Prometheus Bound Monologue
|Prometheus Bound Monologue by Aeschylus|
- IO: I know not how I can deny your wish,
- So in clear word all ye desire to know
- That shall ye hear;--Yet am I ashamed to tell
- Wherefore on me, forlorn one, burst the storm
- Heaven-sent and whence this form's disfigurement.
- For evermore would nightly visions haunt
- My virgin chambers, gently urging me
- With soothing words;--"O damsel, highly blest,
- Why longer live in maidenhood when thee
- Wait loftiest nuptials? For by passion's dart
- Inflamed is Zeus for thee and fain would share
- The yoke of Kypris. Spurn not thou, O child,
- The couch of Zeus, but to the grassy mead
- Of Lerna hie thee, to thy father's herds
- And cattle-stalls, that so the eye of Zeus
- From longing may find respite." By such dreams
- From night to night still was I visited,
- Unhappy one; till, taking heart at length,
- My night-born visions to my sire I told.
- Then he to Pytho made a herald sent
- And to Dodona; seeking to be taught
- How best, by deed or word, to please the gods.
- But they returned, announcing oracles
- Of riddling import, vague and hard to spell.
- At length to Inachos came clear response,
- By voice oracular commanding him
- From home and father-land to thrust me forth,
- At large to range, as consecrate to heaven,
- Far as earth's utmost bounds. Should he refuse,
- From Zeus would come the fiery thunderbold,
- And his whole race extirpate utterly.
- Then yielding to such Loxian Oracles,
- He drove me forth, and barred me from his home,
- Against his will and mine; but, forcefully,
- The curb of Zeus constrained him this to do.
- Forthwith my shape and mind distorted were,
- And horned, as ye behold me, goaded on
- By gad-fly, keen of fang, with frenzied bounds
- I to Kerchneias' limpid current rush'd,
- And found of Lerna. Then the earth-born herdsman,
- Hot-tempered Argos, ever dogged my steps,
- Gazing upon me with his myriad eyes.
- But him a sudden and unlooked-for fate
- Did reave of life; but I, brize-tortured, still
- Before the scorge divine am driven on
- From land to land; the past thou hearest; now
- If thou canst tell my future toils, say on,
- Nor, pity-moved, soothe me with lying tales,
- For garbled words, I hold, are basest ills.
Credits: Reprinted from The Dramas of Aeschylus. Trans. Anna Swanwick. London: George Bell and Sons, 1907.