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The torturing and conflicting throngs within,
As Jove rules you

when Hell



It is torn.


and pity.

From the ends of the earth, from the ends of the earth,

The pale stars of the morn
Where the night has its grave and the morning its birth, Shine on a misery dire to be borne.
Come, come, come!

Dost tbou faint, mighty Titan? We laugh thee to scorn. Oh, ye who shake hills with the scream of your mirth, Dost thou boast the clear knowledge thou waken’dst for When cities sink howling in ruin; and ye

man ! Who with wingless footsteps trample the sea,

Then was kindled within him a thirst which outran
And close upon Shipwreck and Famine's track, | Those perishing waters; a thirst of fierce fever,
Sil chattering with joy on the foodless wreck : Hope, love, doubt, desire, which consume him for ever.
Come, come, come!

One came forth of gentle worth,
Leave the bed, low, cold, and red,

Smiling on the sanguine earth;
Strew'd beneath a nation dead;

His words outlived him, like swift poison,
Leave the hatred, as in ashes

Withering up truth, peace,
Fire is left for future burning:

Look! where round the wide horizon
It will burst in bloodier flashes

Many a million-peopled city
When ye stir it, soon returning :

Vomits smoke in the bright air.
Leave the self-contempe implanted

Mark that outery of despair !
In young spirits, sense-enchanted,

"T is his mild and gentle ghost
Misery's yet unkindled fuel:

Wailing for the faith he kindled :
Leave Hell's secrets half unchanted,

Look again! the flames almost
To the maniac dreamer; cruel

To a glow-worm's lamp have dwindled :
More than ye can be with hate

The survivors round the embers
Is he with fear.

Gather in dread.
Come, come, come!

Joy, joy, joy!
We are steaming up from Hell's wide gate,

Past ages crowd on thee, but each one remembers; And we burthen the blasts of the atmosphere,

And the future is dark, and the present is spread But vainly we toil till ye come here.

Like a pillow of thorns for thy slumberless head.

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Nor would I seek it: for, though dread revenge, The heaven around, the earth below This is defeat, fierce king! not victory. Was peopled with thick shapes of human death, The sights with which thou torturest gird my soul All horrible, and wrought by human hands,

With new endurance, till the hour arrives And some appear'd the work of human hearts, When they shall be no types of things which are. For men were slowly kill'd by frowns and smiles :

And other sights too foul to speak and live

Alas! what sawest thou ?
Were wandering by. Let us not tempt worse fear
By looking forth: those groans are grief enough.

There are two woes;

To speak and to behold ; thou spare me one. Behold an emblem: those who do endure

Names are there, Nature's sacred watch-words, they Deep wrongs


man, and scorn, and chains, but heap / Were borne aloft in brighit emblazonry; Thousandfold torment on themselves and him.

The nations throng'd around, and cried aloud, PROMETHEUS.

As with one voice, Truth, liberty, and love! Remit the anguish of that lighted stare;

Suddenly fierce confusion fell from heaven Close those wan lips; let that thorn-wounded brow Among them : there was strife, deceit, and fear : Stream not with blood; it mingles with thy tears ! Tyrants rush'd in, and did divide the spoil. Fix, fix those tortured orbs in peace and death, This was the shadow of the truth I saw. So thy sick throes shake not that crucifix,

THE EARTH. So those pale fingers play not with thy gore.

I felt thy torture, son, with such mix'd joy 0, horrible! Thy name I will not speak,

As pain and virtue give. To cheer thy state It hath become a curse. I see, I see

I bid ascend those subtle and fair spirits, The wise, the mild, the lofty, and the just,

Whose homes are the dim caves of human thought, Whom thy slaves hate for being like to thee,

And who in habit, as birds wing the wind, Some hanted by foul lies from their heart's home, Its world-surrounding ether : they behold An early-chosen, late-lamented home;

Deyond that twilighe realm, as in a glass, As hooded ounces cling to the driven hind;

The future: may they speak comfort to thee! Some link'd to corpses in unwholesome cells : Some-Hear I not the multitude laugh loud ?

