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Percy Bysshe Shelley

 

Prometheus Unbound (an excerpt)

 

     This is the day which down the void abysm
     At the Earth-born's spell yawns for Heaven's despotism,
       And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep;
     Love, from its awful throne of patient power
     In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour
       Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep,
     And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs
     And folds over the world its healing wings.

     Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance--
     These are the seals of that most firm assurance
       Which bars the pit over Destruction's strength;
     And if, with infirm hand, Eternity,
     Mother of many acts and hours, should free
       The serpent that would clasp her with his length,
     These are the spells by which to reassume
     An empire o'er the disentangled doom.

     To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
     To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
       To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
     To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
     From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
       Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
     This, like thy glory, Titan, is to be
     Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
     This is alone Life; Joy, Empire, and Victory!

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