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Prometheus gave to man, for which he hangs
Withering in destined pain: but who rains down
Evil, the immedicable plague, which, while
Man looks on his creation like a God
And sees that it is glorious, drives him on
The wreck of his own will, the scorn of earth,
The outcast, the abandoned, the alone '.
Not Jore: while yet his frown shook heaven, aye,
His adversary from adamantine chains [when
Cursed him, he trembled like a slave. Declare
Who is his master I Is he too a slave'


All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil: Thou knowest if Jupiter be such or no.


Whom called'st thou God 1


I spoke but as ye speak, For Jove is the supreme of living things.


Who is the master of the slave?


If the abysm Could vomit forth its secrets. But a voice Is wanting, the deep truth is imageless; For what would it avail to bid thee gaze On the revolving world? What to bid speak Fate, Time, Occasion, Chance and Change! Tothese AU things are subject but eternal Love.


So much I asked before, and my heart gave
The response thou hast given ; and of such truths
Each to itself must be the oracle.
One more demand ; and do thou answer me
As my own soul would answer, did it know
That which I ask. Prometheus shall arise
Henceforth the sun of this rejoicing world:
When shall the destined hour arrive 1



The rocks are cloven, and through the purple night
I see cars drawn by rainbow-winged steeds
Which trample the dim winds: in each there stands
A wild-eyed charioteer urging their flight.
Some look behind, as fiends pursued them there,
And yet I see no shapes but the keen stars:
Others, with burning eyes, lean forth, and drink
With eager lips the wind of their own speed,
As if the thing they loved fled on before, [locks
And now, even now, they clasped it. Their bright
Stream like a comet's flashing hair: they all
Sweep onward.


These are the immortal Hours, Of whom thou didst demand. One waits for thee.


A spirit with a dreadful countenance
Checks its dark chariot by the craggy gulf.
Unlike thy brethren, ghastly charioteer, [Speak!
Who art thou! Whither wouldst thou bear me?


I am the shadow of a destiny
More dread than is my aspect: ere yon planet
Has set, the darkness which ascends with me
Shall wrap in lasting night heaven's Wingless throne.

What meanest thou 1


That terrible shadow floats Up from its throne, as may the lurid smoke Of earthquake-ruined cities o'er the sea. Lo! it ascends the car ; the coursers fly Terrified : watch its path among the stars Blackening the night!


Thus I am answered: strange I


See, near the verge, another chariot stays;
An ivory shell inlaid with crimson fire,
Which comes and goes within its sculptured rim
Of delicate strange tracery ; the young spirit
That guides it has the dove-like eyes of hope;
How its soft smiles attract the soul! as light
Lures winged insects through the lampless air.

My coursers are fed with the lightning,

They drink of the whirlwind's stream,
And when the red morning is bright'ning

They bathe in the fresh sunbeam;

They have strength for their swiftness I deem, Then ascend with me, daughter of Ocean.

I desire: and their speed makes night kindle;
I fear : they outstrip the Typhoon;

Ere the cloud piled on Atlas can dwindle
We encircle the earth and the moon:
We shall rest from long labours at noon:

Then ascend with mc, daughter of Ocean.

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What is it with thee, sister! Thou art pale.


How thou art changed! I dare not look on thee;

I feel but Bee thee not. I scarce endure

The radiance of thy beauty. Some good change

Is working in the elements, which suffer

Thy presence thus unveiled. The Nereids tell

That on the day when the clear hyaline

Was cloven at thy uprise, and thou didst stand

Within a veined shell, which floated on

Over the calm floor of the crystal sea,

Among the Egean isles, and by the shores

Which bear thy name ; love, like the atmosphere

Of the sun's fire filling the living world,

Burst from thee, and illumined earth and heaven

And the deep ocean and the sunless caves

And all that dwells within them ; till grief cast

Eclipse upon the soul from which it came:

Such art thou now ; nor is it I alone,

Thy sister, thy companion, thine own chosen one,

But the whole world which seeks thy sympathy.

