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He fixed thee 'mid this dance
With elbows wide, fists clenched to prop his Of plastic circumstance,
chin. This Present, thou, forsooth, would fain ar- And, while he kicks both feet in the cool rest:
slush, Machinery just meant
And feels about his spine small eft-things To give thy soul its bent, .
course, Try thee and turn thee forth, sufficiently Run in and out each arm, and make him impressed.
And while above his head a pompion-plant, What though the earlier grooves,
Coating the cave-top as a brow its eye, Which ran the laughing loves
170 Creeps down to touch and tickle hair and Around thy base, no longer pause and
And now a flower drops with a bee inside, What though, about thy rim,
And now a fruit to snap at, catch and Skull-things in order grim
crunch, Grow out, in graver mood, obey the sterner He looks out o'er yon sea which sunbeams stress?
And recross till they weave a spider-web, Look not thou down but up!
(Meshes of fire, some great fish breaks at To uses of a cup,
times,) The festal board, lamp's flash and trumpet's | And talks to his own self, howe'er he please, peal,
Touching that other, whom his dam called The new wine's foaming flow,
God. The Master's lips aglow!
Because to talk about Him, vexes — ha, Thou, heaven's consummate cup, what | Could He but know! and time to vex is needst thou with earth's wheel? 180
When talk is safer than in winter-time. But I need, now as then,
Moreover Prosper and Miranda sleep 20 Thee, God, who mouldest men;
In confidence he drudges at their task, And since, not even while the whirl was And it is good to cheat the pair, and gibe, worst,
Letting the rank tongue blossom into Did I - to the wheel of life
speech.] With shapes and colors rife, Bound dizzily - mistake my end, to slake | Setebos, Setebos, and Setebos ! thy thirst:
'Tbinketh, He dwelleth i' the cold o' the
moon. So, take and use thy work: Amend what flaws may lurk,
'Thinketh He made it, with the sun to What strain o' the stuff, what warpings
match, past the aim!
But not the stars; the stars came otherMy times be in thy hand !
wise; Perfect the cup as planned !
Only made clouds, winds, meteors, such as Let age approve of youth, and death com
that: plete the same!
Also this isle, what lives and grows thereon, And snaky sea which rounds and ends the same.
30 CALIBAN UPON SETEBOS;
'Thinketh, it came of being ill at ease : OR, NATURAL THEOLOGY IN THE ISLAND He hated that He cannot change His cold,
Nor cure its ache. 'Hath spied an icy fish “Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself."
That longed to 'scape the rock-stream
where she lived, ['WILL sprawl, now that the heat of day is And thaw herself within the lukewarm
best, Flat on his belly in the pit's much mire, TO'the lazy sea her stream thrusts far amid,
A crystal spike 'twixt two warm walls of Which bite like finches when they bill and wave;
kiss, Only, she ever sickened, found repulse Then, when froth rises bladdery, drink up At the other kind of water, not her life,
all, (Green-dense and dim-delicious, bred o’the Quick, quick, till maggots scamper through sun,)
my brain; Flounced back from bliss she was not born Last, throw me on my back i' the seeded to breathe,
thyme, And in her old bounds buried her despair, And wauton, wishing I were born a bird. Hating and loving warmth alike: so He. Put case, unable to be what I wish,
I yet could make a live bird out of clay: 'Thinketh, He made thereat the san, this Would not I take clay, pinch my Caliban isle,
Able to fly ? — for, there, see, he hath Trees and the fowls here, beast and creep
wings, ing thing.
And great comb like the hoopoe's to adYon otter, sleek-wet, black, lithe as a mire, leech;
And there, a sting to do his foes offence, sa Yon auk, one fire-eye in a ball of foam, There, and I will that he begin to live, That floats and feeds; a certain badger Fly to yon rock-top, nip me off the horns brown
Of grigs high up that make the merry din, He hath watched hunt with that slant Saucy through their veined wings, and mind white-wedge eye
me not. By moonlight; and the pie with the long In which feat, if his leg snapped, brittle tongue
clay, That pricks deep into oakwarts for a worm, And he lay stupid-like, — why, I should And says a plain word when she finds her
And if he, spying me, should fall to weep, But will not eat the ants; the ants them Beseech me to be good, repair his wrong, selves
Bid his poor leg smart less or grow again, That build a wall of seeds and settled Well, as the chance were, this might take stalks
or else About their hole — He made all these and Not take my fancy: I might hear his cry, more,
And give the manikin three sound legs for Made all we see, and us, in spite: how
Or pluck the other off, leave him like an He could not, Himself, make a second self To be His mate; as well have made Him And lessoned he was mine and merely clay. self:
Were this no pleasure, lying in the thyme, He would not make what He mislikes or Drinking the mash, with brain become slights,
alive, An eyesore to Him, or not worth His pains: Making and marring clay at will? So He. But did, in envy, listlessness or sport, Make what Himself would fain, in a manner, 'Thinketh, such shows nor right nor wrong be
in Him, Weaker in most points, stronger in a few, Nor kind, nor cruel : He is strong and Lord. Worthy, and yet mere playthings all the 'Am strong myself compared to yonder while,
