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Prometheus gave to man, for which he hangs
Withering in destined pain : but who rains down

What meanest thou ?
Evil, the immedicable plague, which, while
Man looks on his creation like a God
And sees that it is glorious, drives him on

That terrible shadow floats
The wreck of his own will, the scorn of earth, Up from its throne, as may the lurid smoke
The outcast, the abandoned, the alone ?

Of eart ke-ruined cities o'er the sea.
Not Jove : while yet his frown shook heaven, aye, Lo! it ascends the car ; the coursers fly
His adversary from adamantine chains [when Terrified : watch its path among the stars
Cursed him, he trembled like a slave. Declare Blackening the night!
Who is his master? Is he too a slave?

Thus I am answered : strange!
All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil:
Thou knowest if Jupiter be such or no.

See, near the verge, another chariot stays ; Whom called'st thou God ?

An ivory shell inlaid with crimson fire,

Which comes and goes within its sculptured rim DEMOGORGON.

Of delicate strange tracery ; the young spirit I spoke but as ye speak, That guides it has the dove-like eyes of hope ; For Jove is the supreme of living things.

How its soft smiles attract the soul ! as light

Lures winged insects through the lampless air. Who is the master of the slave ?

My coursers are fed with the lightning,
If the abysm

They drink of the whirlwind's stream,
Could vomit forth its secrets. But a voice

And when the red morning is bright’ning Is wanting, the deep truth is imageless ;

They bathe in the fresh sunbeam ; For what would it avail to bid thee gaze

They have strength for their swiftness I deem, On the revolving world? What to bid speak Then ascend with me, daughter of Ocean. Fate, Time, Occasion, Chance and Change! To these All things are subject but eternal Love.

I desire : and their speed makes night kindle;

I fear : they outstrip the Typhoon ; So much I asked before, and my heart gave

Ere the cloud piled on Atlas can dwindle

We encircle the earth and the moon :
The response thou hast given ; and of such truths
Each to itself must be the oracle.

We shall rest from long labours at noon: One more demand ; and do thou answer me

Then ascend with me, daughter of Ocean.
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?


The Car pauses within a Cloud on the Top of a snowy

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 On the brink of the night and the morning
A wild-eyed charioteer urging their flight.

My coursers are wont to respire ; Some look behind, as fiends pursued them there, But the Earth has just whispered a warning And yet I see no shapes but the keen stars :

That their flight must be swifter than fire: Others, with burning eyes, lean forth, and drink They shall drink the hot speed of desire ! 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 Thou breathest on their nostrils, but my breath Stream like a comet's flashing hair: they all

Would give them swifter speed.
Sweep onward.


Alas! it could not.
These are the immortal Hours,
Of whom thou didst demand. One waits for thee.

Oh Spirit ! pause, and tell whence is the light

Which fills the cloud ? the sun is yet unrisen.
A spirit with a dreadful countenance
Checks its dark chariot by the craggy gulf.
Unlike thy brethren, ghastly charioteer, [Speak! The sun will rise not until noon. Apollo
Who art thou? Whither wouldst thou bear me ? Is held in heaven by wonder ; and the light

Which fills this vapour, as the aerial hue

Of fountain-gazing roses fills the water,
I am the shadow of a destiny

Flows from thy mighty sister.
More dread than is my aspect : ere yon planet
Has set, the darkness which ascends with me

Shall wrap in lasting night heaven's kingless throne.

Yes, I feel







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

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!

How thou art changed ! I dare not look on thee;
I feel but see 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 ? Feelest thou not The inanimate winds enamoured of thee? List !


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 !
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 more,
Harmonising this earth with what we feel above.


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 (in the air, singing). 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.

We have 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 melo-


Child of Light ! 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.






Eternity. Demand no direr name.
Hlearen. JUPITER on his Throne; TAKTIs and the other
Deities assembled.

