Imatges de pÓgina
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Ione.
Are they now led, from the thin dead
On new pangs to be fed ?

Pan. The Titan looks as ever, firm, not proud.
First Fury. Ha! I scent life!
Second Fury. Let me but look into his eyes!

Third Fury. The hope of torturing him smells like a heap
Of corpses, to a death-bird after batile.

First Fury. Darest thou delay, O Herald! take cheer, Hounds Of Hell : what if the Son of Maia soon Should make us food and spori-- who can please long The Omnipotent?

Mer. Back to your towers of iron,
And gnash beside the streams of fire and wail
Your foodless teeth. Geryon, arise ! and Gorgon,
Chimæra, 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!
Mer. Crouch then in silence.

Awful Sufferer
To thee unwillingly, 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 seasor., 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 unimagined 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 haughty heart:
For benefits and meek submission tame
The fiercest and the mightiest.
Pro.

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-seal 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 :
Behold! Heaven lours under thy Father's frown.

Mer, 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?

Pro. I know but this, that it must come.
Mer.

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

Pro. They last while Jove must reign : nor mure, nor less
Do I desire or fear.
Mer.

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 ?

Pro. Perchance no thought can count them, yet they pass.

Mer. If thou might'st dwell among the Gods the while Lapped in voluptuous joy? Pro.

I would not quit This bleak ravine, these unrepentant pains.

Mer, Alas ! I wonder at, yet pity thee.

Pro. 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.

lone. O, sister, look! White fire Has cloven to the roots yon huge snow-loaded cedar ; How fearfully God's thunder howls behind !

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

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Pan. See where the child of Heaven, with winged feet,
Runs down the slanted sunlight of the dawn.

lone. 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.
First Fury.

Prometheus !
Second Fury. Immortal Titan !
Third Fury. Champion of Heaven's slaves !

Pro. He whom some dreadful voice invokes is here,
Prometheus, the chained Titan. Horrible forms,
What and who are ye? Never yet there came
Phantasms so foul through monster-tee ming Hell
From the all-miscreative brain of Jove ;
Whilst I behold such execrable shapes,
Methinks 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
Through wood and lake some struck and sobbing fawn,
We track all things that weep, and bleed, and live,
When the great King betrays them to our will.

Pro. 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?

Second Fury. We knew not that : Sisters, rejoice, rejoice!
Pro. 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.

Pro. 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?

Pro. 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?

Pro. 1 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 soul which burns within, that we 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.

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Pro. 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 bills 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 ;

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 hall 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 burden the blasts of the atmosphere,
But vainly we toil till ye come here.
Ione. Sister, I hear the thunder of new wings.

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

SECOND FURY.
From wide cities, famine-wasted ;

THIRD FURY.
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

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CHORUS.

The pale stars of the morn
Shine on a misery, dire to be borre.
Dost thou faint, mighty Titan? We laugh thee to scom.
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 for 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 rourd the wide horizon

Many a million-peopled city
Vomits smoke in the brighi air,
Mark that outcry of despair !
'Tis his mild and gentle ghost

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

To a glowworm's lamp have dwindled :
The survivors round the embers
Gather in dread.

Joy, joy, joy!
Past 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.

SEMICHORUS I.
Drops of bloody agony flow
Froin 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 :

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