Prometheus Unbound

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48

OCEAN
He fell, thou sayest, beneath his conqueror's frown?

APOLLO
Ay, when the strife was ended which made dim

The orb I rule, and shook the solid stars,

The terrors of his eye illumined heaven

With sanguine light, through the thick ragged skirts

Of the victorious darkness, as he fell;

Like the last glare of day's red agony,

Which, from a rent among the fiery clouds,

Burns far along the tempest-wrinkled deep.

OCEAN
He sunk to the abyss? to the dark void?

APOLLO
An eagle so caught in some bursting cloud

On Caucasus, his thunder-baffled wings

Entangled in the whirlwind, and his eyes,

Which gazed on the undazzling sun, now blinded

By the white lightning, while the ponderous hail

Beats on his struggling form, which sinks at length

Prone, and the aërial ice clings over it.

OCEAN
Henceforth the fields of Heaven-reflecting sea

Which are my realm, will heave, unstained with blood,

Beneath the uplifting winds, like plains of corn

Swayed by the summer air; my streams will flow

Round many-peopled continents, and round

Fortunate isles; and from their glassy thrones

Blue Proteus and his humid nymphs shall mark

The shadow of fair ships, as mortals see

The floating bark of the light-laden moon

With that white star, its sightless pilot's crest,

Borne down the rapid sunset's ebbing sea;

Tracking their path no more by blood and groans,

And desolation, and the mingled voice

Of slavery and command; but by the light

Of wave-reflected flowers, and floating odors,

And music soft, and mild, free, gentle voices,

That sweetest music, such as spirits love.

49

APOLLO
And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make

My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse

Darkens the sphere I guide. But list, I hear

The small, clear, silver lute of the young Spirit

That sits i' the morning star.

OCEAN
Thou must away;

Thy steeds will pause at even, till when farewell.

The loud deep calls me home even now to feed it

With azure calm out of the emerald urns

Which stand forever full beside my throne.

Behold the Nereids under the green sea,

Their wavering limbs borne on the windlike stream,

Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair,

With garlands pied and starry sea-flower crowns,

Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy.

[A sound of waves is heard.

It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm.

Peace, monster; I come now. Farewell.

APOLLO
Farewell.