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of pain



And sweetest music, such as spirits love. Minister like a slave.
Apollo. And I shall gaze not on the Prometheus.

Thy gentle words deeds which make

Are sweeter even than freedom long My mind obscure with


desired eclipse

And long delayed. Darkens the sphere I guide; but list, I

Asia, thou light of life, hear

Shadow of beauty unbeheld : and ye, The small, clear, silver lute of the young Fair sister nymphs, who made long years

That sits i’ the morning star.

Sweet to remember, thro' your love and Ocean.

Thou must away; Thy steeds will pause at even, till when Henceforth we will not part. There is farewell :

a cave, The loud deep calls me home even now All overgrown with trailing odorous to feed it

plants, With azure calm out of the emerald Which curtain out the day with leaves

and flowers, Which stand for ever full beside my And paved with veinèd emerald, and a throne.

fountain Behold the Nereids under the green sea, Leaps in the midst with an awakening Their wavering limbs borne on the sound. wind-like stream,

From its curved roof the mountain's Their white arms lifted o'er their stream

frozen tears ing hair

Like snow, or silver, or long diamond With garlands pied and starry sea-flower spires, crowns,

Hang downward, raining forth a doubt. Hastening to grace their mighty sister's

ful light: joy.

And there is heard the ever-moving air, (A sound of waves is heard. Whispering without from tree to tree, It is the unpastured sea hungering for and birds, calm.

And bees; and all around are mossy Peace, monster; I come now. Fare

seats, well.

And the rough walls are clothed with Apollo.


long soft grass;

A simple dwelling, which shall be our SCENE III. — CAUCASUS. PROME


Where we will sit and talk of time and IONE, the

change, EARTH, SPIRITS, Asia, and PANTHEA, borne in the Car with the As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves


What can hide man from mutability? who descends.

And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and

thou, Hercules. Most glorious among Ione, shait chaunt fragments of seaspirits, thus doth strength

music, To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering Until I weep, when ye shall smile love,

away And thee, who art the form they ani. The tears she brought, which yet were mate,

sweet to shed.

cence ;

We will entangle buds and flowers and Given and returned; swist shapes and beams

sounds, which grow Which twinkle on the fountain's brim, More fair and soft as man grows wise and make

and kind, Strange combinations out of common And, veil by veil, evil and error fall: things,

Such virtue has the cave and place Like human babes in their brief inno.


[Turning to the Spirit of the Hour. And we will search, with looks and For thee, sair Spirit, one toil remains. words of love,

Ione, For hidden thoughts, each lovelier than Give her that curved shell, which Prothe last,

teus old Our unexhausted spirits; and like lutes Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing Touched by the skill of the enamoured within it wind,

A voice to be accomplished, and which Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new,

thou From difference sweet where discord Didst hide in grass under the hollow cannot be;

rock. And hither come, sped on the charmed Ione, Thou most desired Hour, more winds,

loved and lovely Which meet from all the points of Than all thy sisters, this is the mystic heaven, as bees

shell; From every flower aërial Enna feeds, See the pale azure fading into silver At their known island-homes in Himera, Lining it with a soft yet glowing light: The echoes of the human world, which Looks it not like lulled music sleeping tell

there? Of the low voice of love, almost un- Spirit. It seems in truth the fairest heard,

shell of Ocean : And dove-eyed pity's murmured pain, Its sounds must be at once both sweet and music,

and strange. Itself the echo of the heart, and all Prometheus. Go, borne over the That tempers or improves man's life, cities of mankind now free;

On whirlwind - footed coursers : And lovely apparitions, dim at first,

again Then radiant, as the mind, arising Outspeed the sun around the orbed bright

world ; From the embrace of beauty, whence And as thy chariot cleaves the kindling the forms

air, Of which these are the phantoms, cast Thou breathe into the many-folded shell, on them

Loosening its mighty music; it shall be The gathered rays which are reality, As thunder mingled with clear echoes: Shall visit us, the progeny immortal

then Of Painting, Sculpture, and rapt Poesy, Return; and thou shalt dwell beside our And arts, tho' unimagined, yet to be. The wandering voices and the shadows And thou, O, Mother Earth !-these

The Earth.

I hear, I feel; Of all that man becomes, the mediators | Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs Of that best worship love, by him and down

Even to the adamantine central gloom




ren fair

ay, even


Along these marble nerves; 'tis life, 'tis But to the uncommunicating dead. joy,

Death is the veil which those who live And through my withered, old, and icy call life : frame

They sleep, and it is listed : and meanThe warmth of an immortal youth shoots

while down

In mild variety the seasons mild Circling. Henceforth the many child. With rainbow - skirted showers, and

odorous winds, Folded in my sustaining arms; all And long blue meteors cleansing the plants,

dull night, And creeping forms, and insects rainbow. And the lise-kindling shafts of the keen winged,

sun's And birds, and beasts, and fish, and All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled human shapes,

rain Which drew disease and pain from my Of the calm moonbeams, a soft influence wan bosom,

mild, Draining the poison of despair, shall Shall clothe the forests and the fields,

take And interchange sweet nutriment; to me The crag-built deserts of the barren deep, Shall they become like sister antelopes With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and By one sair dam, snow-white and swift

flowers. as wind,

And thou! There is a cavern where my Nursed among lilies near a brimming spirit

Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy The dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall pain float

Made my heart mad, and those who did Under the stars like balm : night-folded

inhale it flowers

Became mad too, and built a temple Shall suck unwithering hues in their there, repose :

