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O son of Erebus And Night, behold ! we thus Elude your watchful warders on the towers!
From gloomy Tartarus
The Fates have summoned us
A tale to fan the fire
Of her insane desire To know a secret that the Gods would keep.
This passion, in their ire,
To vex mankind with evils manifold,
And nevermore return the Age of U old.
A voice said in my sleep: "Do not delay:
Do not delay; the golden moments fly! The oracle hath forbidden ; yet not thee Doth it forbid, but Epinietheus only!" I am alone. These faces in the mirrors Are but the shadows and phantoms of myself;
They cannot help nor hinder. No one sees me,
Save the all-seeing Gods, who, knowing good
And knowing evil, have created me
She lifts the lid. A dense mist rises from the chest. and fills the room. Pandora falls senseless on the floor. Storm without.
CHORUS OF DREAMS FROM THE GATE
Yes, the moment shall decide!
Fever of the heart and brain,
IN THE GARDEN.
The storm is past, but it hath left behind it
Ruin and desolation. All the walks Are strewn with shattered boughs; the
birds arc silent; The flowers, downtrodden by the wind,
Theswollen rivulet sobswith secret pain; The melancholy reeds whisper together As if some dreadful deed had been committed
They dare not name, and all the air is heavy
With an unspoken sorrow! Premonitions,
Foreshadowings of some terrible disaster Oppress my heart. Ye Gods, avert the omen!
Pandora, coming from the house. O Epimetheus, I no longer dare To lift mine eyes to thine, nor hear thy voice,
Being no longer worthy of thy love.
What hast thou done?
Pandora. Forgive me not, but kill ine.
What hast thou done?
Pandora. I pray for death, not pardon.
What hast thou done?
I dare not speak of it.
Thy pallor and thy silence terrify me!
I have brought wrath and ruin on thy house!
My heart hath braved the oracle that guarded
The fatal secret from us, and my hand Lifted the lid of the mysterious chest!
Then all is lost! I am indeed undone.
I pray for punishment, and not for pardon.
EPIMETHEUS. Mine is the fault, not thine. On me shall fall
The vengeance of the Gods, for I betrayed
Why didst thou return? Eternal absence would have been to me The greatest punishment. To be left alone
And face to face with my own crime, had been
Just retribution. Upon me, ye Gods, Let all your vengeance fall!
On thee and me. I do not love thee less for what is done, And cannot be undone. Thy very weakness
Hath brought thee nearer to me, and
henceforth My love will have a sense of pity in it, Making it less a worship than before.
Pity me not; pity is degradation.
Beautiful Pandora! Thou art a Goddess still!
I am a woman; Ar.d the insurgent demon in my nature,
That made me brave the oracle, revolts At pity and compassion. Let me die; What else remains for me?
Youth, hope, and love: To build a new life on a ruined life, To make the future fairer than the past, And make the past appear a troubled dream.
Even now in passing through the garden walks
Upon the ground I saw a fallen nest Ruined and full of rain; and over me Beheld the uncomplaining birds already Busy in building a new habitation.
PANDORA. Auspicious omen!
May the Eumenides Put out their torches and behold us not, And fling away their whips of scorpions And touch us not.
Me let them punish. Only through punishment of our evil deeds,
Only through suffering, are we reconciled To the immortal Gods and to ourselves.
CHORUS OF THE EUMENIDES.
Never shall sonls like these Escape the Eumenides, The daughters dark of Acheron and Night!
Unquenched our torches glare, Our scourges in the air Send forth prophetic sounds before they smite.
Never by lapse of time
The soul defaced by crime Into its former self returns again;
For every guilty deed
Holds in itself the seed
Never shall be the loss
Then what was lost is won, And the new life begun, Kindled with nobler passions and desires. i.
THE HANGING OF THE CRANE.
The lights are out, and gone are all the guests
That thronging came with merriment and jests
To celebrate the Hanging of the Crane In the new house, — into the night are gone;
But still the fire upon the hearth burns on,
O fortunate, O happy day,
So said the guests in speech and song,
And now I sit and muse on what may be, And in my vision see, or seem to see, Through floating vapors interfused with light. Shapes indeterminate, that gleam and fade,
As shadows passing into deeper shade
For two alone, there in the hall,
They want no guests, to come between
Each other's own best company.
The picture fades ; as at a village fair
So in my fancy this ; and now once more, In part transfigured, through the open door
Appears the selfsame scene.
Seated, I see the two again,
Are these celestial manners? these
As one who walking in a forest sees A lovely landscape through the parted trees,