Right after Prometheus is chained
to a cliff on Mount Kaukasus
for stealing fire and giving it to men.
Straining against iron chains to break free
till muscles bulge aching sore, wise fire-thief
howls wordless rage against cruel tyranny,
then slumps weeping and groans in bleak despair.
"I tamed fire and smelted metal from stone,
expressing gusts of wind to whip flames hot,
but now rings of metal bind my soul tight,
and wild elements I tamed now tame me.
I roamed free all my life on mountain slopes
through dark woods, and along lush river shores,
but now I hang chained on high frigid cliff,
body imprisoned while my mind roams far.
I push my soul against boundaries of death,
motivated by desire to teach truth
and elevate men from low mud of fear
to stand tall and gaze at infinite stars,
but now my soul trembles restrained by chains
high above dark world among gleaming stars.
Vast infinite space of lightless death stretches
wide around my frail body small as pebble
of broken cliff lost on seashore of time,
and now I feel as if our world falls forward,
hurling swift down into cold gusting wind
as if giant ball rolls tumbling down slope
of enormous ice mountain formed from stars."
from Fire of Prometheus
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