful and good: I am a God and cannot find it there, Nor would I seek it: for, though dread revenge, This is defeat, fierce king! not victory. The sights with which thou torturest gird my soul With new endurance, till the hour arrives When they shall be no types of things which arc.

PANTHEA.

Alas! what sawest thou!

PROMETHEUS.

There are two woes: To speak and to behold; thou spare me one. Names are there, Nature'ssacred watch-words, they Were borne aloft in bright emblazonry;

The nations thronged around, and cried aJuud,
As with one voice, Truth, liberty, and love!
Suddenly fierce confusion fell from heaven
Among them: there was strife, deceit, and fear:
Tyrants rushed in, and did divide the spoil.
This was the shadow of the truth I saw.

THE EARTH.

I felt thy torture, son, with such mixed joy
As pain and virtue give. To cheer thy state
I bid ascend those subtle and fair spirits,
Whose homes are the dim caves of human thought.
And who inhabit, as birds wing the wind,
Its world-surrounding ether: they behold
Beyond that twilight realm, as in a glass,
The future: may they speak comfort to thee!

PANTHEA.

Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather,
Like flocks of clouds in spring's delightful weather,
Thronging in the blue air!

I0NE.

And see! more come, Like fountain, vapours when the winds are dumb, That climb up the ravine in scattered lines. And hark! is it the music of the pines f Is it the lake 1 Is it the waterfall!

PANTHEA.

'Tis something sadder, sweeter far than all.

CHORUS OF SPIRITS.
From unremembered ages we
Gentle guides and guardians be
Of heaven-oppressed mortality!
And we breathe, and sicken not,
The atmosphere of human thought:
Be it dim, and dank, and grey,
Like a storm-extinguished day,
Travelled o'er by dying gleams:

Be it bright as all between
Cloudless skies and windless streams,

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,
Voyaging cloudlike and unpent
Through the boundless element:
Thence we bear the prophecy
Which begins and ends in thee!

I0NE.

More yet come, one by one: the air around them Looks radiant as the air around a star.

FIRST SPIRIT.

On a battle-trumpet's blast
I fled hither, fast, fast, fast,
'Mid the darkness upward cast.
From the dust of creeds outworn,
From the tyrant's banner torn,
Gathering round me, onward borne,
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;
'Twas the hope, the prophecy,
Which begins and ends in thee.

SECOND SPIRIT.

A rainbow's arch stood on tbe sea,
Which rocked beneath, immoveably;
And the triumphant storm did flee,
Like a conqueror, swift and proud,
Between with many a captive cloud,
A shapeless, dark and rapid crowd,
Each by lightning riven in half:
I heard the thunder hoarsely laugh:
Mighty fleets were strewn like chaff
And spread beneath a hell of death
O'er tbe white waters. I alit
On a great ship lightning-split,
And speeded hither on the sigh
Of one who gave an enemy
His plank, then plunged aside to die.

THIRD SPIRIT.

I sate beside a sage's bed,

And the lamp was burning red

Near the book where he had fed,

When a Dream with plumes of flame,

To his pillow hovering came,

And I knew it was the same

Which had kindled long ago

Pity, eloquence, and woe;

And the world awhile below

Wore the shade its lustre made.

It has borne me here as fleet

As Desire's lightning feet:

I must ride it back ere morrow,

Or the sage will wake in sorrow.

FOURTH SPIRIT.

On a poet's lips I slept

Dreaming like a love-adept

In the sound his breathing kept;

Nor seeks nor finds he mortal busses,

But feeds on the aerial kisses

Of shapes that haunt thought's wildernesses.

He will watch from dawn to gloom

The lake-reflected sun illume

The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom,

Nor heed nor see, what things they be;

But from these create he can

Forms more real than living man,

Nurslings of immortality 1

One of these awakened me,

And I sped to succour thee.

Ione. Behold'st thou not two shapes from the east and

west Come, as two doves to one beloved nest, Twin nurslings of the all-sustaining air, On swift still wings glide down the atmosphere! And, hark ! their sweet sad voices! 'tis despair Mingled with love and then dissolved in sound.

PANTO EA.

Canst thou speak, sister! all my words are drowned.

IONE. Their beauty gives me voice. See how they float On their sustaining wings of skiey grain, Orange and azure deepening into gold: Their soft smiles light the air like a star's fire.

CHORUS OF SPIRITS.

Hast thou beheld tho form of Love t

FIFTH SPIRIT.

As over wide dominions I sped, like some swift cloud that wings the wide

air's wildernesses, That planet-crested shape swept by on lightningbraided pinions, Scattering the liquid joy of life from his ambrosial

tresses: His footsteps paved the world with light; but as I

past 'twas fading, And hollow Ruin yawned behind: great sages bound

in madness, And headless patriots, and pale youths who perished,

unupbraiding, Gleamed in the night. I wandered o'er, till thou,

0 King of sadness, Turned by thy smile the worst I saw to recollected

gladness.

SIXTH SPIRIT.

An, sister! Desolation is a delicate thing:

It walks not on the earth, it floats not on the air,

But treads with silent footstep, and fans with silent

wing The tender hopes which in their hearts the best

and gentlest bear; Who, soothed to false repose by the fanning plumes

above, And tbe music-stirring motion of its soft and

busy feet, Dream visions of aerial joy, and call the monster,

Love, And wake, and find the shadow Pain, as he whom

now we greet.

CHORUS.

Though Ruin now Love's shadow be,
Following him, destroyingly,

On Death's white and winged steed,
Which the fleetest cannot flee,

Trampling down both flower and weed,
Man and beast, and foul and fair,
Like a tempest through the air;
Thou shalt quell this horseman grim,
Woundless though in heart or limb.

PROMETHEUS.

Spirits! how know ye this shall be!

CHORUS.

In the atmosphere we breathe,
As buds grow red when the snow-storms flee,

From spring gathering up beneath,
Whose mild winds shake the elder-brake,
And the wandering herdsmen know
That the white-thorn soon will blow:
Wisdom, Justice, Love, and Peace,
When they struggle to increase,
Are to us as soft winds be
To shepherd boys, the prophecy
Which begins and ends in thee.

IONE.

Where are the Spirits fled!

FANTHBA.

Only a sense Remains of them, like the omnipotence Of music, when the inspired voice and lute Languish, ere yet the responses are mute, Which through the deep and labyrinthine soul, Like echoes through long caverns, wind and roll.

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