And spoke, and were oracular, and lured And men and beasts in happy dreams The erring nations round to mutual shall gather

war, Strength for the coming day, and all its And faithless faith, such as Jove kept joy:

with thee; And death shall be the last embrace of Which breath now rises, as amongst tall her

weeds Who takes the life she gave, even as a | A violet's exhalation, and it fills mother

With a serener light and crimson air Folding her child, says, “Leave me not Intense, yet sost, the rocks and woods again.”

around; Asia. Oh, mother! wherefore speak It feeds the quick growth of the serpent the name of death?

vine, Cease they to love, and move, and And the dark linked ivy tangling wild, breathe, and speak,

And budding, blown, or odour - faded Who die?

blooms The Earth, It would avail not to Which star the winds with points of reply :

coloured light, Thou art immortal, and this tongue is As they rain thro' them, and bright known

golden globes


Of fruit, suspended in their own green The lamp which was thine emblem ; heaven,

even as those And thro' their veinéd leaves and amber Who bear the untransmitted torch of stems

hope The flowers whose purple and translucid Into the grave, across the night of lise, bowls

As thou hast borne it most triumphantly Stand ever mantling with aërial dew, To this far goal of Time. Depart, fare. The drink of spirits : and it circles well. round,

Beside that temple is the destined cave. Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,

SCENE IV.-A FOREST. IN THE Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like

BACKGROUND CAVE. PROMEmine, Now thou art thus restored.

THEUS, Asia, PANTHEA, IONE, and This cave

the SPIRIT OF THE Earth. is thine. Arise ! Appear !

Ione. Sister, it is not earthly : how [A Spirit rises in the likeness it glides of a winged child.

Under the leaves ! how on its head there This is my torch-bearer ;

burns Who let his lamp out in old time with A light, like a green star, whose emerald gazing

beams On eyes from which he kindled it anew Are twined with its fair hair ! how, as With love, which is as fire, Sweet

it moves, daughter mine,

The splendour drops in flakes upon the For such is that within thine own. Run,

grass ! wayward,

Knowest thou it ? And guide this company beyond the Panthea. It is the delicate spirit peak

That guides the earth thro' heaven. Of Bacchic Nysa, Mänad-haunted moun

From afar tain,

The populous constellations call that And beyond Indus and its tribute rivers, light Trampling the torrent streams and glassy The loveliest of the planets; and some. lakes

times With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying, It floats along the spray of the salt sea, And up the green ravine, across the vale, Or makes its chariot of a foggy cloud, Beside the windless and crystalline pool, Or walks thro’ fields or cities while Where ever lies, on unerasing waves,

men sleep, The image of a temple, built above, Or o'er the mountain tops, or down the Distinct with column, arch, and archi

rivers, trave,

Or thro' the green waste wilderness, as And palm-like capital, and over-wrought,

now, And populous most with living imagery, Wondering at all it sees. Before Jove Praxitelean shapes, whose marble smiles reigned Fill the hushed air with everlasting love. It loved our sister Asia, and it came It is deserted now, but once it bore Each leisure hour to drink the liquid Thy name, Prometheus; there the light emulous youths

Out of her eyes, for which it said it Bore to thy honour thro' the divine thirsted gloom

As one bit by a dipsas, and with her



It made its childish confidence, and told Or other such soul masks, with which her

ill thoughts All it had known or seen, for it saw Hide that sair being whom we spirits much,

call man ; Yet idly reasoned what it saw; and And women too, ugliest of all things called her --

evil, For whence it sprung it knew not, nor (Tho' fair, even in a world where thou do I

art fair, Mother, dear mother.

When good and kind, free and sincere The Spirit of the Earth (running to like thee),

Asia). Mother, dearest mother; When false or frowning made me sick at May I then talk with thee as I was

heart wont ?

To pass them, tho' they slept, and I May I then hide my eyes in thy sost arms,

Well, my path lately lay thro' a great After thy looks have made them tired of city joy?

Into the woody hills surrounding it : May I then play beside thee the long A sentinel was sleeping at the gate : noons,

When there was heard a sound, so loud When work is none in the bright silent

it shook air ?

The towers amid the moonlight, yet Asia. I love thee, gentlest being,

more sweet and henceforth

Than any voice but thine, sweetest of Can cherish thee unenvied : speak, I pray:

A long, long sound, as it would never Thy simple talk once solaced, now de.

end : lights.

And all the inhabitants leapt suddenly Spirit of the Earth. Mother, I am Out of their rest, and gathered in the grown wiser, though a child

streets, Cannot be wise like thee, within this Looking in wonder up to Heaven, while day;

yet And happier too; happier and wiser The music pealed along. I hid myself both.

Within a fountain in the public square, Thou knowest that toads, and snakes, Where I lay like the reflex of the moon and loathly worms,

Seen in a wave under green leaves; and And venomous and malicious beasts, and boughs

Those ugly human shapes and visages That bore ill berries in the woods, were of which I spoke as having wrought me

pain, An hindrance to my walks o'er the Past floating thro' the air, and fading green world :

still And that, among the haunts of human- Into the winds that scattered them; and kind,

those Hard-featured men, or with proud, From whom they past seemed mild and angry looks,

lovely forms Or cold, staid gait, or false and hollow After some foul disguise had fallen, and smiles,

all Or the dull sneer of self-loved ignor- Were somewhat changed, and after brief ance,




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