Page:Prometheus Unbound - Shelley.djvu/88

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      The birthright of their being, knowledge, power,
      The skill which wields the elements, the thought
      Which pierces this dim universe like light,
      Self-empire, and the majesty of love;
      For thirst of which they fainted. Then Prometheus
      Gave wisdom, which is strength, to Jupiter,
      And with this law alone, 'Let man be free,'
      Clothed him with the dominion of wide Heaven.
      To know nor faith, nor love, nor law, to be
      Omnipotent but friendless, is to reign;
      And Jove now reigned; for on the race of man
      First famine, and then toil, and then disease,
      Strife, wounds, and ghastly death unseen before,
      Fell; and the unseasonable seasons drove,
      With alternating shafts of frost and fire,
      Their shelterless, pale tribes to mountain caves;
      And in their desert hearts fierce wants he sent,
      And mad disquietudes, and shadows idle
      Of unreal good, which levied mutual war,
      So ruining the lair wherein they raged.
      Prometheus saw, and waked the legioned hopes
      Which sleep within folded Elysian flowers,
      Nepenthe, Moly, Amaranth, fadeless blooms,
      That they might hide with thin and rainbow wings