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PROMETHEUS.

How fair these air-born shapes! and yet I feel
Most vain all hope but love ; and thou art far,
Asia! who, when my being overflowed,
Wert like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.
All things are still: alas 1 how heavily
This quiet morning weighs upon my heart;
Though I should dream I could even sleep with

grief,
If slumber were denied not. I would fain
Be what it is my destiny to be,
The saviour and the strength of suffering man,
Or sink into the original gulf of things:
There is no agony, and no solace left;
Earth can console, Heaven can torment no more.

PANTHEA.

Hast thou forgotten one who watches thee

The cold dark night, and never sleeps but when

The shadow of thy spirit falls on her!

PROMETHEUS.

X said all hope was vain but love: thou lovest.

PANTHEA.

Deeply in truth; but the eastern star looks white.
And Asia waits in that far Indian vale
The scene of her sad exile ; rugged once
And desolate and frozen, like this ravine;
But now invested with fair flowers and herbs,
And haunted by sweet airs and sounds, which flow
AmoDg the woods and waters, from the ether
Of her transforming presence, which would fade
If it were mingled not with thine. Farewell!

END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE I.
Morning. A lonely Vale in the Indian Caucatus.

AsiAt alone.
ASIA.
From all the blasts of heaven thou hast descended:
Yes, like a spirit, like a thought, which makes
Unwonted tears throng to the horny eyes,
And beatings haunt the desolated heart, [scended
Which should have learnt repose: thou hast de-
Cradled in tempests ; thou dost wake, 0 Spring!
O child of many winds! As suddenly
Thou ccmest as the memory of a dream,
Which now is sad because it hath been sweet;
Like genius, or like joy which riseth up
As from the earth, clothing with golden clouds
The desert of our life.
This is the season, this the day, the hour;
At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine,
Too long desired, too long delaying, come 1
How like death-worms the winglessmomentscrawl!
The point of one white star is quivering still
Deep in the orange light of widening morn
Beyond the purple mountains: through a chasm
Of wind-divided mist the darker lake
Reflects it; now it wanes; it gleams again
As the waves fade, and as the burning threads
Of woven cloud unravel in pale air:
'Tis lost! and through yon peaks of cloud-like snow
The roseate sun-light quivers: hear I not
The iEolian music of her sea-green plumes
Winnowing the crimson dawn1

Panthea enter*.

I feci, I see Those eyes which burn through smiles that fade

in tears, Like stars half-quenched in mists of silver dew. Beloved and most beautiful, who wearest The shadow of that soul by which I live, How late thou art! the sphered sun had climbed The sea; my heart was sick with hope, before The priutless air felt thy belated plumes.

PANTHEA.

Pardon, great Sister! but my wings were faint
With the delight of a remembered dream,

As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds
Satiate with sweet flowers. I was wont to sleep
Peacefully, and awake refreshed and calm
Before the sacred Titan's fall, and thy
Unhappy love, had made, through use and pity,
Both love and woe familiar to my heart
As they had grown to thine: erewhile I slept
Under the glaucous caverns of old Ocean
Within dim bowers of green and purple moss,
Our young Ione's soft and milky arms
Locked then, as now, behind my dark, moist hair,
While my shut eyes and cheek were pressed within
The folded depth of her life-breathing bosom:
But not as now, since I am made the wind
Which fails beneath the music that I bear
Of thy most wordless converse; since dissolved
Into the sense with which love talks, my rest
Was troubled and yet sweet; my waking hours
Too full of care and pain.

ASIA.

Lift up thine eyes, And let me read thy dream.