Look, sister, where a troop of spirits gather, Impaled in lingering fire: and mighty realms

Like flocks of clouds in spring's delightful weather, Float by my feet, like sea-uprooted isles,

Thronging in the blue air!
Whose sons are kneaded down in common blood
By the red light of their own burning homes.

And see! more come,

Like fountain vapours when the winds are dumb, Blood thou canst see, and fire; and canst hear groans:

That climb up the ravine in scatter'd lines.
Worse things unheard, unscen, remain behind.

And, hark ? is it the music of the pines ?

Is it the lake? Is it the waterfall ?
In each human heart terror survives

'T is something sadder, sweeter far than all.
The ruin it has gorged: the loftiest fear
All that they would disdain to think were true :
Hypocrisy and custom make their minds

From unremember'd ages we
The fanes of many a worship, now outworn.

Gentle guides and guardians be They dare not devise good for man's estate,

Of heaven-oppress'd mortality; And yet they know not that they do not dare.

And we breathe, and sicken not, The good want power, but to weep barren tears.

The atmosphere of human thought : The powerful goodness want: worse need for them.

Be it dim, and dank, and grey, The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom;

Like a storm-extinguish'd day, And all best things are thus confused to ill.

Travell’d o'er by dying gleams; Many are strong and rich, and would be just,

Be it bright as all between But live among their suffering fellow-men

Cloudless skies and windless streams, As if none felt: they know not what they do.

Silent, liquid, and serene;

As the birds within the wind, Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes;

As the fish within the wave, And yet I pity those they torture not.

As the thoughts of man's own mind

Float through all above the grave;
Thou pitiest thein ? I speak no more! [Vanishes. We make these our liquid lair,

Voyaging cloudlike and unpent
Ah woe!

Through the boundless clement:
Ah woe! Alas! pain, pain ever, for ever!

Thence we bear the prophecy
I close my tearless eyes, but see more clear

Which begins and ends in thee!
Thy works within my woe-illumined mind,
Thou subtle tyrant! Peace is in the grave.

The grave hides all things beautiful and good : More yet come, one by one: the air around them
I am a God and cannot find it there,

Looks radiant as the air around a star.








FIRST SPIRIT. On a battle-trumpet's blast I fed hither, fast, fast, fast, 'Mid the darkness upward cast. From the dust of creeds outworn, From the tyrant's banner torn, Gathering round me, onward borne, There was mingled many a cryFreedom! Hope! Death! Victory! Till they faded through the sky; And one sound above, around, One sound beneath, around, above, Was moving; 't was the soul of love; 'T was the hope, the prophecy, Which begins and ends in thee.

Behold'st thou not two shapes from the east and west
Come, as two doves to one beloved nest,
Twin nurslings of the all-sustaining air
On swift still wings glide down the atmosphere?
And, hark! their sweet, sad voices ! 't is despair
Mingled with love and then dissolved in sound.

Canst thou speak, sister ? all my words are drown'd.


Their beauty gives me voice. See how they float
On their sustaining wings of skiey grain,
Orange and azure deepening into gold :
Their soft smiles light the air like a star's fire.

CHORUS OF SPIRITS. Hast thou belield the form of Love


SECOND SPIRIT. A rainbow's arch stood on the sea, Which rock'd beneath, immoveably; And the triumphant storm did tlee, Like a conqueror, swift and proud, Between with many a captive cloud A shapeless, dark and rapid crowd, Each by lightning riven in half: I heard the thunder hoarsely laugh: Mighty fleets were strewn like chaff And spread beneath a hell of death Oer the white waters. I alit On a great ship lightning-split, And speeded hither on the sigh


gave an enemy His plank, then plunged aside to die.

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THIRD SPIRIT. I sate beside a sage's bed, And the lamp was burning red Near the book where he had fed, When a Dream with plumes of flame, To his pillow hovering came, And I knew it was the same Which had kindled long ago Pity, eloquence, and woe ; And the world awhile below Wore the shade its lustre made. It has borne me here as fleet As Desire's lightning feet : I must ride it back ere morrow, Or the sage will wake in sorrow.

