A monologue from the play by Percy Bysshe Shelley
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|NOTE: Prometheus Unbound is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
- PANTHEA: With our sea-sister at his feet I slept.
- The mountain mists, condensing at our voice
- Under the moon, had spread their snowy flakes,
- From the keen ice shielding our linked sleep.
- Then two dreams came. One, I remember not.
- But in the other his pale wound-worn limbs
- Fell from Prometheus, and the azure night
- Grew radiant with the glory of that form
- Which lives unchanged within, and his voice fell
- Like music which makes giddy the dim brain,
- Faint with intoxication of keen joy:
- 'Sister of her whose footsteps pave the world
- With lovelinessmore fair than aught but her,
- Whose shadow thou artlift thine eyes on me.
- I lifted them: the overpowering light
- Of that immortal shape was shadowed o'er
- By love; which, from his soft and flowing limbs,
- And passion-parted lips, and keen, faint eyes,
- Steamed forth like vaporous fire; an atmosphere
- Which wrapped me in its all-dissolving power,
- As the warm ether of the morning sun
- Wraps ere it drinks some cloud of wandering dew.
- I saw not, heard not, moved not, only felt
- His presence flow and mingle through my blood
- Till it became his life, and his grew mine,
- And I was thus absorbed, until it passed,
- And like the vapours when the sun sinks down,
- Gathering again in drops upon the pines,
- And tremulous as they, in the deep night
- My being was condensed; and as the rays
- Of thought were slowly gathered, I could hear
- His voice, whose accents lingered ere they died
- Like footsteps of weak melody: thy name
- Among the many sounds alone I heard
- Of what might be articulate; though still
- I listened through the night when sound was none.
- Ione wakened then, and said to me:
- 'Canst thou divine what troubles me to-night?
- I always knew, what I desired before,
- Nor ever found delight to wish in vain.
- But now I cannot tell thee what I seek;
- I know not; something sweet, since it is sweet
- Even to desire; it is thy sport, false sister;
- Thou hast discovered some enchantment old,
- Whose spells have stolen my spirit as I slept
- And mingled it with thine: for when just now
- We kissed, I felt within thy parted lips
- The sweet air that sustained me, and the warmth
- Of the life-blood, for loss of which I faint,
- Quivered between our intertwining arms.'
- I answered not, for the Eastern star grew pale,
- But fled to thee.