PROMETHEUS BOUND by Aeschylus, Part 16
These are the workings of a brain
More than a little touched; the vein
Of voluble ecstasy!
Surely he wandereth from the way,
His reason lost, who thus can pray
A mouthing mad man he!
Therefore, O ye who court his fate,
Rash mourners-ere it be too late
And ye indeed are sad
For vengeance spurring hither fast-
Hence! lest the bellowing thunderblast
Like him should strike you mad I
Words which might work persuasion speak
If thou must counsel me; nor seek
Thus, like a stream in spate,
To uproot mine honour. Dost thou dare
Urge me to baseness! I will bear
With him all blows of fate;
For false forsakers I despise;
At treachery my gorge doth rise:
I spew it forth with hate!
Only-with ruin on your track-
Rail not at fortune; but look back
And these my words recall;
Neither blame Zeus that he hath sent
Sorrow no warning word forewent!
Ye labour for your fall
With your own hands I Not by surprise
Nor yet by stealth, but with clear eyes,
Knowing the thing ye do,
Ye walk into the yawning net
That for the feet of is set
And Ruin spreads for you.
The time is past for words; earth quakes
Sensibly: hark! pent thunder rakes
The depths, with bellowing din
Of echoes rolling ever nigher:
Lightnings shake out their locks of fire;
The dust cones dance and spin;
The skipping winds, as if possessed
By faction-north, south, east and west,
Puff at each other; sea
And sky are shook together: Lo
The swing and fury of the blow
Wherewith Zeus smiteth me
Sweepeth apace, and, visibly,
To strike my heart with fear. See, see,
Earth, awful Mother! Air,
That shedd'st from the revolving sky
On all the light they see thee by,
What bitter wrongs I bear!
The scene closes with earthquake and thunder,
in the midst of which PROMETHEUS and the DAUGHTERS OF Oceanus
sink into the abyss.
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