Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

And sweetest music, such as spirits love. Apollo. And I shall gaze not on the deeds which make

My mind obscure with sorrow, as eclipse

Darkens the sphere I guide; but list, I hear

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

of pain Sweet to remember, thro' your love and

That sits i' the morning star.

care:

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,

urns

And paved with veinèd emerald, and a fountain

Leaps in the midst with an awakening sound.

From its curved roof the mountain's frozen tears

Like snow, or silver, or long diamond spires,

Hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light:

And there is heard the ever-moving air, Whispering without from tree to tree, and birds,

And bees; and all around are mossy seats,

Which stand for ever full beside my throne.

Behold the Nereids under the green sea, Their wavering limbs borne on the wind-like stream,

Their white arms lifted o'er their streaming hair

With garlands pied and starry sea-flower

crowns,

Hastening to grace their mighty sister's joy.

[A sound of waves is heard. It is the unpastured sea hungering for calm.

Peace, monster; I come now. Fare-
well.
Apollo.

Farewell.

Minister like a slave.
Prometheus.
Thy gentle words
Are sweeter even than freedom long
desired

And long delayed.

SCENE III.-CAUCASUS. PROME-
THEUS, HERCULES, IONE, the
EARTH, SPIRITS, ASIA, and PAN-
THEA, borne in the Car with the

SPIRIT OF THE HOUR. HERCULES unbinds PROMETHEUS, who descends.

And the rough walls are clothed with long soft grass;

A simple dwelling, which shall be our

own; Where we will sit and talk of time and change,

As the world ebbs and flows, ourselves unchanged.

What can hide man from mutability? And if ye sigh, then I will smile; and thou,

Ione, shalt chaunt fragments of seamusic,

Hercules. Most glorious among spirits, thus doth strength To wisdom, courage, and long-suffering love,

Until I weep, when ye shall smile away And thee, who art the form they ani- The tears she brought, which yet were sweet to shed.

mate,

We will entangle buds and flowers and beams

Which twinkle on the fountain's brim,

Given and returned; swift shapes and sounds, which grow

More fair and soft as man grows wise and kind,

and make Strange combinations out of common And, veil by veil, evil and error fall: things, Such virtue has the cave and place around.

Like human babes in their brief inno

cence;

Ione,

[Turning to the Spirit of the Hour. And we will search, with looks and For thee, fair Spirit, one toil remains. words of love, For hidden thoughts, each lovelier than Give her that curvèd shell, which Prothe last, teus old Made Asia's nuptial boon, breathing within it

Our unexhausted spirits; and like lutes Touched by the skill of the enamoured wind,

Weave harmonies divine, yet ever new, From difference sweet where discord cannot be;

And hither come, sped on the charmèd

From every flower aërial Enna feeds,
At their known island-homes in Himera,
The echoes of the human world, which
tell

Ione. Thou most desired Hour, more loved and lovely

winds,

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

Itself the echo of the heart, and all That tempers or improves man's life, now free;

shell;

See the pale azure fading into silver
Lining it with a soft yet glowing light:
Looks it not like lulled music sleeping
there?

Of the low voice of love, almost un-
heard,

Spirit. It seems in truth the fairest shell of Ocean:

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

And lovely apparitions, dim at first, Then radiant, as the mind, arising bright

From the embrace of beauty, whence the forms

Of which these are the phantoms, cast on them

The gathered rays which are reality,
Shall visit us, the progeny immortal
Of Painting, Sculpture, and rapt Poesy,
And arts, tho' unimagined, yet to be.
The wandering voices and the shadows
these

A voice to be accomplished, and which thou

Of all that man becomes, the mediators
Of that best worship love, by him and

us

Didst hide in grass under the hollow rock.

and strange.

Prometheus. Go, borne over the cities of mankind

On whirlwind-footed

coursers: once

again
Outspeed the sun around the orbed
world;

And as thy chariot cleaves the kindling
air,
Thou breathe into the many-folded shell,
Loosening its mighty music; it shall be
As thunder mingled with clear echoes:
then
Return; and thou shalt dwell beside our

cave.

And thou, O, Mother Earth!—
The Earth.
I hear, I feel;
Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs
down

Even to the adamantine central gloom

Along these marble nerves; 'tis life, 'tis But to the uncommunicating dead. joy, Death is the veil which those who live call life:

And through my withered, old, and icy frame

They sleep, and it is lifted and meanwhile

The warmth of an immortal youth shoots down

Circling. Henceforth the many children fair

Folded in my sustaining arms; all plants,

And creeping forms, and insects rainbowwinged,

In mild variety the seasons mild
With rainbow - skirted showers, and
odorous winds,

And long blue meteors cleansing the dull night,

And the life-kindling shafts of the keen

sun's

And birds, and beasts, and fish, and human shapes,

All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled 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

ay, even

And interchange sweet nutriment; to me
Shall they become like sister antelopes
By one fair dam, snow-white and swift
as wind,

The crag-built deserts of the barren deep,
With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and
flowers.

