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Next Cottus : prone he lay, chin uppermost,
As though in pain ; for still upon the flint
He ground severe his skull, with open mouth
And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him
Asia, born of most enormous Caf,
Whó cost her mother Tellus keener pangs,
Though feminine, than any of her sons :
More thought than woe was in her dusky face,
For she was prophesying of her glory;
And in her wide imagination stood
Palm-shaded temples, and high rival fanes,
By Oxus or in Ganges' sacred isles.
Even as Hope upon her anchor leans,
So leant she, not so fair, upon a tusk
Shed from the broadest of her elephants.
Above her, on a crag's uneasy shelve,
Upon his elbow raised, all prostrate else,
Shadow'd Enceladus; once tame and mild
As grazing ox unworried in the meads;
Now tiger-passion’d, lion-thoughted, wroth,
He meditated, plotted, and even now
Was hurling mountains in that second war,
Not long delay'd, that scared the younger Gods
To hide themselves in forms of beast and bird.
Not far hence Atlas; and beside him prone
Phorcus, the sire of Gorgons. Neighbour'd close
Oceanus, and Tethys, in whose lap
Sobb’d Clymene among her tangled hair.
In midst of all lay Themis, at the feet
Of Ops the queen all clouded round from sight;
No shape distinguishable, more than when
Thick night confounds the pine-tops with the clouds :
And many else whose names may not be told.
For when the muse's wings are air-ward spread,
Who shall delay her flight? And she must chant
Of Saturn, and his guide, who now had climb'd
With damp and slippery footing from a depth
More horrid still. Above a sombre cliff
Their heads appear’d, and up their stature grew
Till on the level height their steps found ease:
Then Thea spread abroad her trembling arms
Upon the precincts of this nest of pain,
And sidelong fix'd her eye on Saturn's face :
There saw she direst strife; the supreme God
At war with all the frailty of grief,
Of rage, of fear, anxiety, revenge,
Remorse, spleen, hope, but most of all despair.
Against these plagues he strove in vain; for Fate
Had pour'd a mortal oil upon his head,
A disanointing poison: so that Thea,
Affrighted, kept her still, and let him pass
First onwards in, among the fallen tribe.
As with us mortal men, the laden heart Is persecuted more, and fever'd more, When it is nighing to the mournful house Where other hearts are sick of the same bruise ; So Saturn, as he walk'd into the midst, Felt faint, and would have sunk among the rest, But that he met Enceladus's eye, Whose mightiness, and awe of him, Came like an inspiration ; and he shouted, “ Titans, behold your God !” at which some groan'd; Some started on their feet; some also shouted; Some wept, some wail'd—all bow'd with reverence; And Ops, uplifting her black folded veil, Show'd her pale cheeks, and all her forehead wan, Her eyebrows thin and jet, and hollow eyes. There is a roaring in the bleak-grown pines When Winter lifts his voice ; there is a noise Among immortals when a God gives sign, With hushing finger, how he means to load His tongue with the full weight of utterless thought, With thunder, and with music, and with pomp : Such noise is like the roar of bleak-grown pines ; Which, when it coases in this mountain'd world, No other sound succeeds; but ceasing here, Among these fallen, Saturn's voice therefrom
Grew up like organ, that begins anew
Its strain, when other harmonies, stopt short,
Leave the dinn'd air vibrating silverly.
Thus grew it up_“ Not in my own sad breast,
Which is its own great judge and searcher out,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus :
Not in the legends of the first of days,
Studied from that old spirit-leaved book
Which starry Uranus with finger bright
Saved from the shores of darkness, when the waves
Low-ebb’d still hid it up in shallow gloom ;
And the which book ye know I ever kept
For my firm-based footstool :- Ah, infirm!