PANTHEA,

As I have said, With our sea-sister at his feet I slept. The mountain mists, condensing at our voice Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes, From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep. Then two dreams came. One, I remember not. But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night Grew radiant with the glory of that form Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell Like music which makes giddy the dim brain. Faint with intoxication of keen joy: "Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world With loveliness—more fair than aught but her, Whose shadow thou art—lift thine eyes on me." I lifted them: the overpowering light Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs, And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes, Steamed forth like vaporous fire; an atmosphere Which wrapped me in its all-dissolving power As the warm ether of the morning sun

AVraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dew'

I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt

H is presence flow and mingle through my blood

Till it became his life, and his grew mine,

And I was thus absorbed, until it passed,

And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,

Gathering again in drops upon the pines,

And tremulous as they, in the deep night

My being was condensed; and as the rays

Of thought were slowly gathered, I could hear

His voice, whose accents lingered ere they died

Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name

Among the many sounds alone I heard

Of what might be articulate; though still

I listened through the night when sound was none.

lone wakened then, and said to me:

"Canst thou divine what troubles me to-night 1

1 always knew what I desired before,

Nor ever found delight to wish in vain.

But now I cannot tell thee what I seek;

I know not; something sweet, since it is sweet

Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister;

Thou hast discovered some enchantment old,

Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept

And mingled it with thine: for when just now

We kissed, I felt within thy parted lips

The sweet air that sustained me, and the warmth

Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint,

Quivered between our intertwining arms."

I answered not, for the Eastern star grew pale,

But fled to thee.

ASIA.

Thou speakest, but thy words
Are as the air: I feel them not: Oh, lift
Thine eyes, that I may read his written soul!

PANTHEA.

I lift them, though they droop beneath the load Of that they would express: what canst thou see But thine own fairest shadow imaged there!

ASIA.

Thine eyes are like tne deep, blue, boundless heaven
Contracted to two circles underneath
Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless,
Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven.

PANTHEA.

Why lookest thou as if a spirit passed!

ASIA.

There is a change; beyond their inmost depth

I see a shade, a shape: 'tis He, arrayed

In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread

Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.

Prometheus, it is thine! depart not yet!

Say not those smiles that we shall meet again

Within that bright pavilion which their beams

Shall build on the waste world? The dream is told.

What shape is that between us! Its rude hair

Roughens the wind that lifts it, its regard

Is wild and quick, yet 'tis a thing of air,

For through its grey robe gleams the golden dew

Whose stars the noon has quenched not.

DREAM.

Follow! Follow!

PANTHEA.

It is mine other dream.

ASIA.

It disappears.

| It passes now into my mind. Methought
'As we sate here, the flower-infolding buds
I Burst on yon lightning-blasted almond tree,
When swift from the white Scythian wilderness
A wind swept forth wrinkling the Earth with frost:
I looked, and all the blossoms were blown down;
But on each leaf was stamped, as the blue bells
Of Hyacinth tell Apollo's written grief,

0, FOLLOW, FOLLOW!

ASIA.

As you speak, your words Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep With shapes. Methoughtamong the lawns together We wandered, underneath the young grey dawn, And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind; And the white dew on the new-bladed grass, Just piercing the dark earth, hung silently; And there was more which I remember not: But on the shadows of the morning clouds, Athwart the purple mountain slope, was written Follow, O, Follow! As they vanished by, And on each herb, from which Heaven's dew had

fallen, The like was stamped, as with a withering fire, A wind arose among the pines; it shook The clinging music from their boughs, and then Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts, Were heard: Oh, Follow, Follow, Follow Me! And then I said, " Panthea, look on me." But in the depth of those beloved eyes Still I saw, Follow, Follow 1

Follow, follow!

PANTHEA.

The crags, this clear spring morning, mock our As they were spirit-tongued. [voices,

ASIA.

It is some being Around the crags. What fine clear sounds! O, list!

Echoes (unseen).
Echoes we: listen I
We cannot stay:
As dew-stars glisten
Then fade away—
Child of Ocean 1

Hark I Spirits, speak. The liquid responses Of their aerial tongues yet sound.

I hear.
Echoes.
O, follow, follow,

As our voice recedeth
Through the caverns hollow,
Where the forest spreadeth;

\M'ore distant./
0, follow, follow!
Through the caverns hollow,
As the song floats thou pursue,
Where the wild bee never flew,

Through the noon-tide darkness deep,
By the odour-breathing sleep
Of faint night-flowers, and the waves
At the fountain-lighted caves,
While our music, wild and sweet,
Mocks thy gently falling feet,
Child of Ocean!

