Prometheus Unbound, by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Cancelled Fragments of “Prometheus Unbound”.


(following 1..)

When thou descendst each night with open eyes

In torture, for a tyrant seldom sleeps,

Thou never; . . .

. . .


(following 1..)

Which thou henceforth art doomed to interweave

. . .


(following the first two words of 1..)

[Of Hell:] I placed it in his choice to be

The crown, or trampled refuse of the world

With but one law itself a glorious boon —

I gave —

. . .


(following 1..)


I leaped on the wings of the Earth-star damp

As it rose on the steam of a slaughtered camp —

The sleeping newt heard not our tramp

As swift as the wings of fire may pass —

We threaded the points of long thick grass

Which hide the green pools of the morass

But shook a water-serpent’s couch

In a cleft skull, of many such

The widest; at the meteor’s touch

The snake did seem to see in dream

Thrones and dungeons overthrown

Visions how unlike his own . . .

’Twas the hope the prophecy

Which begins and ends in thee

. . .


(following 2.1..)

Lift up thine eyes Panthea — they pierce they burn


Alas! I am consumed — I melt away

The fire is in my heart —


Thine eyes burn burn! —

Hide them within thine hair —


O quench thy lips

I sink I perish


Shelter me now — they burn

It is his spirit in their orbs . . . my life

Is ebbing fast — I cannot speak —


Rest, rest!

Sleep death annihilation pain! aught else

. . .


(following 2.4..)

Or looks which tell that while the lips are calm

And the eyes cold, the spirit weeps within

Tears like the sanguine sweat of agony;

. . .

Uncancelled Passage.


(following 2.5..)


You said that spirits spoke, but it was thee

Sweet sister, for even now thy curved lips

Tremble as if the sound were dying there

Not dead


Alas it was Prometheus spoke

Within me, and I know it must be so

I mixed my own weak nature with his love

. . . And my thoughts

Are like the many forests of a vale

Through which the might of whirlwind and of rain

Had passed — they rest rest through the evening light

As mine do now in thy beloved smile.

Cancelled Stage Directions.


(following 1..)

[The sound beneath as of earthquake and the driving of whirlwinds — The ravine is split, and the Phantasm of Jupiter rises, surrounded by heavy clouds which dart forth lightning.]


(following 1..)

[Enter rushing by groups of horrible forms; they speak as they pass in chorus.]


(following 1..)
[A shadow passes over the scene, and a piercing shriek is heard.]

[First printed by Mr. C.D. Locock, “Examination of the Shelley Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library”, 1903, pages 33-7.]

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00