Not there, nor in sign, symbol, or portent
Of element, earth, water, air, and fire,–
At war, at peace, or inter-quarrelling
One against one, or two, or three, or all,
Each several one against the other three,
As fire with air loud warring when rain-floods
Drown both, and press them both against earth's face,
Where, finding sulphur, a quadruple wrath
Unhinges the poor world ;—not in that strife,
Wherefrom I take strange lore, and read it deep,
Can I find reason why ye should be thus :
No, nowhere can unriddle, though I search,
And pore on Nature's universal scroll
Even to swooning, why ye, Divinities,
The first-born of all shaped and palpable Gods,
Should cower beneath what, in comparison,
Is untremendous might. Yet ye are here,
O’erwhelm’d, and spurn'd, and batter'd, ye are here !
O Titans, shall I say ' Arise !'—Ye groan :
Shall I say · Crouch !'-Ye groan. What can I then ?
O Heaven wide! O unseen parent dear !
What can I? Tell me, all ye brethren Gods,
How we can war, how engine our great wrath !
O speak your counsel now, for Saturn's ear
Is all a-hunger'd. Thou, Oceanus,
Ponderest high and deep; and in thy face
I see, astonied, that severe content
Which comes of thought and musing: give us help!”
So ended Saturn; and the God of the Sea, Sophist and sage, from no Athenian grove, But cogitation in his watery shades, Arose, with locks not oozy, and began, In murmurs, which his first endeavouring tongue Caught infant-like from the far-foamed sands. “Oye, whom wrath consumes ! who, passion-stung, Writhe at defeat, and nurse your agonies ! Shut up your senses, stifle up your ears, My voice is not a bellows unto ire. Yet listen, ye who will, whilst I bring proof How ye, perforce, must be content to stoop : And in the proof much comfort will I give, If ye will take that comfort in its truth. We fall by course of Nature's law, not force Of thunder, or of Jove. Great Saturn, thou Hast sifted well the atom-universe ; But for this reason, that thou art the King, And only blind from sheer supremacy, One avenue was shaded from thine eyes, Through which I wander'd to eternal truth. And first, as thou wast not the first of powers, So art thou not the last ; it cannot be. Thou art not the beginning nor the end. From chaos and parental darkness came Light, the first fruits of that intestine broil, That sullen ferment, which for wondrous ends Was ripening in itself. The ripe hour came, And with it light, and light engendering Upon its own producer, forthwith touch'd The whole enormous matter into life. Upon that very hour, our parentage, The Heavens and the Earth, were manifest : Then thou first-born, and we the giant-race, Found ourselves ruling new and beauteous realms. Now comes the pain of truth, to whom 'tis pain ;
O folly! for to bear all naked truths,
And to envisage circumstance, all calm,
That is the top of sovereignty. Mark well !
As Heaven and Earth are fairer, fairer far
Than Chaos and blank Darkness, though once chiefs ;
And as we show beyond that Heaven and Earth
In form and shape compact and beautiful,
In will, in action free, companionship,
And thousand other signs of purer life ;
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads,
A power more strong in beauty, born of us
And fated to excel us, as we pass
In glory that old Darkness : nor are we
Thereby more conquer'd than by us the rule
Of shapeless Chaos. Say, doth the dull soil
Quarrel with the proud forests it hath fed,
And feedeth still, more comely than itself?
Can it deny the chiefdom of green groves?
Or shall the tree be envious of the dove
Because it cooeth, and hath snowy wings
To wander wherewithal and find its joys ?
We are such forest-trees, and our fair boughs
Have bred forth, pot pale solitary doves,
But eagles golden-feather'd, who do tower
Above us in their beauty, and must reign
In right thereof; for 'tis the eternal law
That first in beauty should be first in might:
Yea, by that law, another race may drive
Our conquerors to mourn as we do now.
ye beheld the young God of the Seas,
My dispossessor? Have ye seen his face?
Have ye beheld his chariot, foam'd along
By noble winged creatures he hath made ?
I saw him on the calmed waters scud,
With such a glow of beauty in his eyes,
That it enforced me to bid sad farewell
To all my empire: farewell sad I took,
And hither came, to see how dolorous fate
Had wrought upon ye; and how I might best