Hearest thou not sounds i' the air which speak the

love Of all articulate beings? Fcelest thou not The inanimate winds enamoured of thee? List!


Thy words are sweeter than aught else but his
Whose echoes they are: yet all love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever.
Like the wide heaven, the all-sustaining air,
It makes the reptile equal to the God:
They who inspire it most are fortunate,
As I am now ; but those who feel it most
Are happier still, after long sufferings,
As I shall soon become.


List! Spirits, speak. Voice fin the air, tinging). Life of Life! thy lips enkindle

With their love the breath between them;
And thy smiles before they dwindle

Make the cold air fire ; then screen them
In those looks, where whoso gazes
Faints, entangled in their mazes.

Child of Light I thy limbs are burning

Through the vest which seems to hide them;

As the radiant lines of morning
Through the clouds, ere they divide them;

And this atmosphere divinest
Shrouds thee wheresoe'er thou shinest.

Fair are others ; none beholds thee,
But thy voice sounds low and tender

Like the fairest, for it folds thee

From the sight, that liquid splendour,

And all feel, yet see thee never,

As I feel now, lost for ever!

Lamp of Earth! where'er thou movest
Its dim shapes are clad with brightness,

And the souls of whom thou lovest
Walk upon the winds with lightness,

Till they fail, as I am failing,

Dizzy, lost, yet unbewailing!


My soul is an enchanted boat)

Which, like a sleeping swan, doth float Upon the silver waves of thy sweet singing;

And thine doth like an angel sit

Beside the helm conducting it,
Whilst all the winds with melody are ringing.

It seems to float ever, for ever,

Upon that many-winding river,

Between mountains, woods, abysses,

A paradise of wildernesses 1
Till, like one in slumber bound,
Borne to the ocean, I float down, around,
Into a sea profound, of ever-spreading sound.

Meanwhile thy spirit lifts its pinions

In music's most serene dominions; Catching the winds that fan that happy heaven.

And we sail on, away, afar,

Without a course, without a star,
But, by the instinct of sweet music driven;

Till through Elysian garden islets

By thee, most beautiful of pilots,

Where never mortal pinnace glided,

The boat of my desire is guided: Realms where the air we breathe is love, Which in the winds on the waves doth move, Harmonising this earth with what we feel above.

We hare passed Age's icy caves,

And Manhood's dark and tossing waves, And Youth's smooth ocean, smiling to betray:

Beyond the glassy gulfs we flee

Of shadow-peopled Infancy,
Through Death and Birth, to a diviner day;

A paradise of vaulted bowers

Lit by downward-gazing flowers,

And watery paths that wind between

Wildernesses calm and green, Peopled by shapes too bright to see, And rest, having beheld ; somewhat like thee; Which walk upon the sea, and chant melodiously I




Into. Jupiter on his Throne; THrns and the other Deities assembled.

Ye congregated powers of heaven, who share

The glory and the strength of him ye serve,

Rejoice! henceforth I am omnipotent.

All else had been" subdued to me ; alone

The soul of man, like unextinguished fire,

Yet burns towards heaven with fierce reproach,

and doubt, And lamentation, and reluctant prayer, Hurling up insurrection, which might make Our antique empire insecure, though built On eldest faith, and hell's coeval, fear; And though my curses through the pendulous air, Like snow on herblesg peaks, fall flake by flake, And cling to it; though under my wrath's night It climb the crags of life, step after step, Which wound it, as ice wounds unsandalled feet, It yet remains supreme o'er misery, Aspiring, unrepressed, yet soon to fall: Even now have I begotten a strange wonder, That fatal child, the terror of the earth, Who waits but till the destined hour arrive, Bearing from Demogorgon's vacant throne The dreadful might of ever-living limbs Which clothed that awful spirit unbeheld, To redeseend, and trample out the spark.