SIXTI SPIRIT. Ah, sister! Desolation is a delicate thing: It walks not on the earth, it floats not on the air, But treads with silent footstep, and fans with silent wing The tender hopes which in their hearts the best and

gentlest bear; Who, soothed 10 false repose by the fanning plumes

above, And the music-stirring motion of its soft and busy feet, Dream visions of aerial joy, and call the monster, Love, And wake, and find the shadow Pain, as he whom now

we greet.

FOURTH SPIRIT. On a poet's lips I slept

1 Dreaming like a love-adept In the sound his breathing kept; Nor seeks nor finds he mortal blisses, But feeds on the aërial kisses Of shapes that haunt thought's wildernesses. He will watch from dawn to gloom The lake-retlected sun illume The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom, Nor heed nor see, what things they be; But from these create he can Forms more real than living man, Nurslings of immortality! Ove of these awaken'd me, And I sped to succour thee.

Though Ruin now Love's shadow be,
Following him, destroyingly,

On Death's white and winged steed,
Which the fleetest cannot flee,

Trampling down both flower and weed, Man and beast, and foul and fair, Like a tempest through the air; Thou shalt quell this horseman grim, Woundless though in heart or limb.


Spirils ! how know ye this shall be?

CHORUS. In the atmosphere we breathe, As buds grow red when the snow-storms flee,

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From spring gathering up beneath,
Whose mild winds shake the elder brake,
And the wandering herdsmen know
That the white-thorn soon will blow:
Wisdom, Justice, Love, and Peace,
When they struggle to increase,

Are to us as soft winds be
To shepherd boys, the prophecy
Which begins and ends in thee.

IONE. Where are the spirits fled ?


Only a sense Remains of them, like the omnipotence Of music, when the inspired voice and lute Languish, ere yet the responses are mute, Which through the deep and labyrinthine soul, Like echoes through long caverns, wind and roll.

Which should have learnt repose : thou hast descended
Cradled in tempests; thou dost wake, O Spring!
O child of many winds! As suddenly
Thou comest as the memory of a dream,
Which now is sad because it hath been sweet;
Like genius, or like joy which riseth up
As from the earth, clothing with golden clouds
The desert of our life.
This is the season, this the day, the hour;
At sunrise thou shouldst come, sweet sister mine,
Too long desired, too long delaying, come!
How like death-worms the wingless moments crawl!
The point of one white star is quivering still
Deep in the orange light of widening morn
Beyond the purple mountains : through a chasm
Of wind-divided mist the darker lake
Reflects it: now it wanes : it gleams again
As the waves fade, and as the burning threads
Of woven cloud unravel in pale air :
'T is lost! and through yon peaks of cloudlike snow
The roseate sun-lighe quivers : hear I not
The Æolian music of her sea-green plumes
Winnowing the crimson dawn?

Pantina enters.

I feel, I see Those eyes which burn through smiles that fade in tears, Like stars half quench'd in mists of silver dew. Beloved and most beautiful, who wearest The shadow of that soul by which I live, How late thou art! the sphered sun had climb'd The sea; my heart was sick with hope, before The printless air felt thy belated plumes.


How fair these air-born shapes ! and yet I feel
Most vain all hope but love; and thou art far,
Asia! who, when my being overflow'd,
Wert like a golden chalice to bright wine
Which else had sunk into the thirsty dust.
All things are still : alas! how heavily
This quiet morning weighs upon my heart;
Though I should dream I could even sleep with grief,
If slumber were denied not. I would fain
Be what it is my destiny to be,
The saviour and the strength of suffering man,
Or sink into the original gulf of things :
There is no agony, and no solace left;
Earth can console, Heaven can torment no more.