Shall we pursue the sound! It grows more faint And distant.

PANTHEA.

List! the strain floats nearer now.

ECHOES.

In the world unknown
Sleeps a voice unspoken;
By thy step alone
Can its rest be broken;
Child of Ocean!

How the notes sink upon the ebbing wind I

ECHOES.

0, follow, follow!

Through the caverns hollow,
As the song floats thou pursue,
By the woodland noon-tide dew;
By the forests, lakes, and fountains,
Through the many-folded mountains;
To the rents, and gulfs, and chasms,
Where the Earth reposed from spasms,
On the day when He and thou
Parted, to commingle now;
Child of Ocean!

Come, sweet Panthea, link thy hand in mine, And follow, ere the voices fade away.

SCENE II.

A Forest, intermingled with Rocks and Caverns. Asia and Pawthka pass into it. Two young Fauns are sitting on a Rock, listening.

SEMICHORCS I. OF SPIRITS.

The path through which that lovely twain
Have past, by cedar, pine, and yew,
And each dark tree that ever grew,
Is curtained out from Heaven's wide blue;
Nor sun, nor moon, nor wind, nor rain,
Can pierce its interwoven bowers,
Nor aught, save where some cloud of dew,
Drifted along the earth-creeping breeze,
Between the trunks of the hoar trees.

Hangs each a pearl in the pale flowers
Of the green laurel, blown anew;
And bends, and then fades silently,
One frail and fair anemone:
Or when some star of many a one
That climbs and wanders through steep night,
Has found the cleft through which alone
Beams fall from high those depths upon
Ere it is borne away, away,
By the swift Heavens that cannot stay,
It scatters drops of golden light,
Like lines of rain that ne'er unite:
And the gloom divine is all around;
And underneath is the mossy ground.

SEMICHORDS It.

There the voluptuous nightingales,

Are awake through all the broad noon-day. When one with bliss or sadness fails,

And through the windless ivy-boughs,
Sick with sweet love, droops dying away
On its mate's music-panting bosom;
Another from the swinging blossom,

Watching to catch the languid close
Of the last strain, then lifts on high
The wings of the weak melody,
Till some new strain of feeling bear

The song, and all the woods ore mute;
When there is heard through the dim air
The rush of wings, and rising there

Like many a lake-surrounded flute,
Sounds overflow the listener's brain
So sweet, that joy is almost pain.

SEMICHORCS I.
There those enchanted eddies play
Of echoes, mnsic-tongued, which draw,
By Demogorgon's mighty law,
With melting rapture, or sweet awe,
All spirits on that secret way;

As inland boats are driven to Ocean
Down streams made strong with mountain-thaw;
And first there comes a gentle sound
To those in talk or slumber bound,
And wakes the destined, soft emotion
Attracts, impels them ; those who saw
Say from the breathing earth behind
There streams a plume-uplifting wind
Which drives them on their path, while they

Believe their own swift wings and feet
The sweet desires within obey:
And so they float upon their way,

Until, still sweet, but loud and strong,
The storm of sound is driven along,
Sucked up and hurrying: as they fleet
Behind, its gathering billows meet
And to the fatal mountain bear
Like clouds amid the yielding air.

FIRST FAUN.

Canst thou imagine where those spirits live
Which make such delicate music in the woods!
We haunt within the least frequented caves
And closest coverts, and we know these wilds,
Yet never meet them, though we hear them oft:
Where may they hide themselves!

SECOND FAUN.

Tis hard to tell. I have heard those more skilled in spirits say, The bubbles, which enchantment of the sun Sucks from the pale faint water-flowers that pave The oozy bottom of clear lakes and pools, Are the pavilions where such dwell and float Under the green and golden atmosphere Which noon-tide kindles through the woven leaves; And when these burst, and the thin fiery air, The which they breathed within those lucent domes. Ascends to flow like meteors through the night, They ride on them, and rein their headlong speed. And bow their burning crests, and glide in fire Under the waters of the earth again.

FIRST FAUN.

If such live thus, have others other lives,
Under pink blossoms or within the bells

Of meadow flowers, or folded violets deep, Or on their dying odours, when they die, Or on the sunlight of the sphered dew!

