Prometheus Unbound

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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 herbless 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 redescend, and trample out the spark.

Pour forth heaven's wine, Idæan Ganymede,

And let it fill the dædal 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, veilèd 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 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! Feel'st thou not, O world,

The earthquake of his chariot thundering up



[The Car of the HOUR arrives. DEMOGORGON descends and moves towards the Throne of JUPITER.

Awful shape, what art thou? 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 't is 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!

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? What then art thou?

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, Ai!

The elements obey me not. I sink

Dizzily down, ever, forever, down.

And, like a cloud, mine enemy above

Darkens my fall with victory! Ai, Ai!