PROMETHEUS BOUND by Aeschylus, Part 03
Put thou all fear away!
In kindness cometh this array
On wings of speed to mountain lone,
Our sire's consent not lightly won.
But a fresh breeze our convoy brought,
For loud the din of iron raught
Even to our sea-cave's cold recess,
And scared away the meek-eyed bashfulness.
I tarried not to tic my sandal shoe
But haste, post haste, through air my winged chariot flew.
Ah me! Ah me!
That many-childed Tethys brought to birth,
Fathered of Ocean old
Whose sleepless stream is rolled
Round the vast shores of earth
Look on me! Look upon these chains
Wherein I hang fast held
On rocks high-pinnacled,
My dungeon and my tower of dole,
Where o'er the abyss my soul,
Sad warder, her unwearied watch sustains!
Prometheus, I am gazing on thee now!
With the cold breath of fear upon my brow,
Not without mist of dimming tears,
While to my sight thy giant stature rears
Its bulk forpined upon these savage rocks
In shameful bonds the linked adamant locks.
For now new steersmen take the helm
Olympian; now with little thought
Of right, on strange, new laws Zeus stablisheth his realm,
Bringing the mighty ones of old to naught.
Oh that he had conveyed me
'Neath earth, 'neath hell that swalloweth up the dead;
In Tartarus, illimitably vast
With adamantine fetters bound me fast-
There his fierce anger on me visited,
Where never mocking laughter could upbraid me
Of God or aught beside!
But now a wretch enskied,
A far-seen vane,
All they that hate me triumph in my pain.
Who of the Gods is there so pitiless
That he can triumph in thy sore distress?
Who doth not inly groan
With every pang of thine save Zeus alone?
But he is ever wroth, not to be bent
From his resolved intent
The sons of heaven to subjugate;
Nor shall he cease until his heart be satiate,
Or one a way devise
To hurl him from the throne where he doth monarchize.
Yea, of a surety-though he do me wrong,
Loading my limbs with fetters strong-
Of heaven's high parliament
Shall need me yet to show
What new conspiracy with privy blow
Attempts his sceptre and his kingly seat.
Neither shall words with all persuasion sweet,
Not though his tongue drop honey, cheat
Nor charm my knowledge from me; nor dures
Of menace dire, fear of more grievous pains,
Unseal my lips, till he have loosed these chains,
And granted for these injuries redress.
High is the heart of thee,
Thy will no whit by bitter woes unstrung,
And all too free
The licence of thy bold, unshackled tongue.
But fear hath roused my soul with piercing cry!
And for thy fate my heart misgives me! I
Tremble to know when through the breakers' roar
Thy keel shall touch again the friendly shore;
For not by prayer to Zeus is access won;
An unpersuadable heart hath Cronos' son.
I know the heart of Zeus is hard, that he hath tied
Justice to his side;
But he shall be full gentle thus assuaged;
And, the implacable wrath wherewith he raged
Smoothed quite away, nor he nor I
Be loth to seal a bond of peace and amity.
All that thou hast to tell I pray unfold,
That we may hear at large upon what count
Zeus took thee and with bitter wrong affronts:
Instruct us, if the telling hurt thee not.
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