Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PROMETHEUS BOUND: PROMETHEUS, by AESCHYLUS



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PROMETHEUS BOUND: PROMETHEUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O divine air! Breezes on swift bird-wings
Last Line: Hung here in chains, nailed 'neath the open sky.


ODIVINE air! Breezes on swift bird-wings,
Ye river fountains, and of ocean-waves
The multitudinous laughter! Mother earth!
And thou all-seeing circle of the sun,
Behold what I, a God, from Gods endure!
Look down upon my shame,
The cruel wrong that racks my frame,
The grinding anguish that shall waste my strength,
Till time's ten thousand years have measured out their length!

He hath devised these chains,
The new throned potentate who reigns,
Chief of the chieftains of the Blest. Ah me!
The woe which is and that which yet shall be
I wail; and question make of these wide skies
When shall the star of my deliverance rise.

And yet -- and yet -- exactly I foresee
All that shall come to pass; no sharp surprise
Of pain shall overtake me; what's determined
Bear, as I can, I must, knowing the might
Of strong Necessity is unconquerable.
But touching my fate silence and speech alike
Are unsupportable. For boons bestowed
On mortal men I am straitened in these bonds.
I sought the fount of fire in hollow reed
Hid privily, a measureless resource
For man, and mighty teacher of all arts.
This is the crime that I must expiate
Hung here in chains, nailed 'neath the open sky.





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