Pour forth heaven's wine, Idtean Ganymede,

And let it fill the Decdal cups like fire,

And from the flower-inwoven soil divine,

Ye all-triumphant harmonies arise,

As dew from earth under the twilight stars:

Drink! be the nectar circling through your veins

The soul of joy, ye ever-living Gods,

Till exultation burst in one wide voice

Like music from Elysian winds.

And thou Ascend beside me, veiled in the light Of the desire which makes thee one with me, Thetis, bright image of eternity 1 When thou didst cry, «* Insufferable might! God! Spare me! I sustain not the quick flames, The penetrating presence; all my being, Like him whom the Numidian seps did thaw Into a dew with poison, is dissolved, Sinking through its foundations :" even then Two mighty spirits, mingling made a third Mightier than either, which, unbodied now, Between us floats, felt, although unbeheld, Waiting the incarnation, which ascends, (Hear ye the thunder of the fiery wheels Griding the winds!) from Demogorgon's throne. Victory! victory! Feelest thou not, 0 world! The earthquake of his chariot thundering up Olympus I

The Car of the Hour arrives. Drmogorook descends and mora towards the Throne of Jupiter.

Awful shape, what art thou 1 Speak!


Eternity. Demand no direr name.

Descend, and follow me down the abyss.

I am thy child, as thou wert Saturn's child;

Mightier than thee: and we must dwell together

Henceforth in darkness. Lift thy lightnings not

The tyranny of heaven none may retain,

Or reassume, or hold, succeeding thee:

Yet if thou wilt, as 'tis the destiny

Of trodden worms to writhe till they are dead,

Put forth thy might.


Detested prodigy! Even thus beneath the deep Titanian prisons I trample thee! Thou lingerest \

Mercy ! mercy I No pity, no release, no respite! Oh, That thou wouldst make mine enemy my judge, Even where he hangs, seared by my long revenge, On Caucasus! he would not doom me thus. Gentle, and just, and dreadless, is he not The monarch of the world 1 What then art thou 1 No refuge! no appeal!

Sink with me then, We two will sink on the wide waves of ruin, Even as a vulture and a snake outspent Drop, twisted in inextricable fight, Into a shoreless sea. Let hell unlock Its mounded oceans of tempestuous fire, And whelm on them into the bottomless void This desolated world, and thee, and me, The conqueror and the conquered, and the wreck Of that for which they combated.

Ai! Ail

The elements obey me not. I sink
Dizzily down, ever, for ever, down.
And, like a cloud, mine enemy above
Darkens my fall with victory! Ai, Ai I


The Mouth ofagreat Rivcrin thelsland Atlantis. Occan is discovered reclining near the Shore / Apollo stands beside him.


He fell,thou sayest, beneath his conqueror's frown!


Ay, when the strife was ended which made dim
The orb I rule, and shook the solid stars,
The terrors of his eye illumined heaven
With sanguine light, through the thickragged skirts
Of the victorious darkness, as he fell:
Like the last glare of day's red agony,
Which, from a rent among the fiery clouds,
Burns far along the tempest-wrinkled deep.


He sunk to the abyss? To the dark void!


An eagle Bo caught in some bursting cloud
On Caucasus, his thunder-baffled wings
Entangled in the whirlwind, and his eyes
Which gazed on the undazzling sun, now blinded
By the white lightning, while the ponderous hail
Beats on his struggling form, which sinks at length
Prone, and the aerial ice clings over it.

Henceforth the fields of Heaven-reflecting sea
Which are my realm,will heave,unstainedwith blood,
Beneath the uplifting winds, like plains of corn
Swayed by the summer air; my streams will flow
Bound many peopled continents, and round
Fortunate isles; and from their glassy thrones
Blue Proteus and his humid nymphs shall mark
The shadow of fair ships, as mortals see
The floating bark of the light laden moon
With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest,
Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea;
Tracking their path no more by blood and groans,
And desolation, and the mingled voice
Of slavery and command; but by the light
Of wave-reflected flowers, and floating odours,
And music soft, and mild, free, gentle voices,
That sweetest music, such as spirits love.


