Prometheus Redux

Semper animus libera

 

PROMETHEUS:

O Thou that watches over all

And marks the good in man

Unnamed Godhead of all the thronging spirits

Who guard thy mortal worlds -

When skies darken and the plunging waves roil through

When the mountains themselves spit ruddy fire

And melt into valleys or crash steaming into the ocean deeps -

To keep thy people safe in those mortal lives you grant.

O Monarch, supreme over lesser gods and kings

Thou arbiter of fates and keeper of eternal time

Whose gaze falls on each vale and reaches every height;

Seeing the burrowing rabbit and the swinging ape;

Encompassing the beasts as they crawled from the morass deep

Leaving behind the ichthyosaur's lightning strike and the breaching whale,

Seeing the seas withdraw and the skies darken

Seeing a present poison flow from the land

Knowing the warming and the new melt ice that deepens seas,

Mark my captive plight on this deep vaulted sphere.

For I am held fast by the cold embrace of creed and code

With portal bars forged by the priests

And chains hard cast of time's old canon -

These tight bonds cinch my very mind

That no free thought can escape to reach lesser gods or mortal kin.

O Ruler over all, I call out from this soul-baffling crypt

For I know you: know your magnitude and your love, know your power,

And so am held, as the shamans and elders hold mortal wandering tribes in sway,

A mocked and muted solitary entombed by the very nave and spires

Raised for your worship. I hate their pomp and vanity that fetter thou as well as I,

Their apse and narthex mark my bounds.

 

FIRST VOICE:         

Glorious spires and towers ring with the clamour of pealing tongues

Carved granite and bright stone raise high the Saints while gargoyles spout;

Lead and crystal combine and shine the earth's bright hues on stony aisles

Even the lowly furniture around the choir is carved with seraphim and angels high

Such transient glory serves well the priests who bend their knee

And magnifies the stature of their office and their state

 

SECOND VOICE:   

The priests must magnify their gods

The mullahs and the cardinals require their own eminence

Religions have their roots in faith

And grow strong with the people's love

Those roots have brought forth high boughs:

The trees have flourished and bloomed

 

THIRD VOICE:

The trees have flourished and bloomed

And cleric nurserymen claim

A necessary role

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

From my ebon throne I behold all worlds as one

In my thrall sprits and demigods bow down

My voice rolls across the peaks and those who would may hear

I have given men wisdom and with that, freedom

How am I to understand this plea?

 

EARTH:  

Though my extremes may astound

And my soil hold tether the foundations of faiths;

Though my many lands may be conscribed

And governed oft by alb and chasuble

Yet I convene the multitude

The legion who seek eternal truth,

Who hope that the virtuous and the moral

May each aspire to divine reward.

For their love alone, above the sadness at my breast

wherein I rue those closer chains,

I plead a greater cause than lineage.

The tenets scribed of old do no more

Than raise thy godhead and mark all good!

 

ASIA:     

Like those scribing copyists and monks of ink and vellum

I repeat, and repeat each echo above the hills

Each recital chimes long in the valleys and rebounds from the slopes

Knowing only a fleeting transience but loudly crying deliverance.

O for those penning skills that I might better plead -

My manuscript's rinceaux would trace the branches of my case

Gold or silver would embolden every uncial point and carmine emphasise.

No mortal man nor god could doubt my claims

 

OCEAN: 

Daughter of the land whose torment is heard in my darkest caverns

Whose anguish reaches my depths and my denizens below

My buoys knell their warning clamour in return

My reefs and deepest sounds, my ancient maelstroms and storms

May damage many a mortal man that ships across my seas

Such is their fate who venture out beyond their near horizon,

That risk all for such small profit as can float in their puny craft

But I do not take hostage to protect the liberty that my bounds  offer

Nor hold captive those who would learn my many contours

 

JUPITER:

I, Lord of the gods, Defender of faiths, must speak!

You lesser deities, you spirits and oceanides,

You furies and phantasms - let your ears hear my words.

That Demogorgan, supreme of your thrice blessed world

Where the infinite beginning lies harmonious with hidden order

That Demiurge that you know as the eternal brooding dream:

He who fashioned your worlds, shaped all that is material to you

Requires much of your small lives: Recognising your world, Glorify and give praise

Your creator! In return for that spirit with which you are blessed - Bow down!

But hold! Your lowly lives, your puny mortal minds have needed more!

Without your patriarchs and imams what would you understand of this mystery?

