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The ghastly people of the realm of dream, Through which the Sun walks burning Mocking me; and the Earthquake-fiends

without beams! are charged

And ye swift Whirlwinds, who on poised To wrench the rivets from my quivering wings wounds

Hung mute and moveless o'er yon hushed When the rocks split and close again be

abyss, hind;

As thunder, louder than your own, made While from their loud abysses howling

rock throng

The orbèd world! If then my words had The genii of the storm, urging the rage

power, Of whirlwind, and afflict me with keen Though I am changed so that aught evil hail.


70 And yet to me welcome is day and night, Is dead within; although no memory be Whether one breaks the hoar frost of the Of what is hate, let them not lose it now! morn,

What was that curse? for ye all heard me Or starry, dim, and slow, the other climbs

speak. The leaden-colored east; for then they lead

First Voice (from thė Mountains) The wingless, crawling hours, one among

Thrice three hundred thousand years whom

O'er the Earthquake's couch we stood: 75 - As some dark priest hales the reluctant Oft, as men convulsed with fears, victim

We trembled in our multitude. Shall drag thee, cruel King, to kiss the

Second Voice (from the Springs) blood

50 From these pale feet, which then might | Thunderbolts had parched our water,

We had been stained with bitter blood, trample thee If they disdained not such a prostrate

And had mute, 'mid shrieks of slave.

slaughter, Disdain! Ah no! I pity thee. What ruin

Through a city and a solitude. Will hunt thee undefended through the Third Voice (from the Air) wide heaven!

I had clothed, since Earth uprose, How will thy soul, cloven to its depth

Its wastes in colors not their own,

And oft had my serene repose Gape like a hell within! I speak in grief,

Been cloven by many a rending groan. Not exultation, for I hate no more, As then ere misery made me wise. The Fourth Voice (from the Whirlwinds) curse

We had soared beneath these mountains Once breathed on thee, I would recall. Ye

Unresting ages; nor had thunder,

Nor yon volcano's flaming fountains,
Whose many-voiced Echoes, through the

Nor any power above or under mist

Ever made us mute with wonder. Of cataracts, flung the thunder of that spell!

First Voice Ye icy Springs, stagnant with wrinkling But never bowed our snowy crest frost,

As at the voice of thine unrest.
Which vibrated to hear me, and then

Second Voice
Shuddering through India! Thou serenest Never such a sound before

To the Indian waves we bore.



with terror,





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Fourth Voice And we shrank back; for dreams of ruin To frozen caves our Aight pursuing Made keep silence thus — and thus

105 Though silence is a hell to us.


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gave forth.

Prometheus. I hear a sound of voices:

not the voice Which I

Mother, thy sons and thou Scorn him, without whose all-enduring will Beneath the fierce omnipotence of Jove, 115 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? O rock-embosomed lawns, and snow-fed

streams, Now seen athwart frore vapors, deep be

low, Through whose o'ershadowing woods I

wandered once With Asia, drinking life from her loved

eyes, —

Why answer ye not, still? Brethren!
The Earth.

They dare not. 130
Prometheus. Who dares? for I would

hear that curse again. Ha, what an awful whisper rises up! 'Tis scarce like sound; it tingles through

the frame As lightning tingles, hovering ere it strike. Speak, Spirit; from thine inorganic voice 135 I only know that thou art moving near And love. How cursed I him?

The Earth, How canst thou hear Who knowest not the language of the

dead? Prometheus. Thou art a living spirit:

speak as they The Earth. I dare not speak like life,

lest Heaven's fell King Should hear, and link me to some wheel of

pain More torturing than the one whereon I

roll. Subtle thou art and good, and though the

Gods Hear not this voice, yet thou art more than

God, Being wise and kind: earnestly hearken

145 Prometheus. Obscurely through my

brain, like shadows dim, Sweep awful thoughts, rapid and thick. I

feel Faint, like one mingled in entwining love; Yet 'tis not pleasure.

The Earth. No, thou canst not hear; Thou art immortal, and this tongue is known











Only to those who die.

Thy curse,

– the which, if thou rememPrometheus. And what art thou,

berest not, O, melancholy Voice?

Yet my innumerable seas and streams, The Earth. I am the Earth,

Mountains, and caves, and winds, and yon Thy mother; she within whose stony veins, wide air, To the last fibre of the loftiest tree

And the inarticulate people of the dead, Whose thin leaves trembled in the frozen Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate, air,

In secret joy and hope, those dreadful Joy ran, as blood within a living frame,

words, When thou didst from her bosom, like a But dare not speak them. cloud


Venerable mother! Of glory, arise, a spirit of keen joy!

All else who live and suffer take from thee And at thy voice her pining sons uplifted Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and Their prostrate brows from the polluting

happy sounds, dust,

And love, though fleeting; these may not And our almighty Tyrant with fierce dread

be mine. Grew pale, until his thunder chained thee But mine own words, I pray, deny me here.

190 Then see those million worlds which The Earth. They shall be told. Ere burn and roll

Babylon was dust, Around us their inhabitants beheld The Magus Zoroaster, my dear child, My sphered light wane in wide heaven; the Met his own image walking in the garden.