SECOND FAUN.

Ay, many more which we may well divine.
Bat should we stay to speak, noontide would come,
And thwart Silenus find his goats undrawn,
And grudge to sing those wise and lovely songs
Of Fate, and Chance, and God, and Chaos old,
And Love, and the chained Titan's woful doom.
And how he shall be loosed, and make the earth
One brotherhood: delightful strains which cheer
Out solitary twilights, and which charm
To silence the unenvying nightingales.

SCENE III.

A Pinnaelto/Rock among Mountains. Asia and Pantbia.

Panthea. Hither the sound has borne us—to the realm Of Demogorgon, and the mighty portal, Like a volcano's meteor-breathing chasm, Whence the oracular vapour is hurled up Which lonely men drink wandering in their youth, And call truth, virtue, love, genius, or joy, That maddening wine of life, whose dregs they drain To deep intoxication ; and uplift, Like Maenads who cry loud, Evoe 1 Evoe! The voice which is contagion to the world.

PANTHEA.

Look how the gusty sea of mist is breaking
In crimson foam, even at our feet! it rises
As Ocean at the enchantment of the moon
Round foodless men wrecked on some oozy isle.

Fit throne for such a Power! Magnificent!
How glorious art thou, Earth ! And if thou be
The shadow of some spirit lovelier still,
Though evil stain its work, and it should be
Like its creation, weak yet beautiful,
I could fall down and worship that and thee.
Even now my heart adoreth: Wonderful!
Look, sister, ere the vapour dim thy brain:
Beneath is a wide plain of billowy mist,
As a bake, paving in the morning sky,
With azure waves which burst in silver light,
Some Indian vale. Behold it, rolling on
llDder the curdling winds, and islanding
The peak whereon we stand, midway, around,
Encinctured by the dark and blooming forests,
Dim twilight-lawns and stream-illumined caves,
And wind-enchanted shapes of wandering mist;
And far on high the keen sky-cleaving mountains,
From icy spires of sun-like radiance fling
The dawn, as lifted Ocean's dazzling spray,
From some Atlantic islet scattered up,
spangles the wind with lamp-like water-drops.
The vale is girdled with their walls, a howl
Of Cataracts from their thaw-cloven ravines
Satiates the listening wind, continuous, vast,
Awful as silence. Hark ! the rushing snow!
The sun-awakened avalanche! whose mass,
Thrice sifted by the storm, had gathered there
Flake after flake, in heaven-defying minds
As thought by thought is piled, till some great truth
Is loosened, and the nations echo round,
Shaken to their roots, as do the mountains now.

The fragments of the cloud are scattered up; The wind that lifts them disentwines my hair; Its billows now sweep o'er mine eyes ; my brain 'Grows dizzy; I see shapes within the mist.

FANTHEA.
A countenance with beckoning smiles: there burns
An azure fire within its golden locks!
Another and another: hark ! they speak!

SONG. OF SPIRITS.
To the deep, to the deep,

Down, down!
Through the shade of sleep,
Through the cloudy strife
Of Death and of Life;
Through the veil and the bar
Of things which seem and are,
Even to the steps of the remotest throne,

Down, down!'

While the sound whirls around,

Down, down!
As the fawn draws the hound,
As the lightning the vapour,
As a weak moth the taper;
Death, despair; love, sorrow;
Time both ; to-day, to-morrow;
As steel obeys the spirit of the stone,

Down, down!

Through the grey, void abysm,

Down, down 1
Where the air is no prism,
And the moon and stars are not,
And the cavern-crags wear not
The radiance of Heaven,
Nor the gloom to Earth given,
Where there is one pervading, one alone,

Down, down!

In the depth of the deep

Down, down!
Like veiled lightning asleep,
Like the spark nursed in embers,
The last look Love remembers,
Like a diamond, which shines
On the dark wealth of mines.
A spell is treasured but for thee alone.

Down, down!

