Prometheus - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
1. COVER thy spacious heavens, Zeus,
2. With clouds of mist,
3. And, like the boy who lops
4. The thistles' heads,
5. Disport with oaks and mountain-peaks,
6. Yet thou must leave
7. My earth still standing;
8. My cottage too, which was not raised by thee;
9. Leave me my hearth,
10. Whose kindly glow
11. By thee is envied.
12. I know nought poorer
13. Under the sun, than ye gods!
14. Ye nourish painfully,
15. With sacrifices
16. And votive prayers,
17. Your majesty:
18. Ye would e'en starve,
19. If children and beggars
20. Were not trusting fools.
21. While yet a child
22. And ignorant of life,
23. I turned my wandering gaze
24. Up tow'rd the sun, as if with him
25. There were an ear to hear my wailings,
26. A heart, like mine,
27. To feel compassion for distress.
28. Who help'd me
29. Against the Titans' insolence?
30. Who rescued me from certain death,
31. From slavery?
32. Didst thou not do all this thyself,
33. My sacred glowing heart?
34. And glowedst, young and good,
35. Deceived with grateful thanks
36. To yonder slumbering one?
37. I honour thee! and why?
38. Hast thou e'er lighten'd the sorrows
39. Of the heavy laden?
40. Hast thou e'er dried up the tears
41. Of the anguish-stricken?
42. Was I not fashion'd to be a man
43. By omnipotent Time,
44. And by eternal Fate,
45. Masters of me and thee?
46. Didst thou e'er fancy
47. That life I should learn to hate,
48. And fly to deserts,
49. Because not all
50. My blossoming dreams grew ripe?
51. Here sit I, forming mortals
52. After my image;
53. A race resembling me,
54. To suffer, to weep,
55. To enjoy, to be glad,
56. And thee to scorn,
57. As I!
What is Prometheus implying with the rhetorical question in lines 43-45?