100 Things He admires and mocks too, – that That march now from the mountain to the is it.
sea; Because, so brave, so better though they 'Let twenty pass, and stone the twenty
be, It nothing skills if He begin to plague. Loving not, hating not, just choosing so. Look now, I melt a gourd-fruit into mash, | 'Say, the first straggler that boasts purple Add honeycomb and pods, I have per-| spots ceived,
Shall join the file, one pincer twisted off;
'Say, this bruised fellow shall receive a This Quiet, all it bath a mind to, doth. worm,
'Esteemeth stars the outposts of its couch, And two worms he whose nippers end in But never spends much thought nor care red;
that way. As it likes me each time, I do: so He. It may look up, work up, - the worse for
140 Well then, 'supposeth He is good i' the It works on! 'Careth but for Setebos
109 The many-handed as a cuttle-fish, Placable if His mind and ways were guessed, Who, making Himself feared through what But rougher than His handiwork, be sure!
He does, Oh, He hath made things worthier than Looks up, first, and perceives he cannot Himself,
soar And envieth that, so helped, such things To what is quiet and hath happy life; do more
Next looks down here, and out of very spite Than He who made them! What consoles Makes this a bauble-world to ape yon real, but this ?
These good things to match those as hips That they, unless through Him, do naught
do grapes. at all,
'Tis solace making baubles, ay, and sport. And must submit: what other use in things ? Himself peeped late, eyed Prosper at his 'Hath cut a pipe of pithless elder-joint
150 That, blown through, gives exact the Careless and lofty, lord now of the isle: scream o' the jay
Vexed, 'stitched a book of broad leaves, When from her wing you twitch the feath
arrow-shaped, ers blue:
Wrote thereon, he knows what, prodigious Sound this, and little birds that hate the
Has peeled a wand and called it by a Flock within stone's throw, glad their foe
name; is hurt:
Weareth at whiles for an enchanter's robe Put case such pipe could prattle and boast The eyed skin of a supple oncelot; forsooth,
And hath an ounce sleeker than youngling “I catch the birds, I am the crafty thing,
mole, I make the cry my maker cannot make A four-legged serpent he makes cower and With his great round mouth; he must blow and month. he must blow
couch. through mine!”
Now snarl, now hold its breath and mind Would not I smash it with my foot ? So his eye, He.
And saith she is Miranda and my wife: 160
'Keeps for his Ariel a tall pouch-bill crane But wherefore rough, why cold and ill at He bids go wade for fish and straight disease ?
gorge; Aha, that is a question ! Ask, for that, Also a sea-beast, lumpish, which he snared, What knows, the something over Setebos Blinded the eyes of, and brought someThat made Him, or He, may be, found and
what tame, fought,
And split its toe-webs, and now pens the Worsted, drove off and did to nothing, per
In a hole o'the rock and calls him Caliban: There may be something quiet o'er His | A bitter heart that bides its time and bites. head,
'Plays thus at being Prosper in a way, Out of His reach, that feels nor joy nor Taketh his mirth with make-believes: so grief,
He. Since both derive from weakness in some way.
His dam held that the Quiet made all I joy because the quails come; would not things
Which Setebos vexed only: 'holds not so. Could I bring quails here when I have a | | Who made them weak, meant weakness mind:
He might vex.
Had He meant other, while His hand was So it is, all the same, as well I find. in,
'Wove wattles half the winter, fenced them Why not make horny eyes no thorn could my avas no thorn could
With stone and stake to stop she-tortoises Or plate my scalp with bone against the Crawling to lay their eggs here: well, one snow,
wave, Or overscale my flesh 'neath joint and Feeling the foot of Him upon its neck, joint,
Gaped as a snake does, lolled out its large Like an orc's armor ? Ay, — so spoil His | tongue, sport!
And licked the whole labor flat: so much for He is the One now: only He doth all.
