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As thunder mingled with clear echoes: then
Return, and thou shalt dwell beside our cave,
And thou, O Mother Earth!
The Earth.

I hear, I feel ;
Thy lips are on me, and thy touch runs down
Even to the adamantine central gloom
Along these marble nerves. 'Tis life, 'tis joy,
And, thro’my withered, old, and icy frame,
The warmth of an immortal youth shoots down
Circling Henceforth the many children fair
Folded in my sustaining arms: all plants,
And creeping forms, and insects rainbow-winged,
And birds, and beasts, and fish, and human shapes,
Which drew disease and pain from my wan bosom,
Draining the poison of despair; shall take
And interchange sweet nutriment. To me
Shall they become like sister-antelopes
By one fair dam, snow-white and swift as wind
Nursed among lilies near a brimming stream.
The dew-mists of my sunless sleep shall float
Under the stars like balm: night-folded flowers
Shall suck unwitting hues in their repose:
Apd men and beasts in happy dreams shall gather
Strength for the coming day, and all its joy ;
And death shall be the last embrace of her
Who takes the life she gave, even as a mother.
Folding her child, says, “ Leave me not again,

Asia. O mother! wherefore speak the name of death? Cease they to love, and move, and breathe, and speak, Who die?

The Earth. It would avail not to reply
Thou art immortal, and this tongue is known
But to the upcommunicating dead,
Death is the veil which those who live call life:
They sleep, and it is lifted : and meanwhile
In mild variety the seasons mild,
With rainbow-skirted showers, and odorous winds,
and long blue meteors cleansing the dull night,
And the life-kindling shafts of the keen sun's
All-piercing bow, and the dew-mingled rain
of the calm moonbeams, a soft influence mild,

Shall clothe the forests and the fields, aye, even
The crag-built deserts of the barren deep,
With ever-living leaves, and fruits, and flowers.--
And thou! There is a cavern where my spirit
Was panted forth in anguish whilst thy pain
Made my heart mad, and those who did inhale it
Became mad too, and built a temple there,
And spoke, and were oracular, and lured
The erring nations round to mutual war,
And faithless faith, such as Jove kept with thee;
Which breath now rises, as amongst tall weeds
A violet's exhalation, and it fills
With a serener light and crimson air,
Intense yet soft, the rocks and woods around;
It feeds the quick growth of the serpent vine,
And the dark-linked ivy tangling wild,
And budding, blown, or odour-faded blooms
Which star the winds with points of coloured light,
As the rain through them, and bright golden globes
Offruit, suspended in their own green heaven,
And thro' their veined leaves and amber stems
The flowers whose purple and translucid bowls
Stand ever mantling with aërial dew,
The drink of spirits: and it circles round,
Like the soft waving wings of noonday dreams,
Inspiring calm and happy thoughts, like mine,
Now thou art thus restored. This cave is thine.
Arise! Appear!

[A Spirit rises in the likeness of a winged child

This is my torch-bearer,
Who let his lamp out in old time with gazing
On eyes from which he kindled it anew
With love, which is as fire, sweet daughter mine,
For such is that within thine own. Run, wayward
And guide this company beyond the peak
Of Bacchic Nysa, Manad-haunted mountain,
And beyond Indus and its tribute rivers,
Trampling the torrent streams and glassy lakes
With feet unwet, unwearied, undelaying,
And up the green ravine, across the vale,
Beside the windless and crystalline pool,

Y

Where ever lies, on unerasing waves,
The image of a temple, built above,
Dis tinct with column, arch, and architrave,
And palm. like capital, and over-wrought
and populous most with living imagery,
Pra xitelean shapes, whose marble smiles
Fill the hushed air with everlasting love.
it is deserted now, but once it bore
Thy name, Prometheus. There the emulous youths
Bu re to thy honour thro' the divine gloom

e lamp which was thine emblem: even as those
Who bear the untransmitted torch of nope
Into the grave, across the night of life,
As thou hast borne it most triumphantly
To this far gaol of Time. Depart, farewell.
Beside that temple is the destined cave.

