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Prometheus
I thank you for all this and shall never cease to thank you; in zeal you lack nothing, but do not trouble yourself; for your trouble will be vain and [345] not helpful to me—if indeed you want to take the pain. No, keep quiet and keep yourself clear of harm. For even if I am in sore plight, I would not wish affliction on everyone else. No, certainly, no! since, besides, I am distressed by the fate [350] of my brother Atlas, who, towards the west, stands bearing on his shoulders the pillar of heaven and earth, a burden not easy for his arms to grasp. Pity moved me, too, at the sight of the earth-born dweller of the Cilician caves curbed by violence, that destructive monster [355] of a hundred heads, impetuous Typhon. He withstood all the gods, hissing out terror with horrid jaws, while from his eyes lightened a hideous glare, as though he would storm by force the sovereignty of Zeus. [360] But the unsleeping bolt of Zeus came upon him, the swooping lightning brand with breath of flame, which struck him, frightened, from his loud-mouthed boasts; then, stricken to the very heart, he was burnt to ashes and his strength blasted from him by the lightning bolt. [365] And now, a helpless and a sprawling bulk, he lies hard by the narrows of the sea, pressed down beneath the roots of Aetna; while on the topmost summit Hephaestus sits and hammers the molten ore. There, one day, shall burst forth [370] rivers of fire,1with savage jaws devouring the level fields of Sicily, land of fair fruit—such boiling rage shall Typho, although charred by the blazing lightning of Zeus, send spouting forth with hot jets of appalling, fire-breathing surge.

[375] But you are not inexperienced, and do not need me to teach you. Save yourself, as you know best; while I exhaust my present lot until the time comes when the mind of Zeus shall abandon its wrath.

1 The eruption of Aetna in 479/8 B.C. is also described in a famous passage of Pindar (Pind. P 1.21, written in 470 B.C.), which Aeschylus has here in mind. The lyric poet dwells on the physical aspect of the eruption by day and night; the dramatist, on the damage done to the labor of the husbandman.

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