I see, Prometheus; but to my eyes a
Mist has come surcharged
With tears, looking upon thy body
Shrunk to the rocks
By these mischiefs of adamantine
Indeed new helmsmen rule Olympus;
And with new laws Zeus strengthens
himself, annulling the old,
And the before great now makes
Would that under earth, and below
Receptacle of dead, to impassible
Tartarus, he had sent me, to bonds
Cruelly conducting, that neither god,
Nor any other had rejoiced at this.
But now the sport of winds, unhappy
A source of pleasure to my foes I suffer.
Who so hard-hearted
Of the gods, to whom these things are
Who does not sympathize with thy
Misfortunes, excepting Zeus? for he in
Fixing his stubborn mind,
Afflicts the heavenly race;
Nor will he cease, until his heart is
Or with some palm some one may take
the power hard to be taken.
Surely yet, though in strong
Fetters I am now maltreated,
The ruler of the blessed will have need
To show the new conspiracy, by which
He's robbed of sceptre and of honors,
And not at all me with persuasion's
Charms will he appease, nor ever
Shrinking from his firm threats, will I
Declare this, till from cruel
Bonds he may release, and to do justice
For this outrage be willing.
You are bold; and to bitter
Woes do nothing yield,
But too freely speak.
But my mind piercing fear disturbs;
For I'm concerned about thy fortunes,
Where at length arriving you may see
An end of these afflictions. For
Inaccessible, and a heart hard to be
dissuaded has the son of Kronos.
I know, that Zeus is stern and having
Justice to himself. But after all
He will one day be, when thus he's
And his stubborn wrath allaying,
Into agreement with me and friendliness
Earnest to me earnest he at length will
The whole account disclose and tell us
In what crime taking you Zeus
Thus disgracefully and bitterly insults;
Inform us, if you are nowise hurt by
Painful indeed it is to me to tell these
And a pain to be silent, and every way
When first the divinities began their
And discord 'mong themselves arose,
Some wishing to cast out Kronos from
That Zeus might reign, forsooth, others
Striving, that Zeus might never rule the
Then I the best advising, to persuade
The Titans, sons of Uranus and
Unable was; but crafty stratagems
Despising with rude minds,
They thought without trouble to rule
But to me my mother not once only,
And Gtea, of many names one form,
How the future should be accomplished
That not by power, nor by strength
Would it be necessary, but by craft the
victors should prevail.
Such I in words expounding,
They deigned not to regard at all.
The best course therefore of those
Appeared to be, taking my mother to
Of my own accord to side with Zeus
glad to receive me;
And by my counsels Tartarus'
Depth conceals the ancient Kronos,
With his allies. In such things by me
The tyrant of the gods having been
With base rewards like these repays
For there is somehow in kingship
This disease, not to trust its friends.
What then you ask, for what cause
He afflicts me, this will I now explain.
As soon as on his father's throne
He sat, he straightway to the gods
Some to one and to another some, and
The government; but of unhappy
Had none; but blotting out the race
Entire, wished to create another new.
And these things none opposed but I,
But I adventured; I rescued mortals
From going destroyed to Hades.
Therefore indeed with such afflictions
am I bent,
To suffer grievous, and piteous to
And holding mortals up to pity, myself
Thought worthy to obtain it; but
Am I thus corrected, a spectacle
inglorious to Zeus.
Of iron heart and made of stone,
Whoe'er, Prometheus, with thy
Does not grieve; for I should not have
wished to see
These things, and having seen them I
grieved at heart.
Indeed to friends I'm piteous to behold.
Did you in no respect go beyond this?
True, mortals I made cease foreseeing
Having found what remedy for this ail?
Blind hopes in them I made to dwell.
A great advantage this you gave to men
Beside these, too, I bestowed on them
And have mortals flamy fire?
From which indeed they will learn
Upon such charges then does Zeus
Maltreat you, and nowhere relax from
Is there no term of suffering lying
Nay, none at all, but when to him it
may seem good.
And how will it seem good? What hope?
See you not that
You have erred? But how you've erred,
for me to tell
Not pleasant, and to you a pain. But
Let us omit, and seek you some release
Easy, whoever out of trouble holds his
Foot, to admonish and remind those
Ill. But all these things I knew,
Willing, willing I erred, I'll not deny;
Mortals assisting I myself found
Not indeed with penalties like these
That I should pine on lofty rocks,
Gaining this drear unneighbored hill.
But bewail not my present woes,
But alighting, the fortunes creeping on
Hear ye, that ye may learn all to the
Obey me, obey, sympathize
With him now suffering. Thus indeed
Wandering round, sits now by one, then
Not to unwilling ears do you urge
And now with light foot the swift-
Seat leaving, and the pure ether,
Path of birds, to this peaked
Ground I come; for thy misfortunes
I wish fully to hear.
PROMETHEUS, CHORUS, and OCEANUS.
I come to the end of a long way
Travelling to thee, Prometheus,
By my will without bits directing
This wing-swift bird;
For at thy fortunes know I grieve.
And, I think, affinity thus
Impels me, but apart from birth,
There's not to whom a higher rank
I would assign than thee.
And you will know these things as true
and not in vain
To flatter with the tongue is in me.
Show how it is necessary to assist you;
For never will you say, than Ocean
There's a firmer friend to thee.
Alas! what now? And you then of my
Come spectator? How didst thou dare,
The stream which bears thy name, and
Caves self-built, to the iron-mother
Earth to go? To behold my fate
Hast come, and to compassionate my
Behold a spectacle, this, the friend
Having with him stablished his
With what afflictions by himself I'm
I see, Prometheus, and would admonish
Thee the best, although of varied craft.