Your swami and cardinals, rabbi and lama guard the canon of your creed

You raised them to lead and keep you in your ritual faith

Their fine temples stand tall to keep you in your righteous ways

 

ASIA:     

These are truly guardians for they hold Prometheus firm

But that very free spirit that is his mind is the cause holds him captive

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

Bow low to the source of my consciousness.

Creation brought me forth and I - Demogorgan - shaped all:

All that you see or feel, each dew-held leaf, horizoned storm or earth bound worm

The roaring forest beast and the sea foaming leviathan are mine!

And I raised mortal man to seek rank and position in his small communities

And so our echelons are set.

                                                                What would you ask of me?

 

ASIA:     

What can I ask?

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

                                                                All things that your mind can tell


ASIA:     

Who gave me reason

Lent my mind its power of thought

And imbued it with a will, imagination, passion?

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

                                                                                                   God!

 

ASIA:     

Then, what is religion?

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

                                                                                                    The belief in a god

 

ASIA:     

Another question? What is its lack?

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

The deepest abysmal depths below are darkened by the hoards

Of those who have no faith: those gainsayers who can see no god

Each knows his heart and now knows his due

 

ASIA:     

And again I ask, and need to know

An answer that will quiet my heart

When will that deep crypt wherein Prometheus is held bond

         His belief in his god shrouded by his rejection of the panoply which surrounds

         That earthen manifestation and governance of his god. And bounds his very prison.

Be opened that he may once again join that lesser pantheon

That watches over humankind and in that reunion

Anoint the earth with sweet peace and love?

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

Again, I would know the meaning

                                For have I not made men free?

What has Prometheus done that keeps him bound these many years

For I have heard his voice raised in praise even from the abysm

And from the crypt?

                                                                Do my priests forget me

That they entomb those who would see my face,

Destroy those who steal their fire?

They are but the limen beyond which Prometheus would step.

 

Let him be free to pursue his course:

                                Send Hephaestus in his chariot, that he may break the chains

                                Send Hercules to sunder the cell walls to their very stones

                                And make free him who truly loves me.

 

EARTH:  

Rejoice!

Let the green valleys and the high mountains sing

Let my rivers and rills echo the joy!

                                Prometheus is raised from the depths

To walk in freedom beneath the moon and stars

Let his voice raise hope in his people who endlessly toil

                                Beneath the Edict of Thessalonica,

Subject to those conjunctions that empower and govern.

 

ASIA:     

Like Epicurus, he may look to separate power,

May return praise to the voice of the masses

But take care!

                                                Praise may not require the golden spires,

The great steeples and gilded domes, the mighty temples,

The stately priests with scarlet capes trailing servers and censers:

Faith dwells only in the mind:

                                                                 but its origins must be scribed on vellum

In inks that will not diminish over the many epochs.

Enough that priests keep the faith and their scribes its annals!

 

OCEAN: 

                                                                                                That much is true

No faith should require a submission of the will and intellect

The people are free!

 

HEPHAESTUS:       

See! He comes!

Unbound! His chains are sundered and the very dungeon walls destroyed.

With mighty Hercules, I compass his way from darkness.

 

HERCULES:            

Most glorious Prometheus! thy strength in suffering

Attests to the power of wisdom, courage and love

Which your soul ministers!

                                                                                                Thou art welcome!

 

PROMETHEUS:

Kind words!

O Thou that watches over worlds

And marks the good in all, witness our joy!

In many a moon glow and in the dark sun shadow of my cell

I called on thee!

O Sweet Asia, Eternal Earth

                                                                These kind words - like freedom -

Are sweet attestation to my belief that my prayers were heard

O Monarch, supreme over lesser gods and kings

Now is the hour in which my vow is charged

To cherish that freedom which you freely give

Throughout the worlds

 

DEMOGORGAN:  

This day shall shine in my skies as Sirius

When power has been razed and the glories of the worlds

Are now rightly ordered in their place; their beauty is gone from the high places

No despot is raised on high; How have the mighty fallen!

 

Gentle Prometheus! Your virtue shall endure

That firm assurance seals a bond

And proffers the throng understanding of their faith

You have suffered infinite woes. To forgive dark wrongs,

To defy dominance and yet to love

                                                                                This is thy glory.

DemogorganfaithJupitermythologyMythsold mythspraisepriestsPrometheusreligion

◄ Forvie, March 2017

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