Imatges de pÓgina

PR. Beware lest ever his heart be angered.
Oc. Thy fate, Prometheus, is my teacher.
PR. Go thou, depart, preserve the present mind.

Oc. To me rushing this word you utter.

For the smooth path of the air sweeps with his wings
The four-legged bird; and gladly would
In the stalls at home bend a knee.

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And with a roar the sea waves

Dashing, groans the deep,

And the dark depth of Hades murmurs underneath
The earth, and fountains of pure-running rivers
Heave a pitying sigh.

PR. Think not indeed through weakness or through pride

That I am silent; for with the consciousness I gnaw my heart,
Seeing myself thus basely used.

And yet to these new gods their shares
Who else than I wholly distributed?
But of these things I am silent; for I should tell you
What you know; the sufferings of mortals too
You've heard, how I made intelligent

And possessed of sense them ignorant before.
But I will speak, not bearing any grudge to men,
But showing in what I gave the good intention;
At first, indeed, seeing they saw in vain,
And hearing heard not; but like the forms
Of dreams, for that long time, rashly confounded
All, nor brick-woven dwellings

Knew they, placed in the sun, nor wood-work;
But digging down they dwelt, like puny

Ants, in sunless nooks of caves.

And there was nought to them, neither of winter sign,
Nor of flower-giving spring, nor fruitful

Summer, that was sure; but without knowledge
Did they all, till I taught them the risings

Of the stars, and goings down, hard to determine.
And numbers, chief of inventions,

I found out for them, and the assemblages of letters,
And memory, Muse-mother, doer of all things,
And first I joined in pairs wild animals

Obedient to the yoke; and that they might be
Alternate workers with the bodies of men

In the severest toils, has harnessed the rein-loving horses
To the car, the ornament of over-wealthy luxury.
And none else than I invented the sea-wandering
Flaxen-winged vehicles of sailors.

Such inventions I wretched having found out
For men, myself have not the ingenuity by which
From the now present ill I may escape.

CH. You suffer unseemly ill, deranged in mind
You err; and as some bad physician, falling
Sick you are dejected, and cannot find
By what remedies you may be healed.

PR. Hearing the rest from me more will you wonder,
What arts and what expedients I planned.
That which was greatest, if any might fall sick,
There was alleviation none, neither to eat,
Nor to anoint, nor drink, but for the want

Of medicines they were reduced to skeletons, till to them

I showed the mingling of mild remedies,

By which all ails they drive away.

And many modes of prophecy I settled,
And distinguished first of dreams what a real

Vision is required to be, and omens hard to be determined

I made known to them; and tokens by the way,

And flight of crooked-taloned birds I accurately
Defined, which lucky are,

And unlucky, and what mode of life

Have each, and to one another what
Hostilities, attachments, and assemblings;
The entrails' smoothness, and what color having
They would be to the divinities acceptable,
Of the gall and liver the various symmetry,
And the limbs concealed in fat; and the long
Flank burning, to an art hard to be guessed
I showed the way to mortals; and flammeous signs
Explained, before obscure.

Such indeed these; and under ground

Concealed the helps to men,

Brass, iron, silver, gold, who

Would affirm that he discovered before me?

None, I well know, not wishing in vain to boast.
But learn all in one word,

All arts from mortals to Prometheus.

CH. Assist not mortals now unseasonably,

And neglect yourself unfortunate; for I
Am of good hope, that from these bonds
Released, you will yet have no less power than Zeus.

PR. Never thus has Fate the Accomplisher

Decreed to fulfil these things, but by a myriad ills
And woes subdued, thus bonds I flee;
For art's far weaker than necessity.

CH. Who then is helmsman of necessity?

PR. The Fates three-formed, and the remembering Furies.

CH. Than these then is Zeus weaker?

PR. Aye, he could not escape what has been fated.
CH. But what to Zeus is fated, except always to rule?

PR. This thou wilt not learn; seek not to know.

CH. Surely some awful thing it is which you withhold.

PR. Remember other words, for this by no means
Is it time to tell, but to be concealed

As much as possible; for keeping this do I
Escape unseemly bonds and woes.

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And that which round thy baths

And couch I hymned,

With the design of marriage, when my father's child
With bridal gifts persuading, thou didst lead
Hesione the partner of thy bed.


Io What earth, what race, what being shall I say is this I see in bridles of rock

Exposed? By what crime's

Penalty dost thou perish? Show, to what part
Of earth I miserable have wandered.

Ah ah alas! alas!

Again some fly doth sting me wretched,
Image of earth-born Argus, cover it earth;
I fear the myriad-eyed herdsman beholding;
For he goes having a treacherous eye,
Whom not e'en dead the earth conceals.
But me, wretched from the Infernals passing,
He pursues, and drives fasting along the sea-side
Sand, while low resounds a wax-compacted reed,
Uttering sleep-giving law; alas! alas! O gods!
Where, gods! where lead me far-wandering courses?
In what sin, O son of Kronos,

In what sin ever having taken,

To these afflictions hast thou yoked me? alas! alas!
With fly-driven fear a wretched

Phrenzied one dost thus afflict?
With fire burn, or with earth cover, or

To sea monsters give for food, nor
Envy me my prayers, king.
Enough much-wandered wanderings

Have exercised me, nor can I learn where
I shall escape from sufferings.

CH. Hear'st thou the address of the cow-horned virgin?

PR. And how not hear the fly-whirled virgin,

Daughter of Inachus, who Zeus' heart warmed
With love, and now the courses over long,
By Here hated, forcedly performs?

Io. Whence utterest thou my father's name,
Tell me, miserable, who thou art,

That to me, O suffering one, me born to suffer,

Thus true things dost address?

The god-sent ail thou 'st named,
Which wastes me stinging
With maddening goads, alas! alas!
With foodless and unseemly leaps

Rushing headlong, I came,"

By wrathful plots subdued.

Who of the wretched, who, alas! alas! suffers like me?

But to me clearly show

What me awaits to suffer,

What not necessary; what remedy of ill,
Teach, if indeed thou know'st, speak out,
Tell the ill-wandering virgin.

PR. I'll clearly tell thee all you wish to learn.
Not weaving in enigmas, but in simple speech,
As it is just to open the mouth to friends.
Thou seest the giver of fire to men, Prometheus.

Io. O thou who didst appear a common help to mortals,
Wretched Prometheus, to atone for what do you endure this?

PR. I have scarce ceased my sufferings lamenting.

Io. Would you not grant this favor to me?


ask; for 'd learn all from me.
PR. Say what you
Io. Say who has bound thee to the cliff.

PR. The will indeed of Zeus, Hephaistus' hand.
Io. And penalty for what crimes dost thou pay?

PR. Thus much only can I show thee.

Io. But beside this, declare what time will be
To me unfortunate the limit of my wandering.

PR. Not to learn is better for thee than to learn these things.

Io. Conceal not from me what I am to suffer.

PR. Indeed, I grudge thee not this favor.

Io. Why then dost thou delay to tell the whole?

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