"Prometheus"
by George Gordon Lord Byron (1788-1824)


		I

1   Titan! to whose immortal eyes 
2      The sufferings of mortality, 
3      Seen in their sad reality, 
4   Were not as things that gods despise; 
5   What was thy pity's recompense? 
6   A silent suffering, and intense; 
7   The rock, the vulture, and the chain, 
8   All that the proud can feel of pain, 
9   The agony they do not show, 
10   The suffocating sense of woe, 
11      Which speaks but in its loneliness, 
12   And then is jealous lest the sky 
13   Should have a listener, nor will sigh 
14      Until its voice is echoless. 


		II

15   Titan! to thee the strife was given 
16      Between the suffering and the will, 
17      Which torture where they cannot kill; 
18   And the inexorable Heaven, 
19   And the deaf tyranny of Fate, 
20   The ruling principle of Hate, 
21   Which for its pleasure doth create 
22   The things it may annihilate, 
23   Refused thee even the boon to die: 
24   The wretched gift Eternity 
25   Was thine---and thou hast borne it well. 
26   All that the Thunderer wrung from thee 
27   Was but the menace which flung back 
28   On him the torments of thy rack; 
29   The fate thou didst so well foresee, 
30   But would not to appease him tell; 
31   And in thy Silence was his Sentence, 
32   And in his Soul a vain repentance, 
33   And evil dread so ill dissembled, 
34   That in his hand the lightnings trembled. 


		III

35   Thy Godlike crime was to be kind, 
36      To render with thy precepts less 
37      The sum of human wretchedness, 
38   And strengthen Man with his own mind; 
39   But baffled as thou wert from high, 
40   Still in thy patient energy, 
41   In the endurance, and repulse 
42      Of thine impenetrable Spirit, 
43   Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse, 
44      A mighty lesson we inherit: 
45   Thou art a symbol and a sign 
46      To Mortals of their fate and force; 
47   Like thee, Man is in part divine, 
48      A troubled stream from a pure source; 
49   And Man in portions can foresee 
50   His own funereal destiny; 
51   His wretchedness, and his resistance, 
52   And his sad unallied existence: 
53   To which his Spirit may oppose 
54   Itself---an equal to all woes--- 
55      And a firm will, and a deep sense, 
56   Which even in torture can descry 
57      Its own concentered recompense, 
58   Triumphant where it dares defy, 
59   And making Death a Victory. 
				Diodati, July , 1816.