And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse Darkens the sphere I guide; but list, I hear The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit That Bits i' the morning star.


Thou must away; Thy steeds will pause at even, till when farewell: The loud deep calls me home even now to feed it With azure calm out of the emerald urns Which stand for ever full beside my throne. Behold the Nereids under the green sea, Theirwavering limbs borneonthc wind-like stream, Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns, Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy.

[A lound of waves is heard. It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm. Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.




Caucasus. Prometheus, Hercules, Tone, the Earth, Spirits, Asia, and Panthka, borne in the Car with the Spirit op The Hour.

Hercules unbinds Prometheus, who deteende.


Most glorious among spirits I thus doth strength To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love, And thee, who art the form they animate, Minister like a slave.


Thy gentle words Are sweeter even than freedom long desired And long delayed.

, thou light of life,

Shadow of beauty unbebeld; and ye,

Fair sister nymphs, who made long years of pain

Sweet to remember, through your love and care;

Henceforth we will not part. There is a cave,

All overgrown with trailing odorous plants,

Which curtain out the day with leaves and flowers,

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,

Like snow, or silver, or long diamond spires,

Hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light:

And there is heard the ever-moving air,

Whispering without from tree to tree, and birds,

And bees; and all around are mossy seats,

And the rough walls are clothed with long soft grass;

A simple dwelling, which shall b% our own;

Where we will sit and talk of time and change.

As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged.

What can hide man from mutability?

And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and thou,

lone, shall chaunt fragments of sea-music,

Until I weep, when ye shall smile away

The tears she brought, which yet were sweet to shed.

We will entangle buds and flowers and beams

Which twinkle on the fountain's brim, and make

Strange combinations out of common things.

Like human babes in their brief innocence;

And we will search with looks and words of love,

For hidden thoughts, each lovelier than the last,

Our unexhausted spirits; and like lutes

Touched by the skill of the enamoured wind,

Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new,

From difference sweet where discord cannot be;

And hither come, sped on the charmed winds,

Which meet from all the points of heaven, as bees

From every flower atrial Enna feeds,

At their known island-homes in Himcra,

The echoes of the human world, which tell

Of the low voice of love, almost unheard,

And dove-eyed pity's murmured pain, and music,

Itself the echo of the heart, and all

That tempers or improves man's life, now free;

And lovely apparitions, dim at first,

Then radiant, as the mind, arising bright

From the embrace of beauty, whence the forms

Of which these are the phantoms, casts on them

The gathered rays which are reality,

Shall visit us, the progeny immortal

Of Painting, Sculpture, and rapt 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 [ grow

Givenandrcturned; swiftshapesandsounds, which

More fair and soft as man grows wise and kind,

And veil by veil, evil and error fall:

Such virtue has the cave and place around.

[Turning to the Spirit Up The IK'-s.

For thee, fair Spirit, one toil remains. lone,
Give her that curved shell, which Proteus old,
Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing within it
A voice to be accomplished, and which thou
Didst hide in grass under the hollow rock.

Thou most desired Hour, more loved and lovely
Than all thy sisters, this the mystic shell;
See the pale azure fading into silver
Lining it with a soft yet glowing light:
Looks it not like lulled music sleeping there f

It seems in truth the fairest shell of Ocean:
Its sound must be at once both sweet and strange.

Go, borne over the cities of mankind
'On whirlwind-footed coursers: once again
Outspeed the sun around the orbed world;
And as thy chariot cleaves the kindling air,
Thou breathe into the many-folded shell,
Loosening its mighty music; it shall be
As thunder mingled with clear echoes: then
Return; and thou shall dwell beside our cave.