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 Ye congregated powers of heaven, who share Henceforth in darkness. Lift thy lightnings not. The glory and the strength of him ye serve,

The tyranny of heaven none may retain, Rejoice! henceforth I am omnipotent.

Or reassume, or hold, succeeding thee : All else had been subdued to me ; alone

Yet if thou wilt, as 'tis the destiny The soul of man, like unextinguished fire,

Of trodden worms to writhe till they are dead, Yet burns towards heaven with fierce reproach, Put forth thy might. and doubt,

JUPITER. And lamentation, and reluctant prayer,

Detested prodigy! Hurling up insurrection, which might make

Even thus beneath the deep Titanian prisons Our antique empire insecure, though built On eldest faith, and hell's coeval, fear ;

I trample thee ! Thou lingerest? And though my curses through the pendulous air,

Mercy ! mercy! Like snow on herbless peaks, fall fake by flake, No pity, no release, no respite ! Oh, And cling to it ; though under my wrath's night That thou wouldst make mine enemy my judge, It climb the crags of life, step after step,

Even where he hangs, seared by my long revenge, Which wound it, as ice wounds unsandalled feet, On Caucasus! he would not doom me thus. It yet remains supreme o'er misery,

Gentle, and just, and dreadless, is he not Aspiring, unrepressed, yet soon to fall :

The monarch of the world? What then art thou? Even now have I begotten a strange wonder, No refuge ! no appeal ! That fatal child, the terror of the earth,

Sink with me then, Who waits but till the destined hour arrive, We two will sink on the wide waves of ruin, Bearing from Demogorgon's vacant throne Even as a vulture and a snake outspent The dreadful might of ever-living limbs

Drop, twisted in inextricable fight,
Which clothed that awful spirit unbeheld,

Into a shoreless sea. Let hell unlock
To redescend, and trample out the spark. Its mounded oceans of tempestuous fire,

And whelm on them into the bottomless void
Pour forth heaven's wine, Idæan Ganymede, This desolated world, and thee, and me,
And let it fill the Dædal cups like fire,

The conqueror and the conquered, and the wreck And from the flower-inwoven soil divine,

Of that for which they combated. Ye all-triumphant harmonies arise,

Ai! Ai! As dew from earth under the twilight stars : Drink! be the nectar circling through your veins Dizzily down, ever, for ever, down.

The elements obey me not. I sink The soul of joy, ye ever-living Gods,

And, like a cloud, mine enemy above Till exultation burst in one wide voice

Darkens my fall with victory! Ai, Ai !
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 !

When thou didst cry, “ Insufferable might!
God ! Spare me! I sustain not the quick flames,

The Mouth of a great River in the Island Atlantis. OCEAN The penetrating presence ; all my being,

is discovered reclining near the Shore; APOLLO stands

beside him,
Like him whom the Numidian seps did thaw
Into a dew with poison, is dissolved,
Sinking through its foundations :" even then

He fell, thou sayest, beneath his conqueror's frown? Two mighty spirits, mingling made a third

APOLLO. Mightier than either, which, unbodied now,

Ay, when the strife was ended which made dim Between us floats, felt, although unbeheld,

The orb I rule, and shook the solid stars, Waiting the incarnation, which ascends,

The terrors of his eye illumined heaven (Hear ye the thunder of the fiery wheels

With sanguine light, through the thick ragged skirts Griding the winds ?) from Demogorgon's throne.

Of the victorious darkness, as he fell : Victory! victory ! Feelest thou not, o world!

Like the last glare of day's red agony, The earthquake of his chariot thundering up

Which, from a rent among the fiery clouds, Olympus ?

Burns far along the tempest-wrinkled deep.
The Car of the Hour arrives.

cends and moves towards the Throne of JUPITER.
Awful shape, what art thou ? Speak ! He sunk to the abyss ? To the dark void ?








