Now descends is Atlas whom Zeus appointed,
“Now shall You I curse this world to bear,
Whom no greater pains but lasting fates
Shall crease thy criminal birth in folds
Of two. One for each hand; I give and grow.
Did I not give you the hands to make work?
Did I then not smite the hand that holds?
Or when Hera whispered in mine ear your cry,
But this will not serve, all must hear it;
Thy hold of my world is now my hold over you.”
So Atlas stood, descending from above on high,
Descending lower, and lower till all is come:
Is this the world I ought to bear, it is come.
Of this mighty weight, the rivers and trees. Come.
The mountains and oceans I bear. It is come.
Do I not add so much weight, if twice my sorrow? Come.
When I shall stand, nor leave my legs to crouch. Come.
And all the trees bristle with fleeting wind to come,
And noon is shone by a single light mine eyes are blind,
Nor grieve a single tear that rises the oceans more,
Nor rain can dispel the mute of space from dark mine face,
Here less I stood, and soon my legs stoned in shock,
Think less of what then, who cannot befriend nor mate,
Who could never see his face again, but stare by side below.
I am the slave that weighs the world by the zero-sum;
So Hail the Zeus that casts such a misery upon me,
Do I not hold a world that could never hold me?
So ends the sad tale of great Atlas, here and there;
Here and there he crouched with full weight and mused:
The Spheres of Mars and Saturn, so vanquish peril,
So cast away, and look yond the Sun that orbits,
To the North we see his tears vaporised to clouds above,
To the South his dark and shady figure comes aged and cold,
So come what may, whether be or not, ere set nor dawn spread,
The charms once leaked, so his shadow forms the space,
Till, flesh on flesh, blood on blood, eyes and heart depart,
The breathing yet lifeless figure dusts into the nether dark,
His flesh: the moons; his tears: the stars,
Till one day wonder a people sired this realm so dark,
Then ponder why and how such things were made,
Though never witness its Maker till Judgement,
Nor remember the origins of rain, cloud, wind;
Nor breathe another air mixed in pain,
So poor Atlas fades in mem’ry.,
And all flows and fires away.

Mystical, Poetry, Works
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