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Pardon, great Sister! but my winys were faint
With the delight of a remember'd dream,
As are the noon-tide plumes of summer winds
Satiate with sweet tlowers. I was wont to sleep
Peacefully, and awake refreslid and calm
Before the sacred Titan's fall, and thy
Unhappy love, had made, through use and pity,
Both love and woe familiar to my heart
As they had grown to thine : ercwhile I slept
Under the glaucous caverns of old Ocean"
Within dim bowers of green and purple moss,
Our young lone's soft and milky arms
Lock'd then, as now, behind my dark, moist hair,
While my shut eyes and cheek were press'd within
The folded depth of her life-breathing bosom :
But not as now,

since I am made the wind
Which fails beneath the music that I bear
Of thy most wordless converse; since dissolved
Into the sense with which love talks, my rest
Was troubled and yet sweet; my waking hours
Too full of care and pain.


Lift up thine eyes, And let me read thy dream.


As I have said With our sea-sister at his feet I slept. The mountain mists, condensing at our voice Under the moon, bad spread their snowy flakes, From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep. Then two dreams came. One, I remember not. But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs



Morning. A lovely Vale in the Indian Caucasus.

Asia, alone.

ASIA. From all the blasts of heaven thou hast descended : Yes, like a spirit, like a thought, which makes Unwonted tears throng to the horny eyes, And beatings haunt the desolated heart,

Prometheus, it is thine! depart not yet!
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

yild and quick, yet 't is a thing of air
For through its grey robe gleams the golden dew
Whose stars the noon has quench'd not.


Follow! Follow!


It is mine other dream.


Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
Grew radiant with the glory of that form
Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell
Like music which makes giddy the dim brain,
Faint with intoxication of keen joy:

Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world
With loveliness- more fair than aught but her,
Whose shadow thou art-lift thine eyes on me.»
I lifted them : the overpowering light
Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er
By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs,
And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes,
Steam'd forth like vaporous fire; an atmosphere
Which wrapt me in its all-dissolving power,
As the warm ether of the morning sun
Wraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dew.
I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
His presence flow and mingle through my blood
Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
And I was thus absorb'd, until it past,
And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
And tremulous as they, in the deep night
My being was condensed ; and as the rays
Of thought were slowly gather'd, I could hear
His voice, whose accents linger'd ere they died
Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name
Among the many sounds alone I heard
Of what might be articulate; though still
I listep'd through the night when sound was none.
Jone waken'd then, and said to me:

Canst thou divine what troubles me night? I always knew what I desired before, Nor ever found delight to wish in vain. But now I cannot tell thee what I seek ; I know not; something sweet, since it is sweet Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister; Thou hast discovered some enchantment old, Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept And mingled it with thine : for when just now We kiss'd, I felt within thy parted lips The sweet air that sustain'd me, and the warmth Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint, Quiver'd ljetween our intertwining arms." I answer'd not, for the Eastern star grew pale, But fled to thee.

It disappears.

It passes now into my mind. Methought
As we sate here, the flower-infolding buds
Burst on yon lightning-blasted almond-tree,
When swift from the while Scythian wilderness
A wind swept forth wrinkling the Earth with frost:
I looked, and all the blossoms were blown down;
But on each leaf was stamped, as the blue bells
Of Hyacinth tell Apollo's written grief,
0, follow, follow !


you speak, your words
Fill, pause by pause, my own forgotten sleep
With shapes. Methought among the lawns together
We wander'd, underneath the young grey dawn,
And multitudes of dense white tleccy 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, 0, follow! As they vanished by,
And on each herb, from which Heaven's dew had fallen,
The like was stamp'd, as with a withering fire,
A wind arose among the pines; it shook

music from their boughs, and then
Low, sweet, faint sounds, like the farewell of ghosts,
Were heard : Oh, follow, follow, follow me!
And then I said ; • Panthea, look on me..
But in the depth of those beloved eyes
Still I saw, follow, follow!


Thou speakest, but thy words Are as the air: I feel them not: Oh, lift Thine eyes, that I may

read his written soul!


ECHO. Follow, follow!

I lift them, though they droop beneath the load Of that they would express: what canst thou see But thine own fairest shadow imaged there?


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There is a change: beyond their inmost depth
I see a shade, a shape : 't is He, array'd
In the soft light of his own smiles, which spread
Like radiance from the cloud-surrounded morn.

ECHOES (unseen). Echoes we: listen!

We cannot stay: As dew-stars glisten Then fade

awayChild of Ocean!

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