00

SCENE IV.

forest. In the back ground a Cave. PROMETHEUS, ASIA, PANTHEA, IONE, and the SPIRIT OF THE EARTH.

Ione. Sister, it is not earthly: how it glides
Under the leaves ! how on its head there burns
A light, like a green star, whose emerald beams
Are twined with its fair hair! how, as it moves,
The splendor drops in flakes upon the grass !
Kaowest thou it?

Pan. It is the delicate spirit
That guides the earth thro' heaven. From afar
The populous constellations call that light
The loveliest of the planets; and sometimes
It floats along the spray of the salt sea,
Or makes its chariot of a foggy cloud,
Or walks thro' fields or cities while men sleep,
Or o'er the mountain tops, or down the rivers,

Or thro' the green waste wilderness, as now,
Wondering at all it sees. Before Jove reigned
It loved our sister Asia, and it came
Each leisure hour to drink the liquid light
Out of her eyes, for which it said it thirsted
As one bit by a dipsas, and with her
It made its childish confidence, and told her
Allit had known or seen, for it saw much,
Yet idly reasoned what it saw; and called her,
From whence it sprung it knew not, nor do I,
Mother, dear mother,
The Spirit of the Earth, (running to Asia.)

Mother, dearest mother,
May I then talk with thee as I was wont ?
May I then hide my eyes in thy soft arms,
After thy looks have made them tired of joy;
May I then play beside thee the long noons,
When work is none in the bright silent air ?

Asia. I love thee, gentlest being, and henceforth
Can cherish thee unenvied. Speak, I pray:
Thy simple talk once solaced, now delights.
Spirit of the Earth. Mother, I am grown wiser, though

a child Cannot be wise like thee, within this day, And happier too; happier and wiser both. Thou knowest that toads, and snakes, and loathly worms And venomous and malicious beasts, and boughs That bore ill berries in the woods, were ever A hindrance to my walks o'er the green world; And that, among the haunts of humankind, Hard-featured men, or with proud angry looks, Or cold staid gait, or false and hollow smiles, Or the dull sneer of self-loved ignorance, Or such other foul masks, with which ill thoughts Hide that fair being whom we spirits call man ; And women too, ugliest of all things evil, (Tho' fair, even in a world where thou art fair, When good and kind, free and sincere, like theo,) When false or frowning made me sick at heart To pass them, tho' they slept, and I unseen, Well, my path lately lay thro' a great city

Into the woody hills surrounding it:
A sentinel was sleeping at the gate :
When there was heard a sound, so loud, it shook
The towers amid the moonlight, yet more sweet
Than any voice but thine, sweetest of all,
A long, long sound, as it would never end:
And all the inhabitants leapt suddenly
Out of their rest, and gathered in the streets,
Looking in wonder up to Heaven, while yet
The music pealed along. I hid myself
Within a fountain in the public square,
Where I lay like the reflex of the moon
Seen in a wave under green leaves, and soon
Those ugly human shapes and visages,
of which I spoke as having wrought me pain,
Pass'd floating through the air, and fading still
Into the winds that scattered them; and those
From whom they pass'd seemed mild and lovely forms
After some foul disguise had fallen, and all
Were somewhat changed; and, after brief surprise
And greetings of delighted wonder, all
Vent to their sleep again: and when the dawn
vame, would'st thou think that toads, and snakes, and efts,
Could e'er be beautiful ? yet so they were,
And that with little change of shape or hue:
All things had put their evil nature off.-
I cannot tell my joy, when, o'er a lake
Upon a drooping bough with night-shade twined,
I saw two azure halcyons clinging downward
And thinning one bright bunch of amber berries,
With quick long beaks, and in the deep there lay
Those lovely forms imaged as in a sky:
So, with my thoughts full of these happy changes,
We meet again, the happiest change of all.
Asia. And never will we part, till thy chaste sister,
Who guides the frozen and inconstant moon,
Will look on thy more warm and equal light
Till her neart thaw like flakes of April snow,
And love thee-
Spirit of the Earth. What! as Asia loves Prometheus ?
Asia, Peace, wanton! thou art yet not old enough.

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