The Prometheus Unbound of Æschylus supposed the reconciliation of Jupiter with his victim as the price of the disclosure of the danger threatened to his empire. Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama in Four Acts. By Percy Bysshe Shelley. The text is drawn from the old Cambridge edition. Audisne haec amphiarae, sub . Prometheus Unbound. A Lyrical Drama in Four Acts. Percy Bysshe Shelley. Audisne haec amphiarae, sub terram abdite? This web edition published by.
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Book digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. Cambridge Core - English Literature: General Interest - Prometheus Unbound - by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Frontmatter. pp i-iv. Access. PDF; Export citation. Prometheus Unbound. Home · Prometheus Unbound Shelley's Prometheus Unbound - A Variorum Edition. Read more.
Three thousand years of sleep-unsheltered hours, And moments aye divided by keen pangs Till they seemed years, torture and solitude, Scorn and despair,—these are mine empire:— More glorious far than that which thou surveyest From thine unenvied throne, O Mighty God!
Almighty, had I deigned to share the shame Of thine ill tyranny, and hung not here Nailed to this wall of eagle-baffling mountain, Black, wintry, dead, unmeasured; without herb, Insect, or beast, or shape or sound of life. Ah me!
No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure. I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt? I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun, Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm, Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below, Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
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The crawling glaciers pierce me with the spears Of their moon-freezing crystals, the bright chains Eat with their burning cold into my bones. And yet to me welcome is day and night, Whether one breaks the hoar frost of the morn, Or starry, dim, and slow, the other climbs The leaden-coloured east; for then they lead The wingless, crawling hours, one among whom —As some dark Priest hales the reluctant victim— Shall drag thee, cruel King, to kiss the blood From these pale feet, which then might trample thee If they disdained not such a prostrate slave.
Ah no! I pity thee. ASIA Thine eyes are like the deep, blue, boundless heaven Contracted to two circles underneath Their long, fine lashes; dark, far, measureless, Orb within orb, and line through line inwoven. ASIA There is a change; beyond their inmost depth I see a shade, a shape: 't is He, arrayed In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded moon.
Prometheus, it is thine! Say not those smiles that we shall meet again Within that bright pavilion which their beams Shall build on the waste world?
The dream is told. What shape is that between us? Its rude hair Roughens the wind that lifts it, its regard Is wild and quick, yet 't is a thing of air, For through its gray robe gleams the golden dew Whose stars the noon has quenched not.
ASIA It disappears. Methought among the lawns together We wandered, underneath the young gray dawn, And multitudes of dense white fleecy clouds Were wandering in thick flocks along the mountains, Shepherded by the slow, unwilling wind; And the white dew on the new-bladed grass, Just piercing the dark earth, hung silently; And there was more which I remember not; But on the shadows of the morning clouds, Athwart the purple mountain slope, was written FOLLOW, OH, FOLLOW!
And then I said, 'Panthea, look on me. ECHO Follow, follow! What fine clear sounds! Oh, list! We cannot stay: As dew-stars glisten Then fade away-- Child of Ocean! Spirits speak.
The liquid responses Of their aerial tongues yet sound. Through the caverns hollow, As the song floats thou pursue, Where the wild bee never flew, Through the noontide darkness deep, By the odor-breathing sleep Of faint night-flowers, and the waves At the fountain-lighted caves, While our music, wild and sweet, Mocks thy gently falling feet, Child of Ocean!
ASIA Shall we pursue the sound? It grows more faint And distant. ASIA How the notes sink upon the ebbing wind! Through the caverns hollow, As the song floats thou pursue, By the woodland noontide dew; By the forests, lakes, and fountains, Through the many-folded mountains; To the rents, and gulfs, and chasms, Where the Earth reposed from spasms, On the day when He and thou Parted, to commingle now; Child of Ocean!
Two young Fauns are sitting on a Rock, listening. We haunt within the least frequented caves And closest coverts, and we know these wilds, Yet never meet them, though we hear them oft: Where may they hide themselves?
SECOND FAUN 'T is hard to tell; I have heard those more skilled in spirits say, 70 The bubbles, which the enchantment of the sun Sucks from the pale faint water-flowers that pave The oozy bottom of clear lakes and pools, Are the pavilions where such dwell and float Under the green and golden atmosphere Which noontide sites through the woven leaves; And when these burst, and the thin fiery air, The which they breathed within those lucent domes, Ascends to flow like meteors through the night, They ride on them, and rein their headlong speed, 80 And bow their burning crests, and glide in fire Under the waters of the earth again.
But should we stay to speak, noontide would come, And thwart Silenus find his goats undrawn, 90 And grudge to sing those wise and lovely songs Of Fate, and Chance, and God, and Chaos old, And Love and the chained Titan's woful doom, And how he shall be loosed, and make the earth One brotherhood; delightful strains which cheer Our solitary twilights, and which charm To silence the unenvying nightingales.
The voice which is contagion to the world.
How glorious art thou, Earth! Even now my heart adoreth. Look, sister, ere the vapor dim thy brain: Beneath is a wide plain of billowy mist, As a lake, paving in the morning sky, 20 With azure waves which burst in silver light, Some Indian vale.
