Prometheus Unbound


Still fettered, still unconquered, still in pain,
Bold in his hope and steadfast in his right,
The Friend of Man on the Caucasian height
Saw one vast flash to northward blast the plain.
As Hermes, swooping down, struck off the chain
And raised him, smiling, in that dazzling light,
“Does the old tyrant, then, repent his spite,”
He asked, “or has Zeus ceased at last to reign?”

“His wisdom is not mocked,” the god replied,
“Nor alters nor repeals the great decree.
These are his words: ‘Go, set the Titan free;
And let his torment be to wander wide
The ashes of mankind from sea to sea,
Judging that theft of fire from which they died.’ ”

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