Nursed among lilies near a brimming

stream.

The dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall float

Under the stars like balm: night-folded flowers

Shall suck unwithering hues in their

And thou! There is a cavern where my spirit

Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy pain

Made my heart mad, and those who did inhale it

Became mad too, and built a temple

there,

repose:

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

Strength for the coming day, and all its | And

war,

faithless faith, such as Jove kept with thee;

joy:

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

mother

Who takes the life she gave, even as a A violet's exhalation, and it fills
With a serener light and crimson air
Folding her child, says, "Leave me not Intense, yet soft, the rocks and woods
around;

again."

Asia. Oh, mother! wherefore speak It feeds the quick growth of the serpent vine,

the name of death?

Cease they to love, and move, and And the dark linkèd ivy tangling wild, breathe, and speak, And budding, blown, or odour - faded blooms

Who die?

The Earth. It would avail not to Which star the winds with points of coloured light,

reply: 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 veinèd leaves and amber Who bear the untransmitted torch of stems

hope

The flowers whose purple and translucid Into the grave, across the night of life, bowls As thou hast borne it most triumphantly To this far goal of Time. Depart, farewell.

Beside that temple is the destined cave.

Stand ever mantling with aërial dew, The drink of spirits: and it circles round,

Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,

Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like mine,

This cave

Now thou art thus restored. is thine.

Arise! Appear!

SCENE IV.A FOREST. IN THE

BACKGROUND A CAVE. PROMETHEUS, ASIA, PANTHEA, IONE, and the SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.

Ione. Sister, it is not earthly: how
it glides

[A Spirit rises in the likeness
of a winged child.

Under the leaves ! how on its head there
burns

This is my torch-bearer ; Who let his lamp out in old time with A light, like a green star, whose emerald

beams

gazing

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

it moves,

For such is that within thine own. Run,

wayward,

The splendour drops in flakes upon the
grass!
Knowest thou it?

Panthea. It is the delicate spirit That guides the earth thro' heaven. From afar

And guide this company beyond the peak

Of Bacchic Nysa, Mænad-haunted mountain,

The populous constellations call that light

times

And beyond Indus and its tribute rivers,
Trampling the torrent streams and glassy | The loveliest of the planets; and some-
lakes
With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying,
And up the green ravine, across the vale,
Beside the windless and crystalline pool,
Where ever lies, on unerasing waves,
The image of a temple, built above,
Distinct with column, arch, and archi-
trave,

And palm-like capital, and over-wrought,
And populous most with living imagery,
Praxitelean shapes, whose marble smiles
Fill the hushed air with everlasting love.
It is deserted now, but once it bore
Thy name, Prometheus; there the
emulous youths

Bore to thy honour thro' the divine
gloom

It floats along the spray of the salt sea,
Or makes its chariot of a foggy cloud,
Or walks thro' fields or cities while
men sleep,

Or o'er the mountain tops, or down the
rivers,

Or thro' the green waste wilderness, as
now,
Wondering at all it sees.
reigned

Before Jove

It loved our sister Asia, and it came Each leisure hour to drink the liquid light

Out of her eyes, for which it said it thirsted

As one bit by a dipsas, and with her

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

All it had known or seen, for it saw much,

ill thoughts

Hide that fair being whom we spirits 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 IMother, dear mother.

art fair,

When good and kind, free and sincere like thee),

The Spirit of the Earth (running to Asia). Mother, dearest mother; May I then talk with thee as I was wont ?

When false or frowning made me sick at heart

May I then hide my eyes in thy soft

arms,

To pass them, tho' they slept, and I

unseen.

Well, my path lately lay thro' a great city

After thy looks have made them tired of joy?

Into the woody hills surrounding it: May I then play beside thee the long A sentinel was sleeping at the gate : When there was heard a sound, so loud it shook

The

towers amid the moonlight, yet more sweet

Than any voice but thine, sweetest of all;

noons,

When work is none in the bright silent air?

Asia. I love thee, gentlest being, and henceforth

Can cherish thee unenvied speak, I pray:

Thy simple talk once solaced, now delights.

Spirit of the Earth. Mother, I am grown wiser, though a child Cannot be wise like thee, within this 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

A long, long sound, as it would never end:

And all the inhabitants leapt suddenly Out of their rest, and gathered in the streets,

Looking in wonder up to Heaven, while

soon

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

ever

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 all

smiles,

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

ance,

surprise

« PredošláPokračovať »