Behold it, rolling on Under the curdling winds, and islanding The peak whereon we stand, midway, around, Encinctured by the dark and blooming forests, Dim twilight-lawns, and stream-illumined caves, And wind-enchanted shapes of wandering mist; And far on high the keen sky-cleaving mountains From icy spires of sunlike radiance fling The dawn, as lifted Ocean's dazzling spray, 30 From some Atlantic islet scattered up, Spangles the wind with lamp-like waterdrops. The vale is girdled with their walls, a howl Of cataracts from their thaw-cloven ravines Satiates the listening wind, continuous, vast, Awful as silence.
The sun-awakened avalanche! ASIA The fragments of the cloud are scattered up; The wind that lifts them disentwines my hair; Its billows now sweep o'er mine eyes; my brain Grows dizzy; I see shapes within the mist. Another and another: hark! Through the shade of sleep, Through the cloudy strife Of Death and of Life; Through the veil and the bar Of things which seem and are, 60 Even to the steps of the remotest throne, Down, down! While the sound whirls around, Down, down! As the fawn draws the hound, As the lightning the vapor, As a weak moth the taper; Death, despair; love, sorrow; Time, both; to-day, to-morrow; As steel obeys the spirit of the stone, 70 Down, down!
Through the gray, void abysm, Down, down!
Where the air is no prism, And the moon and stars are not, And the cavern-crags wear not The radiance of Heaven, Nor the gloom to Earth given, Where there is one pervading, one alone, Down, down! Like veiled lightning asleep, Like the spark nursed in embers, The last look Love remembers, Like a diamond, which shines On the dark wealth of mines, A spell is treasured but for thee alone.
Down, down! We have bound thee, we guide thee; 90 Down, down! With the bright form beside thee; Resist not the weakness, Such strength is in meekness That the Eternal, the Immortal, Must unloose through life's portal The snake-like Doom coiled underneath his throne By that alone.
ASIA The veil has fallen. ASIA What canst thou tell?
ASIA Who made the living world? ASIA Who made that sense which, when the winds of spring In rarest visitation, or the voice Of one belov'd heard in youth alone, Fills the faint eyes with falling tears which dim The radiant looks of unbewailing flowers, And leaves this peopled earth a solitude When it returns no more? ASIA And who made terror, madness, crime, remorse, Which from the links of the great chain of things 20 To every thought within the mind of man Sway and drag heavily, and each one reels Under the load towards the pit of death; Abandoned hope, and love that turns to hate; And self-contempt, bitterer to drink than blood; Pain, whose unheeded and familiar speech Is howling, and keen shrieks, day after day; And Hell, or the sharp fear of Hell?
ASIA Who reigns? There was the Heaven and Earth at first, And Light and Love; then Saturn, from whose throne Time fell, an envious shadow; such the state Of the earth's primal spirits beneath his sway, As the calm joy of flowers and living leaves Before the wind or sun has withered them And semivital worms; but he refused The birthright of their being, knowledge, power, The skill which wields the elements, the thought 40 Which pierces this dim universe like light, Self-empire, and the majesty of love; For thirst of which they fainted.
Then Prometheus Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter, And with this law alone, 'Let man be free,' Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven. To know nor faith, nor love, nor law, to be Omnipotent but friendless, is to reign; And Jove now reigned; for on the race of man First famine, and then toil, and then disease, 50 Strife, wounds, and ghastly death unseen before, Fell; and the unseasonable seasons drove, With alternating shafts of frost and fire, Their shelterless, pale tribes to mountain caves; And in their desert hearts fierce wants he sent, And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle Of unreal good, which levied mutual war, So ruining the lair wherein they raged.
Prometheus saw, and waked the legioned hopes Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers, 60 Nepenthe, Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms, That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings The shape of Death; and Love he sent to bind The disunited tendrils of that vine Which bears the wine of life, the human heart; And he tamed fire which, like some beast of prey, Most terrible, but lovely, played beneath The frown of man; and tortured to his will Iron and gold, the slaves and signs of power, And gems and poisons, and all subtlest forms 70 Hidden beneath the mountains and the waves.
He gave man speech, and speech created thought, Which is the measure of the universe; And Science struck the thrones of earth and heaven, Which shook, but fell not; and the harmonious mind Poured itself forth in all-prophetic song; And music lifted up the listening spirit Until it walked, exempt from mortal care, Godlike, o'er the clear billows of sweet sound; And human hands first mimicked and then mocked, 80 With moulded limbs more lovely than its own, The human form, till marble grew divine; And mothers, gazing, drank the love men see Reflected in their race, behold, and perish.
He told the hidden power of herbs and springs, And Disease drank and slept. Death grew like sleep.
He taught the implicated orbits woven Of the wide-wandering stars; and how the sun Changes his lair, and by what secret spell The pale moon is transformed, when her broad eye 90 Gazes not on the interlunar sea. He taught to rule, as life directs the limbs, The tempest-winged chariots of the Ocean, And the Celt knew the Indian.The sun-awakened avalanche!
Panthea and Ione are seated at his feet. Unlike thy brethren, ghastly Charioteer, Who art thou? I desire--and their speed makes night site; I fear--they outstrip the typhoon; Ere the cloud piled on Atlas can dwindle We encircle the earth and the moon.
Prometheus unbound, a lyrical drama
The wingless, crawling hours, one among whom. This perhaps foreshadows Zeus's eventual reconciliation with Prometheus in the trilogy's third installment. This is the season, this the day, the hour; At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine, Too long desired, too long delaying, come!