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Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

 

……….Prometheus

Titan! To whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality,
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity’s recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;
The rock, the vulture, and the chain,
All that the proud can feel of pain,
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness,
And then is jealous lest the sky
Should have a listener, nor will sigh
Until its voice is echoless.

Titan! To thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refused thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift eternity
Was thine – and thou hast borne it well.
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee
Was but the menace which flung back
On him the torments of thy rack;
The fate thou didst so well foresee,
But would not to appease him tell;
And in thy Silence was his Sentence,
And in his Soul a vain repentance,
And evil dread so ill dissembled,
That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
 …A troubled stream from a pure source;
And Man in portions can foresee
His own funereal destiny,
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence:
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself – and equal to all woes,
And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry
 …Its own concenter’d recompense,
Triumphant where it dares defy,
And making Death a Victory.

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         The Light Of Stars

The night is come, but not too soon;
   And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
   Drops down behind the sky. 

There is no light in earth or heaven
   But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
   To the red planet Mars. 

Is it the tender star of love?
   The star of love and dreams?
Oh no! from that blue tent above
   A hero’s armor gleams. 

And earnest thoughts within me rise,
    When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,
    The shield of that red star. 

O star of strength! I see thee stand
   And smile upon my pain;
Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,
   And I am strong again. 

Within my breast there is no light
   But the cold light of stars;
I give the first watch of the night
   To the red planet Mars. 

The star of the unconquered will,
   He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
   And calm, and self-possessed. 

And thou, too, whosoe’er thou art,
   That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,
   Be resolute and calm. 

Oh, fear not in a world like this,
    And thou shalt know erelong,
Know how sublime a thing it is
   To suffer and be strong.

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