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above her head, towards the desolate crags of Caucasus, the wild eagle soared, shrieking in the sky, and the vulture hovered near, as though waiting close to some dying man, till death should leave him for its
Dark snow-clouds brooded heavily on the mountain, the icy wind crept lazily through the frozen air, and Iô thought that the hour of her death was come. Then, as she raised her head, she saw far off a giant form, which seemed fastened by nails to the naked rock; and a low groan reached her ear as of one in mortal pain, and she heard a voice which said : “Whence comest thou, daughter of Inachos, into this savage wilderness ? Hath the love of Zeus driven thee thus to the icy corners of the earth ?' Then Iô gazed at him in wonder and awe, and said : · How dost thou know my name and my sorrows—and what is thine own wrong? Tell me—if it is given thee to know—what awaits thee and me in the time to come, for sure I am that thou art no mortal man. Thy giant form is as the form of gods or heroes, who come down sometimes to mingle with the sons of men; and great must be the wrath of Zeus, that thou shouldst be thus tormented here.' Then he said : Oh, maiden, thou seest the Titan Prometheus who brought down fire for the children of men, and taught them how to build themselves houses, and till the earth, and how to win for themselves food and clothing. I gave them wise thoughts, and good laws, and prudent counsel, and raised them from the life of beasts to a life that was fit for speaking men.
But the son of Cronos was afraid at my doings, lest with the aid of men I might hurl him from his place, and set up new gods upon his throne. So he forgot all my good deeds in time past-how I had aided him when the earth
born giants sought to destroy his power, and heaped rock on rock, and crag on crag, to smite him on his throne; and he caught me by craft, telling me in smooth words how that he was my friend, and that my honour should not fail in the hands of Olympus. So he took me unawares, and bound me with iron chains, and bade Hephæstos take and fasten me to this mountainside, where the frost and heat scorch and torment me by day and night, and the vulture gnaws my heart with its merciless beak. But my spirit is not wholly cast down, for I know that I have done good to the sons of men, and that they honour the Titan Prometheus who has saved them from cold, and hunger, and sick
And well I know, also, that the reign of Zeus shall one day come to an end, and that another shall sit at length upon his throne, even as now he sits on the throne of his father Cronos. Hither come, also, those who seek to comfort me; and thou seest before thee the daughters of Okeanos, who have but now arrived to talk with me from the green walls of their father. Listen, then, to me, 0 daughter of Inachos, and I will tell thee what shall befall thee in time to come. Hence, from the ice-bound chain of Caucasus, thou shalt roam into the Scythian land, and the regions of the Chalybes. Thence thou shalt come to the dwellingplace of the Amazons, on the banks of the river Thermodon; these shall guide thee on thy way, until at length thou shalt come to a strait, which thou wilt cross, and which shall tell by its name for ever, where the heifer passed from Europe into Asia. But the end of thy wandering is not yet.' Then Iô could no longer repress her grief, and her tears burst forth afresh ; and Prometheus said : O daughter of Inachos, if thou
sorrowest thus at what I have told thee, how wilt thou bear to hear what beyond these things there remains for thee to do?' But Iô said: "Of what use is it, O Titan, to tell me of these woful wanderings? Better were it now to die, and be at rest from all this misery and sorrow.' 'Nay, not so, O maiden of Argos,' said Prometheus : "for if thou livest, the days will come when Zeus shall be cast down from his throne, and the end of his reign shall also be the end of my sufferings. For when thou hast passed by the Thracian Bosphorus into the land of Asia, thou wilt wander on through many regions, until at last thou shalt come to the three-cornered land, where the mighty Nile goes out by its many arms into the sea. There shall be thy resting-place, and there shall thy son be born, from whom, in times yet far away, shall spring the great Hercules, who shall break my chain, and set me free from my long torments. And if in this thou doubtest my words, I can tell thee of every land through which thou hast passed on thy journey hither, but it is enough if I tell thee how the speaking oaks of Dodona hailed thee as one day to be the wife of Zeus, and the mother of the mighty. Hasten, then, on thy way, 0 daughter of Inachos. Long years of pain and sorrow await thee still, but my grief shall endure for many generations. It avails not now to weep, but this comfort thou hast, that thy lot is happier than mine, and for both of us remains the surety that the right shall at last conquer, and the power of Zeus shall be brought low, even as the power of Cronos, whom he hurled from his ancient throne. Depart hence quickly, for I see Hermes the messenger drawing nigh, and perchance he comes with fresh torments for thee and me.'
So Iô went on her weary road, and Hermes drew nigh to Prometheus, and bade him once again yield himself to the mighty Zeus. But Prometheus laughed him to scorn, and as Hermes turned to go away, the icy wind came shrieking through the air, and the dark cloud sank lower and lower down the hillside, until it covered the rock on which the body of the Titan was nailed ; and the great mountain heaved with the earthquake, and the blazing thunderbolts darted fearfully through the sky. Brighter and brighter flashed the lightning, and louder pealed the thunder in the ears of Prometheus, but he quailed not for all the fiery majesty of Zeus; and still as the storm grew fiercer, and the curls of fire were wreathed around his form, his voice was heard amid the din and roar, and it spake of the day when the good shall triumph, and unjust power shall be crushed and destroyed
[Write from dictation] This is a strange desolate picture from an Old World poet, at a time when the gods of the heathen were believed merciless in their vengeance, and their messengers tortured and tormented the victims of their wrath. The majesty with which Prometheus, chained to his rock for many generations, answered the poor heifer, has been a subject for poets ancient and modern.
THE REDBREAST CHASING THE BUTTERFLY.
Art thou the bird whom man loves best,
Our little English robin ?
Their Thomas in Finland,
And Russia far inland ?
So painfully in the wood ?
A beautiful creature,