EMPEDOCLES ON ETNA PDF

And quietly declaims the cursings of himself. This is not what man hates, Yet he can curse but this. Harsh Gods and hostile Fates Are dreams! Nor only, in the intent To attach blame elsewhere, Do we at will invent Stern Powers who make their care To embitter human life, malignant Deities; But, next, we would reverse The scheme ourselves have spun, And what we made to curse We now would lean upon, And feign kind Gods who perfect what man vainly tries. Look, the world tempts our eye, And we would know it all! But still, as we proceed The mass swells more and more Of volumes yet to read, Of secrets yet to explore.

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And quietly declaims the cursings of himself. This is not what man hates, Yet he can curse but this. Harsh Gods and hostile Fates Are dreams! Nor only, in the intent To attach blame elsewhere, Do we at will invent Stern Powers who make their care To embitter human life, malignant Deities; But, next, we would reverse The scheme ourselves have spun, And what we made to curse We now would lean upon, And feign kind Gods who perfect what man vainly tries.

Look, the world tempts our eye, And we would know it all! But still, as we proceed The mass swells more and more Of volumes yet to read, Of secrets yet to explore. Our desperate search was sin, Which henceforth we resign, Sure only that your mind sees all things which befal.

At once our eyes grow clear! And yet, for those who know Themselves, who wisely take Their way through life, and bow To what they cannot break, Why should I say that life need yield but moderate bliss? I say: Fear not! Life still Leaves human effort scope.

A long pause. At the end of it the notes of a harp below are again heard, and CALLICLES sings: Far, far from here, The Adriatic breaks in a warm bay Among the green Illyrian hills; and there The sunshine in the happy glens is fair, And by the sea, and in the brakes, The grass is cool, the sea-side air Buoyant and fresh, the mountain flowers More virginal and sweet than ours.

And there, they say, two bright and aged snakes, Who once were Cadmus and Harmonia, Bask in the glens or on the warm sea-shore, In breathless quiet, after all their ills; Nor do they see their country, nor the place Where the Sphinx lived among the frowning hills, Nor the unhappy palace of their race, Nor Thebes, nor the Ismenus, any more. There those two live, far in the Illyrian brakes! Therefore they did not end their days In sight of blood; but were rapt, far away, To where the west-wind plays, And murmurs of the Adriatic come To those untrodden mountain-lawns; and there Placed safely in changed forms, the pair Wholly forget their first sad life, and home, And all that Theban woe, and stray For ever through the glens, placid and dumb.

Down by the stream? Yes, Master, in the wood. But the day wears. Go now, Pausanias, For I must be alone. Leave me one mule; Take down with thee the rest to Catana.

And for young Callicles, thank him from me; Tell him, I never failed to love his lyre — But he must follow me no more to-night. Meanwhile, stay me not now. Farewell, Pausanias!

He departs on his way up the mountain. But, Apollo! Callicles must wait here, and play to him; I saw him through the chestnuts far below, Just since, down at the stream. The Summit of Etna. But I — The weary man, the banished citizen, Whose banishment is not his greatest ill, Whose weariness no energy can reach, And for whose hurt courage is not the cure — What should I do with life and living more?

No, thou art come too late, Empedocles! And the world hath the day, and must break thee, Not thou the world. Thou canst not live with men nor with thyself — O sage! O sage! Take then the one way left; And turn thee to the elements, thy friends, Thy well-tried friends, thy willing ministers, And say: Ye helpers, hear Empedocles, Who asks this final service at your hands!

He advances to the edge of the crater. Wherefore dost thou groan so loud? Wherefore do thy nostrils flash, Through the dark night, suddenly, Typho, such red jets of flame? Is thy fire-scathed arm still rash? Doth thy fierce soul still deplore Thine ancient rout by the Cilician hills, And that curst treachery on the Mount of Gore? That thy groans, like thunder prest, Begin to roll, and almost drown The sweet notes whose lulling spell Gods and the race of mortals love so well, When through thy caves thou hearest music swell?

And the white Olympus-peaks Rosily brighten, and the soothed Gods smile At one another from their golden chairs, And no one round the charmed circle speaks.

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Empedocles on Etna, a dramatic poem

J0- Alone, resting on a r ock by the path. O Pan, How gracious is the mountain at this hour! Here will I stay till the slow litter comes, I have my harp too — that is well, — Apollo! Thou wast a kind child ever! He loves thee, but he must not see thee now. Thou hast indeed a rare touch on thy harp, He loves that in thee, too!

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Of this fair summer weather, on these hills, Would I bestow to help Empedocles. That needs no thanks; one is far better here Than in the broiling city in these heats. But tell me, how hast thou persuaded him In this his present fierce, man-hating mood, To bring thee out with him alone on Etna? Thou art too young to note it, but his power Swells with the swelling evil of this time, And holds men mute to see where it will rise. He could stay swift diseases in old days, Chain madmen by the music of his lyre, Cleanse to sweet airs the breath of poisonous streams, And in the mountain chinks inter the winds.

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Empedocles on Etna

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