210 'Saith, He may like, perchance, what profits 'Saw a ball flame down late (yonder it Him.
lies) Ay, hiinself loves what does him good; but Where, half an hour before, I slept i' the why ?
shade: 'Gets good no otherwise. This blinded Often they scatter sparkles: there is force! beast
'Dug up a newt He may have envied once Loves whoso places flesh-meat on his nose, And turned to stone, shut up inside a stone. But, had he eyes, would want no help, but | Please Him and hinder this? - What Proshate
per does ? Or love, just as it liked him: He hath eyes. Aha, if He would tell me how ! Nót He! Also it pleaseth Setebos to work,
There is the sport : discover how or die! Use all His hands, and exercise much All need not die, for of the things o' the craft
isle By no means for the love of what is worked. Some flee afar, some dive, some run up 'Tasteth, himself, no finer good i' the world
220 When all goes right, in this safe summer Those at His mercy, — why, they please time,
Him most And he wants little, hungers, aches not When ... when . . . well, never try the much,
same way twice ! Than trying what to do with wit and Repeat what act has pleased, He may grow strength.
wroth. Falls to make something: 'piled yon pile of You must not know His ways, and play Him turfs,
oft, And squared and stuck there squares of Sure of the issue. 'Doth the like bimself: soft white chalk,
'Spareth a squirrel that it nothing fears And, with a fish-tooth, scratched a moon on But steals the nut from underneath my each,
thumb, And set up endwise certain spikes of tree, And when I threat, bites stoutly in deAnd crowned the whole with a sloth's skull
'Spareth an urchin that contrariwise, Found dead i' the woods, too hard for one Curls up into a ball, pretending death 280 to kill.
For fright at my approach: the two ways No use at all i' the work, for work's sole
But what would move my choler more than 'Shall some day knock it down again: so this, He.
That either creature counted on its life
To-morrow and next day and all days to Saith He is terrible: watch His feats in
200 Saying, forsooth, in the inmost of its heart, One hurricane will spoil six good months' “ Because he did so yesterday with me, hope.
And otherwise with such another brute, He hath a spite against me, that I know, | So must he do henceforth and always." Just as He favors Prosper, who knows why ? | Ay?
Would teach the reasoning couple what For Thee; what see for envy in poor me?” "must" means !
Hoping the while, since evils sometimes 'Doth as he likes, or wherefore Lord ? So mend, 240 Warts rub away and sores are cured with
280 'Conceiveth all things will continue thus, That soine strange day, will either the Quiet And we shall have to live in fear of Hiin
catch So long as He lives, keeps His strength: no And conquer Setebos, or likelier He change,
Decrepit may doze, doze, as good as die. If He have done His best, make no new
world To please Him more, so leave off watching [What, what? A curtain o'er the world at this, –
once! If He surprise not even the Quiet's self Crickets stop hissing; not a bird - or, yes, Some strange day,- or, suppose, grow into it | There scuds His raven that has told Him As grubs grow butterflies: else, here we are,
all! And there is He, and nowhere help at all. It was fool's play, this prattling! Ha! The
wind 'Believeth with the life, the pain shall stop. Shoulders the pillared dust, death's house His dam held different, that after death 25,
o' the move, He both plagued enemies and feasted And fast invading fires begin! White friends:
blaze — Idly! He doth His worst in this our life, | A tree's head snaps — and there, there, Giving just respite lest we die through pain,
there, there, there, Saving last pain for worst, — with which, an His thunder follows! Fool to gibe at Him!
Lo! 'Lieth flat and loveth Setebos ! Meanwhile, the best way to escape His ire 'Maketh his teeth meet through his upper Is, not to seem too happy. 'Sees, himself,
lip, Yonder two flies, with purple films and pink, Will let those quails fly, will not eat this Bask on the pompion-bell above: kills both.
month 'Sees two black painful beetles roll their One little mess of whelks, so he may ball
'scape !] On bead and tail as if to save their lives: Moves then the stick away they strive to clear.
PROSPICE Even so, 'would have Him misconceive,
(Written in the autumn following Mrs. Brown
ing's death. The closing lines intensify the suppose
association.) This Caliban strives hard and ails no less, And always, above all else, envies Him; Fear death ? — to feel the fog in my throat, Wherefore he mainly dances on dark nights, The mist in my face, Moans in the sun, gets under holes to laugh, | When the snows begin, and the blasts deAnd never speaks his mind save housed as
I am nearing the place, Outside, 'groans, curses. If He caught me The power of the night, the press of the here,
storm, O'erheard this speech, and asked “What The post of the foe; chucklest at?"
270 Where he stands, the Arch Fear in a visible 'Would, to appease Him, cut a finger off,
form, Or of my three kid yearlings burn the best, Yet the strong man must go : Or let the toothsome apples rot on tree, For the journey is done and the summit *Or push my tame beast for the orc to taste:
attained, While myself lit a fire, and made a song | And the barriers fall, And sung it, “ What I hate, be consecrate Though a battle 's to fight ere the guerdon To celebrate Thee and Thy state, no mate