Page:Prometheus Unbound - Shelley.djvu/41

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FIRST FURY
                                     Oh, mercy! mercy!
      We die with our desire! drive us not back!

MERCURY
      Crouch then in silence.
                               Awful Sufferer!
      To thee unwilling, most unwillingly
      I come, by the great Father's will driven down,
      To execute a doom of new revenge.
      Alas! I pity thee, and hate myself
      That I can do no more; aye from thy sight
      Returning, for a season, Heaven seems Hell,
      So thy worn form pursues me night and day,
      Smiling reproach. Wise art thou, firm and good,
      But vainly wouldst stand forth alone in strife
      Against the Omnipotent; as yon clear lamps,
      That measure and divide the weary years
      From which there is no refuge, long have taught
      And long must teach. Even now thy Torturer arms
      With the strange might of unimagined pains
      The powers who scheme slow agonies in Hell,
      And my commission is to lead them here,
      Or what more subtle, foul, or savage fiends
      People the abyss, and leave them to their task.
      Be it not so! there is a secret known
      To thee, and to none else of living things,