Nay, veil it utterly: for strictly kept
The secret from these bonds shall set me free.
May Zeus who all things swayeth
Ne'er wreak the might none stayeth
On wayward will of mine;
May I stint not nor waver
With offerings of sweet savour
And feasts of slaughtered kine;
The holy to the holy,
With frequent feet and lowly
At altar, fane and shrine,
Over the Ocean marches,
The deep that no drought parches,
Draw near to the divine.
My tongue the Gods estrange not;
My firm set purpose change not,
As wax melts in fire-shine.
Sweet is the life that lengthens,
While joyous hope still strengthens,
And glad, bright thoughts sustain;
But shuddering I behold thee,
The sorrows that enfold thee
And all thine endless pain.
For Zeus thou hast despised;
Thy fearless heart misprized
All that his vengeance can,
Thy wayward will obeying,
Excess of honour paying,
Prometheus, unto man.
And, oh, beloved, for this graceless grace
What thanks? What prowess for thy bold essay
Shall champion thee from men of mortal race,
The petty insects of a passing day?
Saw'st not how puny is the strength they spend?
With few, faint steps walking as dreams and blind,
Nor can the utmost of their lore transcend
The harmony of the Eternal Mind.
These things I learned seeing thy glory dimmed,
Prometheus. Ah, not thus on me was shed
The rapture of sweet music, when I hymned
The marriage-song round bath and bridal bed
At thine espousals, and of thy blood-kin,
A bride thou chosest, wooing her to thee
With all good gifts that may a Goddess win,
Thy father's child, divine Hesione.
Enter IO, crazed and horned.
What land is this? What people here abide?
And who is he,
The prisoner of this windswept mountain-side?
Speak, speak to me;
Tell me, poor caitiff, how did'st thou transgress,
Whither am I, half-dead with weariness,
Again the prick, the stab of gadfly-sting!
O earth, earth, hide,
The hollow shape-Argus-that evil thing-
Earth-born-herdsman! I see him yet; he stalks
With stealthy pace