Know thyself, and fit thy manners
New; for new also the king among the
But if thus rude and whetted words
Thou wilt hurl out, quickly may Zeus,
Far above, hear thee, so that thy
Of troubles child's play will seem to be.
But, O wretched one, dismiss the
indignation which thou hast,
And seek deliverance from these woes.
Like an old man, perhaps, I seem to
thee to say these things;
Such, however, are the wages
Of the too lofty speaking tongue,
But thou art not yet humble, nor cost
yield to ills,
And beside the present wish to receive
But thou wouldst not, with my counsel,
Against the pricks extend your limbs,
A stern monarch, irresponsible reigns.
And now I go, and will endeavor,
If I can, to release thee from these
But be thou quiet, nor too rudely speak.
Know'st thou not well, with thy superior
On a vain tongue punishment is
I congratulate thee that thou art
Having shared and dared all with me,
And now leave off, and let it not
For altogether thou wilt not persuade
him, for he's not easily persuaded,
But take heed yourself lest you be
injured by the way.
Far better thou art to advise those near
Than thyself; by deed and not by word
But me hastening by no means mayest
For I boast, I boast, this favor will Zeus
Grant me, from these sufferings to
So far I praise thee, and will never
For zeal you nothing lack. But
Strive not; for in vain, nought helping
Me, thou'lt strive, if aught to strive
But be thou quiet, holding thyself aloof,
For I would not, though I'm unfortunate.
that on this account
Evils should come to many.
Surely not, for me too the fortunes of
Atlas grieve, who towards the evening-
Stands, the pillar of heaven and earth
Upon his shoulders bearing, a load not
easy to be borne.
And the earth-born inhabitant of the
Caves, seeing, I pitied, the savage
With a hundred heads, by force
Typhon impetuous, who stood 'gainst
all the gods,
With frightful jaws hissing out
And from his eyes flashed a gorgonian
Utterly to destroy by force the
sovereignty of Zeus;
But there came to him Zeus' sleepless
Descending thunder, breathing flame,
Which struck him out from lofty
Boastings. For struck to his very heart,
His strength was scorched and
And now a useless and extended
Lies he near a narrow passage of the
Pressed down under the roots of '7Etna.
And on the topmost summit seated,
Hammers the ignited mass, whence wil1
burst out at length
Rivers of fire, devouring with wild jaws
Fair-fruited Sicily's smooth fields;
Such rage will Typhon make boil over
With hot discharges of insatiable fire-
Though by the bolt of Zeus burnt to a
Thou art not inexperienced, nor cost
My counsel; secure thyself as thou
And I against the present fortune will
Until the thought of Zeus may cease
Know'st thou not this, Prometheus, that
Words are healers of distempered
If any seasonably soothe the heart,
And swelling passion check not rudely.
In the consulting and the daring
What harm seest thou existing?
Trouble superfluous, and light-minded
Be this my ail then, since it is
Most profitable being wise not to
PR. This will seem to be my error.
Plainly homeward thy words remand
Aye, let not grief for me into hostility
To the new occupant of the all-
Beware lest ever his heart be angered.
Thy fate, Prometheus, is my teacher.
Go thou, depart, preserve the present
To me rushing this word you utter.
For the smooth path of the air sweeps
with his wings
The four-legged bird; and gladly would
In the stalls at home bend a knee.
PROMETHEUS and CHORUS.
I mourn for thee thy ruinous
And tear-distilling from my tender
Eyes a stream has wet
My cheeks with flowing springs;
For these, unenvied, Zeus
By his own laws enforcing,
Haughty above the gods
That were displays his sceptre.
And every region now
With groans resounds,
Mourning the illustrious
And ancient honor
Of thee and of thy kindred;
As many mortals as the habitable seat
Of sacred Asia pasture,
With thy lamentable
Woes have sympathy.
And of the Colchian land, virgin
Inhabitants, in fight undaunted,
And Scythia's multitude, who the last
Place of earth, about
Maeotis lake possess,
And Arabia's martial flower,
And who the high-hung citadels
Of Caucasus inhabit near,
A hostile army, raging
With sharp-pronged spears.
Only one other god before, in sufferings
Subdued by injuries
Of adamantine bonds, I've seen,
Atlas, who always with superior
The huge and heavenly globe
On his back bears;
And with a roar the sea waves
Dashing, groans the deep,
And the dark depth of Hades murmurs
The earth, and fountains of pure-
Heave a pitying sigh.
Think not indeed through weakness or
That I am silent; for with the
consciousness I gnaw my heart,
Seeing myself thus basely used.
And yet to these new gods their shares
Who else than I wholly distributed?
But of these things I am silent; for I
should tell you
What you know; the sufferings of
You've heard, how I made intelligent
And possessed of sense them ignorant
But I will speak, not bearing any
grudge to men,
But showing in what I gave the good
At first, indeed, seeing they saw in vain,
And hearing heard not; but like the
Of dreams, for that long time, rashly
All, nor brick-woven dwellings
Knew they, placed in the sun, nor
But digging down they dwelt, like puny
Ants, in sunless nooks of caves.
And there was nought to them, neither
of winter sign,
Nor of flower-giving spring, nor fruitful
Summer, that was sure; but without
Did they all, till I taught them the
Of the stars, and goings down, hard to
And numbers, chief of inventions,
I found out for them, and the
assemblages of letters,
And memory, Muse-mother, doer of
And first I joined in pairs wild animals
Obedient to the yoke; and that they
Alternate workers with the bodies of
In the severest toils, harnessed the
To the car, the ornament of over-
And none else than I invented the
Flaxen-winged vehicles of sailors.
Such inventions I wretched having
For men, myself have not the ingenuity
From the now present ill I may escape.
You suflfer unseemly ill, deranged in
You err; and as some bad physician,
Sick you are dejected, and cannot find
By what remedies you may be healed.