See now, if thou wilt not obey my words, What storm, what triple-crested wave of woe Unshunnable shall come upon thee. First, This rocky chasm shall the Father split With earthquake thunder and his burning bolt, And he shall hide thy form, and thou shalt hang Bolt upright, dandled in the rock's rude arms.
Nor till thou hast completed thy long term Shalt thou come back into the light; and then The hound of Zeus, the tawny eagle, Shall violently fall upon thy flesh And rend it as 'twere rags; and every day And all day long shall thine unbidden guest Sit at thy table, feasting on thy liver Till he hath gnawn it black. Look for no term To such an agony till there stand forth Among the Gods one who shall take upon him Thy sufferings and consent to enter hell Far from the light of Sun, yea, the deep pit And mirk of Tartarus, for thee. Be advised;This is not stuffed speech framed to frighten the But woeful truth. For Zeus knows not to lie CHORUSTo our mind The words of Hermes fail not of the mark.
For he enjoins thee to let self-will go And follow after prudent counsels. Him Harken; for error in the wise is shame.
These are stale tidings I foreknew;
Therefore, since suffering is the due A foe must pay his foes, Let curled lightnings clasp and clash And close upon my limbs: loud crash The thunder, and fierce throes Of savage winds convulse calm air:
The embowelled blast earth's roots uptear And toss beyond its bars, The rough surge, till the roaring deep In one devouring deluge sweep The pathway of the stars Finally, let him fling my form Down whirling gulfs, the central storm Of being; let me lie Plunged in the black Tartarean gloom;Yet-yet-his sentence shall not doom This deathless self to die!
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 ICHORUS
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 OCEANUSsink into the abyss.