We have bound thee, we guide thee;

Down, down!
With the bright form beside thee;
Resist not the weakness,
Such strength is in meekness
That the Eternal, the Immortal,
Must unloose through life's portal
The snake-like Doom coiled underneath his

By that alone. [throne

SCENE IV.
The Cave of Demogoroon. Asia and Pakthka.

PANTHEA.

What veiled form sits on that ebon throne!

ASIA.

The veil has fallen.

PANTHKA.

I see a mighty darkness Filling the seat of power, and rays of gloom Dart round, as light from the meridian sun, Ungazed upon and shapeless ; neither limb, Nor form, nor outline ; yet we feel it is A living spirit.

DEMOGORGON.

Ask what thou wouldst know.

ASIA.

What canst thou tell!

DEMOGORGON.

All things thou dar'st demand.

ASIA.

Who made the living world!

Demooobgon.
God.

ASIA.

Who made all That it contains! thought, passion, reason, will, Imagination?

DEMOGORGON.

God: Almighty God.

ASIA.

Who made that sense which, when the winds of

In rarest visitation, or the voice [spring

Of one beloved heard in youth alone,

Fills the faint eyes with falling tears which dim

The radiant looks of unbewailing flowers,

And leaves this peopled earth a solitude

When it returns no more I

DF.MOGORGON.

Merciful God.

ASIA.

And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse,
Which from the links of the great chain of things,
To every thought within the mind of man
Sway and drag heavily, and each one reels
Under the load towards the pit of death;
Abandoned hope, and love that turns to hate;
And self-contempt, bitterer to drink than blood;
Pain, whose unheeded and familiar speech
Is howling, and keen shrieks, day after day;
And Hell, or the sharp fear of Hell!

DEMOGORGON.

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Who reigns! There was the Heaven and Earth at

first, And Light and Love; then Saturn, from whose throne Time fell, an envious shadow: such the stale Of the earth's primal spirits beneath his sway. As the calm joy of flowers and living leaves Before the wind or sun has withered them And semi-vital worms ; but he refused The birthright of their being, knowledge, power, The skill which wields the elements, the thought Which pierces this dim universe like light, Self-empire, and the majesty of love; Forthirstof which they fainted. Then Prometheus Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter, And with this law alone," Let man be free," Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven. To know nor faith, nor love, nor law ; to be Omnipotent but friendless is to reign; And Jove now reigned; for on the race of man First famine, and then toil, and then disease, Strife, wounds, and ghastly death unseen before, Fell; and the unseasonable seasons drove, With alternating shafts of frost and fire, Their shelterless, pale tribes to mountain caves: And in their desert hearts fierce wants he sent, And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle Of unreal good, which levied mutual war, So ruining the lair wherein they raged. Prometheus saw, and waked the legioned hopes Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers, Nepenthe, Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms, That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings The shape of Death ; and Love he sent to bind The disunited tendrils of that vine Which bears the wine of life, the human heart; And he tamed fire which, like some beast of prey, Most terrible, but lovely, played beneath The frown of man ; and tortured to his will Iron and gold, the slaves and signs of power, And gems and poisons, and all subtlest forms Hidden beneath the mountains and the waves. He gave man speech, and speech created thought, Which is the measure of the universe; And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven, Which shook, but fell not; and the harmonious mind Poured itself forth in all-prophetic song; And music lifted up the listening spirit Until it walked, exempt from mortal care, Godlike, o'er the clear billows of sweet sound; And human hands first mimicked and then mocked, With moulded limbs more lovely than its own, The human form, till marble grew divine, And mothers, gazing, drank the love men see Reflected in their race, behold, and perish. He told the hidden power of herbs and springs, And Disease drank and slept. Death grew like sleep. He taught the implicated orbits woven Of the wide-wandering stars; and how the son Changes his lair, and by what secret spell The pale moon is transformed, when her broad eye Gazes not on the interlunar sea: He taught to rule, as life directs the limbs, The tempest-winged chariots of the Ocean, And the Celt knew the Indian. Cities then Were built, and through their snow-like columns The warm winds,and the azure (ether shone, [flowed And the blue sea and shadowy hills were seen. Such, the alleviations of his state,

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