And thou, O Mother Earth!—


I hear, I feel; Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs down Even to the adamantine central gloom Aloog these marble nerves; 'tis life, 'tis joy, And, through my withered, old, and icy frame The warmth of an immortal youth shoots down Circling. Henceforth the many children fair Folded in my sustaining arms; all plants, And creeping forms, and insects rainbow-winged, And birds, and beasts, and fish, and human shapes, Which drew disease and pain from my wan bosom, Draining the poison of despair, shall take And interchange sweet nutriment; to me Shall they become like sister-antelopes By one fair dam, snow-white and swift as wind, Nursed among lilies near a brimming stream. Tb« dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall float Under the stars like balm: night-folded flowers Shall suck unwithering hues in their repose: And men and beasts in happy dreams shall gather Strength for the coming day, and all its joy: And death shall be the last embrace of her Who takes the life she gave, even as a mother, Folding her child, says, " Leave me not again."

Oh, mother! wherefore speak the name of death t Cease they to love, and move, and breathe, and Who die I [speak,


It would avail not to reply: Thou art immortal, and this tongue is known Bat to the uncommunicatuig dead. Death is the veil which those who live call life: They sleep, and it is lifted: and meanwhile In mild variety the seasons mild With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds, 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 Of the calm moonbeams, a soft influence mild, Shall clothe the forests and the fields, aye, even The crag-built deserts of the barren deep, With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers. And thou! There is a cavern where my spirit Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy pain Made my heart mad, and those that did inhale it Became mad too, and built a temple there, And spoke, and were oracular, and lured The erring nations round to mutual war, And faithless faith, such as Jove kept with thee; Which breath now rises, as amongst tall weeds A violet's exhalation, and it fills

With a serener light and crimson air
Intense, yet soft, the rocks and woods around;
It feeds the quick growth of the serpent vine,
And the dark linked ivy tangling wild,
And budding, blown, or odour-faded blooms
Which star the winds with points of coloured light,
As they rain through them, and bright golden globes
Of fruit, suspended in their own green heaven,
And through their veined leaves and amber stems
The flowers whose purple and translucid bowls
Stand ever mantling with aerial dew,
The drink of spirits: and it circles round,
Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,
Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like mine,
Now thou art thus restored. This cave is thine.
Arise! Appear!

[A Spirit rites in the likeness of a wing d child.
This is my torch-bearer;
Who let his lamp out in old time with gazing
On eyes from which he kindled it anew
With love, which is as fire, sweet daughter mine,
For such is that within thine own. Run, wayward,
And guide this company beyond the peak
Of Bacchic Nysa, Maenad-haunted mountain,
And beyond Indus and its tribute rivers,
Trampling the torrent streams and glassy lakes
With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying,
And up the green ravine, across the vale,
Beside the windless and crystalline pool,
Where ever lies, on unerasing waves,
The image of a temple, built above,
Distinct with column, arch, and architrave,
And palm-like capital, and over-wrought,
And populous most with living imagery,
Praxiteleau shapes, whose marble smiles
Fill the hushed air with everlasting love.
It is deserted now, but once it bore
Thy name, Prometheus; there the emulous youths
Bore to thy honour through the divine gloom
The lamp which was thine emblem; even as those
Who bear the untransmitted torch of hope
Into the grave, across the night of life,
As thou hast borne it most triumphantly
To this far goal of Time. Depart, farewell.
Beside that temple is the destined cave.


A Forest. In the Background a Cave. Prometheus, Asia, Panthba, Ionk, and the Spirit Op The Garth.

IONE. Sister, it is not earthly: how it glides Under the leaves! how on its head there burns A light, like a green star, whose emerald beams Are twined with its fair hair! how, as it moves, The splendour drops in flakes upon the grass! Knowest thou it?

Panthea. It is the delicate spirit That guides the earth through heaven. From afar The populous constellations call that light The loveliest of the planets; and sometimes It floats along the spray of the salt sea, Or makes its chariot of a foggy cloud, Or walks through fields or cities while men sleep, Or o'er the mountain tops, or down the rivers, Or through the green waste wilderness, as now,

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