Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PROMETHEUS, by JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE



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PROMETHEUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Blacken thy heavens, jove
Last Line: As I!
Subject(s): Caucasus (Mountains); Prometheus; Russia; Caucasia (Mountains); Soviet Union; Russians


BLACKEN thy heavens, Jove,
With thunder-clouds,
And exercise thee, like a boy
Who thistles crops,
With smiting oaks and mountain-tops!
Yet must thou leave me standing
My own firm Earth;
Must leave my cottage, which thou didst not build,
And my warm hearth,
Whose cheerful glow
Thou enviest me.

I know naught more pitiful
Under the sun than you, Gods!
Ye nourish scantily,
With altar-taxes
And with cold lip-service,
This your majesty; --
Would perish, were not
Children and beggars
Credulous fools.

When I was a child,
And knew not whence or whither,
I would turn my wildered eye
To the sun, as if up yonder were
An ear to hear to my complaining, --
A heart, like mine,
On the oppressed to feel compassion.

Who helped me,
When I braved the Titans' insolence?
Who rescued me from death,
From slavery?
Hast thou not all thyself accomplished,
Holy-glowing heart?
And, glowing young and good,
Most ignorantly thanked
The slumberer above there?

I honor thee? For what?
Hast thou the miseries lightened
Of the down-trodden?
Hast thou the tears ever banished
From the afflicted?
Have I not to manhood been moulded
By omnipotent Time,
And by Fate everlasting, --
My lords and thine?

Dreamedst thou ever
I should grow weary of living,
And fly to the desert,
Since not all our
Pretty dream-buds ripen?
Here sit I, fashion men
In mine own image, --
A race to be like me,
To weep and to suffer,
To be happy and to enjoy themselves, --
All careless of thee too,
As I!





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