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Eat with their burning cold into my bones.
MONARCH of Gods and Dæmons, and all Spirits
But One, who throng those bright and rolling worlds
Which Thou and I alone of living things
Behold with sleepless eyes! regard this Earth,
Made multitudinous with thy slaves, whom thou
Requitest for knee-worship, prayer, and praise,
And toil, and hecatombs of broken hearts,
With fear and self-contempt and barren hope.
Whilst me, who am thy foe, eyeless in hate,
Hast thou made reign and triumph, to thy scorn,
O'er mine own misery and thy vain revenge.
Three thousand years of sleep-unshelter'd 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 deign'd to share the shame
Of thine ill tyranny, and hung not here
Nail'd to this wall of eagle-baffling mountain,
Black, wintry, dead, unmeasured; without herb,
Insect, or beast, or shape or sound of life.
Ah me, alas! pain, pain ever, for ever!
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?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, for ever!
The crawling glaciers pierce me with the spears
Of their moon-freezing crystals; the bright chains
Heaven's winged hound, polluting from thy lips
His beak in poison not his own, tears up
My heart; and shapeless sights come wandering by,
The ghastly people of the realm of dream,
Mocking me: and the Earthquake-fiends are charged
To wrench the rivets from my quivering wounds
When the rocks split and close again behind:
While from their loud abysses howling throng
The genii of the storm, urging the rage
Of whirlwind, and afflict me with keen hail.
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-colour'd 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 disdain'd not such a prostrate slave.
Disdain! Ah no! I pity thee. What ruin
Will hunt thee undefended through the wide Heaven!
How will thy soul, cloven to its depth with terror,
Gape like a hell within! I speak in grief,
Not exultation, for I hate no more
As then, ere misery made me wise. The curse
Once breathed on thee I would recall. Ye Mountains,
Whose many-voiced Echoes, through the mist
Of cataracts, flung the thunder of that spell!
Ye icy Springs, stagnant with wrinkling frost,
Which vibrated to hear me,
Shuddering through India! Thou serenest Air,
Through which the Sun walks burning without beams!
swift Whirlwinds, who on poised wings
Hung mute and moveless o'er yon hush'd abyss,
As thunder, louder than your own, made rock
The orbed world! If then my words had power,
Though I am changed so that aught evil wish
Is dead within; although no memory be
Of what is hate, let them not lose it now!
What was that curse? for ye all heard me speak.
FIRST VOICE: FROM THE MOUNTAINS.
Thrice three hundred thousand years
O'er the Earthquake's couch we stood:
Oft, as men convulsed with fears,
We trembled in our multitude.
SECOND VOICE: FROM THE SPRINGS.
Thunder-bolts had parch'd our water,
We had been stain'd with bitter blood,
And had run mute, 'mid shrieks of slaughter,
Through a city and a solitude.
THIRD VOICE: FROM THE AIR.
I had clothed, since Earth uprose,
Its wastes in colours not their own';
And oft had my serene repose
Been cloven by many a rending groan.
FOURTH VOICE: FROM THE WHIRLWINDS. We had soar'd beneath these mountains Unresting ages; nor had thunder, Nor yon volcano's flaming fountains, Nor any power above or under Ever made us mute with wonder.
I hear a sound of voices: not the voice
Which I gave forth. Mother, thy sons and thou
Scorn him, without whose all-enduring will
Beneath the fierce omnipotence of Jove,
Both they and thou had vanish'd, like thin mist
Unroll'd on the morning wind. Know ye not me,
The Titan? He who made his
The barrier to your else all-conquering foe?
Oh, rock-embosom'd lawns, and snow-fed streams,
Now seen athwart frore vapours, deep below,
Through whose o'ershadowing woods I wander'd once
With Asia, drinking life from her loved eyes;
Why scorns the spirit which informs
To commune with me? me alone, who check'd,
As one who checks a fiend-drawn charioteer,
The falsehood and the force of him who reigns
Supreme, and with the groans of pining slaves
Fills dim glens and liquid wildernesses :
Why answer ye not, still? Brethren!
Thy mother; she within whose stony veins,
To the last fibre of the loftiest tree
Whose thin leaves trembled in the frozen air,
Joy ran, as blood within a living frame,
When thou didst from her bosom, like a cloud
Of glory, arise, a spirit of keen joy!
