Excerpts from Prometheus Bound

To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;

To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;

To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;

To love, and bear, to hope till Hope creates

From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;

Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;

This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be

Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;

This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.


There is a cave,

All overgrown with trailing, odorous plants,

Which curtain out the day with leaves and flowers,

And paved with veined emerald, and a fountain

Leaps in the midst with an awakening sound.

From its curved roof the mountain’s frozen tears

Like snow, or silver, or long diamond spires.

hang downward, raining forth a doubtful light.


From the temples high

Of Man’s ear and eye,

Roofed over Sculpture and Poesy,

From the murmurings

Of the unsealed springs,

where Science bedews his daedal wings.


Round which death laughed, sepulchered emblems

Of dead destruction, ruin within ruin!

The wrecks beside of many a city vast,

Whose population which the earth grew over

Was mortal, but not human; see, they lie,

Their monstrous works, and uncouth skeletons,

Their statues, homes and fanes; prodigious shapes

Huddled in grey annihilation, split.

Jammed in the hard, black deep…


And from the other opening in the wood

Rushes, with loud and whirled harmony,

a sphere, which is as many thousand spheres,

Solid as crystal, yet through all its mass

Flow, as through empty space, music and light.