Shadow of beauty unbeheld; and ye, An eagle so caught in some bursting cloud

Fair sister nymphs, who made long years of pain On Caucasus, his thunder-baffled wings

Sweet to remember, through your love and care ; Entangled in the whirlwind, and his eyes

Henceforth we will not part. There is a cave, Which gazed on the undazzling sun, now blinded

All overgrown with trailing odorous plants, By the white lightning, while the ponderous hail

Which curtain out the day with leaves and flowers, Beats on his struggling form, which sinks at length And paved with veined emerald, and a fountain, Prone, and the aërial ice clings over it.

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,
Henceforth the fields of Heaven-reflecting sea Hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light:
Which are my realm,will heave,unstained with blood, And there is heard the ever-moving air,
Beneath the upiifting winds, like plains of corn Whispering without from tree to tree, and birds,
Swayed by the summer air; my streams will flow And bees; and all around are mossy seats,
Round many peopled continents, and round And the rough walls are clothed with long soft grass ;
Fortunate isles; and from their glassy thrones A simple dwelling, which shall be our own;
Blue Proteus and his humid nymphs shall mark Where we will sit and talk of time and change,
The shadow of fair ships, as mortals see

As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged. The floating bark of the light laden moon

What can hide man from mutability ?
With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest, And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and thou,
Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea ; Ione, shall chaunt fragments of sea-music,
Tracking their path no more by blood and groans, Until I weep, when ye shall smile away
And desolation, and the mingled voice

The tears she brought, which yet were sweet to shed.
Of slavery and command; but by the light We will entangle buds and flowers and beams
Of wave-reflected flowers, and floating odours, Which twinkle on the fountain's brim, and make
And music soft, and mild, free, gentle voices, Strange combinations out of common things,
That sweetest music, such as spirits love.

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,
And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make
My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse

Our unexhausted spirits; and like lutes

Touched by the skill of the enamoured wind, Darkens the sphere I guide; but list, I hear

Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new,
The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit
That sits i' the morning star.

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
Thou must away;

From every flower aërial Enna feeds,
Thy steeds will pause at even, till when farewell : At their known island-homes in Himera,
The loud deep calls me home even now to feed it The echoes of the human world, which tell
With azure calm out of the emerald urns

Of the low voice of love, almost unheard,
Which stand for ever full beside my throne. And dove-eyed pity's murmured pain, and music,
Behold the Nereids under the green sea,

Itself the echo of the heart, and all Their wavering libs borne on the wind-like stream, That tempers or improves man's life, now free; Their white arms listed o'er their streaming hair And lovely apparitions, dim at first, With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns, Then radiant, as the mind, arising bright Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy. From the embrace of beauty, whence the forms

(A sound of waves is heard. Of which these are the phantoms, casts on them It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm. The gathered rays which are reality, Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.

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

Given and returned; swift shapes and sounds, which

More fair and soft as man grows wise and kind, Caucasus. PROMETHEUS, HERCULES, Ione, the EARTH, And veil by veil, evil and error fall: SPIRITS, Asia, and PANTHEA, borne in the Car with the Such virtue has the cave and place around.

[Turning lo the SPIRIT OF THE HOUR. HERCULES unbinds PROMETHEUS, who descends. For thee, fair Spirit, one toil remains. Ione, HERCULES.

Give her that curved shell, which Proteus old, Most glorious among spirits ! thus doth strength Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing within it To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love, A voice to be accomplished, and which thou And thee, who art the forın they animate,

Didst hide in grass under the hollow rock.
Minister like a slave.


Thou most desired Hour, more loved and lovely
Thy gentle words

Than all thy sisters, this the mystic shell;
Are sweeter even than freedom long desired See the pale azure fading into silver
And long delayed.

Lining it with a soft yet glowing light :
Asia, thou light of life, Looks it not like lulled music sleeping there!



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

PROMETHEUS. 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 shalt 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 Along 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 brimming stream. The 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.”

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 aërial 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 rises in the likeness of a winged 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, Mänad-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,
Praxitelean 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.


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



SCENE IV. A Forest. In the Back-ground a Cave. PRONETHEUS,



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 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 Howers. 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

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?


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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