And at thy voice her pining sons uplifted
Their prostrate brows from the polluting dust,
And our almighty Tyrant with fierce dread
Grew pale, until his thunder chain'd thee here.
Then, see those million worlds which burn and roll
Around us their inhabitants beheld
My sphered light wane in wide Heaven; the sea
Was lifted by strange tempest, and new fire
From earthquake-rifted mountains of bright snow
Shook its portentous hair beneath Heaven's frown;
Lightning and Inundation vexed the plains;
Blue thistles bloom'd in cities; foodless toads
Within voluptuous chambers panting crawl'd;
When Plague had fallen on man, and beast, and worm,
And Famine; and black blight on herb and tree;
And in the corn, and vines, and meadow-grass,
Teemed ineradicable poisonous weeds
Draining their growth, for my wan breast was dry
With grief; and the thin air, my breath, was stain'd
With the contagion of a mother's hate
Breathed on her child's destroyer; aye, I heard
Thy curse, the which, if thou rememberest not,
Yet innumerable seas and streams,
Mountains, and caves, and winds, and
And the inarticulate people of the dead,
Preserve, a treasured spell. We meditate
In secret joy and hope those dreadful words
But dare not speak them.
All else who live and suffer take from thee
Some comfort; flowers, and fruits, and happy sounds, And love, though fleeting; these may not be mine.
But mine own words, I pray, deny me not.
They shall be told. Ere Babylon was dust,
The Magus Zoroaster, my dead child,
Met his own image walking in the garden.
That apparition, sole of men, he saw.
For know there are two worlds of life and death:
One that which thou beholdest; but the other
Is underneath the grave, where do inhabit
The shadows of all forms that think and live
Till death unite them and they part no more;
Dreams and the light imaginings of men,
And all that faith creates or love desires,
Terrible, strange, sublime and beauteous shapes.
There thou art, and dost hang, a writhing shade,
'Mid whirlwind-peopled mountains; all the gods
Are there, and all the powers of nameless worlds,
Vast, sceptred phantoms; heroes, men, and beasts;
And Demogorgon, a tremendous gloom;
And he, the supreme Tyrant, on his throne
Of burning gold. Son, one of these shall utter
The curse which all remember. Call at will
Thine own ghost, or the ghost of Jupiter,
Hades or Typhon, or what mightier Gods
From all-prolific Evil, since thy ruin
and trampled on my prostrate sons.
Ask, and they must reply: so the revenge
Of the Supreme may sweep through vacant shades,
As rainy wind through the abandoned gate
Of a fallen palace.
Mother, let not aught
Of that which may be evil, pass again
My lips, or those of aught resembling me.
Phantasm of Jupiter, arise, appear!
My wings are folded o'er mine ears:
My wings are crossed o'er mine eyes: Yet through their silver shade appears, And through their lulling plumes arise, A Shape, a throng of sounds; May it be no ill to thee
O thou of many wounds?
Near whom, for our sweet sister's sake,
Ever thus we watch and wake.
The sound is of whirlwind underground, Earthquake, and fire, and mountains cloven;
The shape is awful like the sound,
Clothed in dark purple, star-inwoven.
A sceptre of pale gold
To stay steps proud, o'er the slow cloud
His veined hand doth hold.
Cruel he looks, but calm and strong,
Like one who does, not suffers wrong.
Why have the secret powers of this strange world
Driven me, a frail and empty phantom, hither
On direst storms? What unaccustom'd sounds
Are hovering on my lips, unlike the voice
With which our pallid race hold ghastly talk
In darkness? And, proud sufferer, who art thou?
Tremendous Image! as thou art must be
He whom thou shadowest forth. I am his foe,
The Titan. Speak the words which I would hear,
Although no thought inform thine empty voice.
Listen! And though your echoes must be mute,
Of Hell: what if the Son of Maia soon
Should make us food and sport-who can please long
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 poison'd wine,
Unnatural love, and more unnatural hate:
These shall perform your task.
Oh, mercy! mercy! We die with our desire: drive us not back! MERCURY.
To thee unwilling, 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 season, 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.
Evil minds Change good to their own nature. I gave all Ile 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 tyrants' recompense: 't is 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: lle 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,