That apparition, sole of men, he saw. Was lifted by strange tempest, and new For know, there are two worlds, of life fire

and death: From earthquake-rifted mountains of One that which thou beholdest; but the bright snow

other Shook its portentous hair beneath Is underneath the grave, where do inhabit Heaven's frown;

The shadows of all forms that think and Lightning and Inundation vexed the

live, plains;

Till death unite them and they part no Blue thistles bloomed in cities; foodless toads

Dreams and the light imaginings of Within voluptuous chambers panting


200 crawled.

And all that fate creates or love desires, When Plague had fallen on man and beast Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous

shapes. And Famine; and black blight on herb and There thou art, and dost hang, a writhing tree;

shade, And in the corn, and vines, and meadow 'Mid whirlwind-peopled mountains; all the grass

gods Teemed ineradicable poisonous weeds Are there, and all the powers of nameless Draining their growth, for my wan breast

worlds, was dry

Vast, sceptred phantoms; heroes, men, and With grief; and the thin air, my breath,

beasts; was stained

And Demogorgon, a tremendous gloom; With the contagion of a mother's hate And he, the supreme Tyrant, on his throne Breathed on her child's destroyer - ay, I Of burning gold. Son, one of these shall





and worm,











The curse which all. remember.

Call at

Are hovering on my lips, unlike the voice will

With which our pallid race hold ghastly Thine own ghost, or the ghost of Jupiter,

talk Hades or Typhon, or what mightier gods In darkness? And, proud sufferer, who From all-prolific Evil, since thy ruin,

art thou? Have sprung, and trampled on my pros Prometheus. . Tremendous Image! as trate sons.

thou art must be Ask, and they must reply: so the revenge 215 He whom thou shadowest forth. I am his Of the Supreme may sweep through vacant

foe, shades,

The Titan. Speak the words which I As rainy wind through the abandoned gate

would hear, Of a fallen palace.

Although no thought inform thine empty Prometheus. Mother, let not aught

voice. Of that which may be evil, pass again The Earth. Listen! And though your My lips, or those of aught resembling me.

echoes must be mute, Phantasm of Jupiter, arise, appear!

Gray mountains, and old woods, and

haunted springs, Ione

Prophetic caves, and isle-surrounding My wings are folded o'er mine ears,

streams, My wings are crossèd o'er mine eyes Rejoice to hear what yet ye cannot speak. Yet through their silver shade appears, Phantasm. A spirit seizes me and speaks And through their lulling plumes

within: arise,

It tears

as fire tears a thunderA Shape, a throng of sounds.

cloud. May it be no ill to thee,

Panthea. See, how he lifts his mighty O thou of many wounds!

looks! the Heaven Near whom, for our sweet sister's sake, Darkens above. Ever thus we watch and wake.

lone. He speaks! O shelter me!

Prometheus. I see the curse on gestures Panthea

proud and cold, The sound is of whirlwind underground, And looks of firm defiance, and calm hate, Earthquake, and fire, and mountains And such despair as mocks itself with cloven;

smiles, The shape is awful like the sound,

Written as a scroll: yet speak! oh Clothed in dark purple, star-inwoven.

speak! A sceptre of pale gold, To stay steps proud, o'er the slow

Phantasm cloud,

Fiend, I defy thee! with a calm, fixed His veinéd hand doth hold.

mind, Cruel he looks, but calm and strong,

All that thou canst inflict I bid thee Like one who does, not suffers wrong.


Foul Tyrant both of Gods and HumanPhantasm of Jupiter.

Why have

kind, the secret powers of this strange One only being shalt thou not subworld

due. Driven me, a frail and empty phantom, Rain then thy plagues upon me here, hither

Ghastly disease, and frenzying fear; On direst storms? What unaccustomed And let alternate frost and fire sounds

Eat into me, and be thine ire







Prometheus. Were these my words, O,

Parent? The Earth.

They were thine. Prometheus. It doth repent me: words

are quick and vain; Grief for awhile is blind, and so was

mine. I wish no living thing to suffer pain. 305

Lightning, and cutting hail, and legioned forms

270 Of furies, driving by upon the wounding

storms. Ay, do thy worst! Thou are omnipo

tent: O'er all things but thyself I gave thee

power, And my own will. Be thy swift mis

chiefs sent
To blast mankind, from yon ethereal

Let thy malignant spirit move
In darkness over those I love:
On me and mine I imprecate

The utmost torture of thy hate;
And thus devote to sleepless agony,
This undeclining head, while thou must

reign on high.
But thou, who art the God and Lord:

O thou,
Who fillest with thy soul this world

The Earth Misery, oh misery to me, That Jove at length should vanquish

thee. Wail, howl aloud, Land and Sea,

The Earth's rent heart shall answer ye. Howl, Spirits of the living and the dead, Your refuge, your defence, lies fallen and




First Echo Lies fallen and vanquished !

of woe,

Second Echo

Fallen and vanquished!


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To whom all things of Earth and

Heaven do bow
In fear and worship: all-prevailing

I curse thee! let a sufferer's curse
Clasp thee, his torturer, like remorse;
Till thine Infinity shall be

A robe of envenomed agony;
And thine Omnipotence a crown of pain,
To cling like burning gold round thy dis-

solving brain. Heap on thy soul, by virtue of this curse, Ill deeds, then be thou damned, be

holding good;
Both infinite as is the universe,
And thou, and thy self-torturing soli-

An awful image of calm power
Though now thou sittest, let the hour
Come, when thou must appear to be

That which thou art internally.
And after many

a false and fruitless crime,

300 Scorn track thy lagging fall through

boundless space and time.



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