The Right of Might

The king of heaven, Zeus, sent Might, his guard,
To chain Prometheus and put him in ward;
And Violence sent he too to lend his hand,
Lest the judgment fail and the guilty stand
Unpunished for the crimes that he committed;
Though Vulcan begged the felon be acquitted:
But Zeus would not be swayed to turn from Right,
And so he gave command and sent forth Might.
These led Prometheus to the mountain top,
And found a place for him on a rocky crop;
And Might commanded Vulcan take a chain
And bind Prometheus, who cried in vain;
And Vulcan sought in earnest to assuage
The punishment that Zeus meted in his rage:
But Might reminded Vulcan he was charged
To do the will of Zeus who was enlarged
In all his power, holding sovereign sway;
And yet did Vulcan seek to wile by delay.
But Might was quick to threaten, so Vulcan did
As Might commanded what by Zeus was bid.
He bound the Titan thief that stole the fire
And thought that men therewith he could inspire:
By lies and theft the malefactor thought
He could subdue the king with whom he fought:
But cunning trickery only finds a way
When rulers cease to make might and right their way;
And so the thief was bound where his tongue could not
Spread through heaven’s ranks its deceit and rot.
Once he was tightly bound, Vulcan gave a sigh
And said “This is a sight that hurts the eye;
This plight pains the spirit when it observes.”
But Might said “I see he got what he deserves.”
So they left Prometheus where his words
Would be heard by none but wild beasts and birds;
Though he speak a thousand years he’d not succeed
In men or gods to rank rebellion breed.

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