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PROMETHEUS BOUND by Aeschylus, Part 14

PROMETHEUS
What should I fear who have no part nor lot
In doom of dying?
CHORUS
But he might afflict the
With agony more dreadful, pain beyond
These pains.
PROMETHEUS
Why let him if he will
All evils I foreknow.
CHORUS
Ah, they are wise
Who do obeisance, prostrate in the dust,
To the implacable, eternal Will.
PROMETHEUS
Go thou and worship; fold thy hands in prayer,
And be the dog that licks the foot of power!
Nothing care I for Zeus; yea, less than naught!
Let him do what he will, and sway the world
His little hour; he has not long to lord it
Among the Gods.
Oh here here runner comes
The upstart tyrant's lacquey! He'll bring news,
A message, never doubt it, from his master.

Enter Hermes.

Hermes. You, the sophistical rogue, the heart of gall,
The renegade of heaven, to short-lived men
Purveyor of prerogatives and tities,
Fire-thief! Dost hear me? I've a word for thee.
Thou'rt to declare-this is the Father's pleasure
These marriage-feasts of thine, whereof thy tongue
Rattles a-pace, and by the which his greatness
Shall take a fall. And look you rede no riddles,
But tell the truth, in each particular
Exact. I am not to sweat for thee, Prometheus,
Upon a double journey. And thou seest
Zeus by thy dark defiance is not moved.
PROMETHEUS
A very solemn piece of insolence
Spoken like an underling of the Gods! Ye are young!
Ye are young! New come to power And ye suppose
Your towered citadel Calamity
Can never enter! Ah, and have not
Seen from those pinnacles a two-fold fall
Of tyrants? And the third, who his brief "now"
Of lordship arrogates, I shall see yet
By lapse most swift' most ignominious,
Sink to perdition. And dost thou suppose
I crouch and cower in reverence and awe
To Gods of yesterday? I fail of that
So much, the total all of space and time
Bulks in between. Take thyself hence and count
Thy toiling steps back by the way thou camest,
In nothing wiser for thy questionings.
Hermes
This is that former stubbornness of thine
That brought thee hither to foul anchorage.
PROMETHEUS
Mistake me not; I would not, if I might,
Change my misfortunes for thy vassalage.
Hermes
Oh! better be the vassal of this rock
Than born the trusty messenger of Zeus
PROMETHEUS
I answer insolence, as it deserves,
With insolence. How else should it be answered?
Hermes
Surely; and, being in trouble, it is plain
You revel in your plight.
PROMETHEUS
Revel, forsooth!
I would my enemies might hold such revels
And thou amongst the first.
Hermes
Dost thou blame me
For thy misfortunes?
PROMETHEUS
I hate all the Gods,
Because, having received good at my hands,
They have rewarded me with evil.
Proves thee stark mad!
Hermes
This proves thee stark mad!
PROMETHEUS
Mad as you please, if hating
Your enemies is madness
Hermes
Were all well
With thee, thou'dst be insufferable!
PROMETHEUS
Alas!

 

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