Now we have come to this most distant land
where solitude shrouds the Scythian strip—
and it is fated to you, Hephaestus,
that you should bind this traitor to a rock
with hard adamantine as Zeus commands,
so that this villain may always suffer!
For he stole your sacred torch of fire,
which he gave through theft to all of men:
for this alone you must seek harsh vengeance,
that he may be taught to be satisfied
in the supreme authority of Zeus—
since men do not deserve our godly gifts!
Krotos and Bia—through both of you
the commandment of Zeus has full power,
and there is nothing that can prevent it.
For it is to this purpose that I come,
ashamed, to chain a kindred god upon
a pointed mountain, strengthened by winter;
for I must have the courage to do this
else the somber will of Zeus is ignored.
You fair-minded son of righteous Themis,
against both of our wills I must fashion
these savage bonds of heavy brass to you,
that you should never hear a pleasant voice
nor see the shape of any mortal thing;
but the bright flame of Helios will rage
and your fair skin will be changed forever.
You will rejoice when the star-covered night
begins to hide you from the brutal day:
but the dawn will soon drive the hoar-frost
and this always standing grief will vex you,
for there is yet no relief from your pain.
All this you must suffer for having turned
your ambitious mind to the needs of men:
for you, a god, never feared other gods
but gave our heavenly gifts to mankind,
forgetting that they did not deserve them.
Therefore you must guard this unpleasant rock
forever standing without any sleep;
and may you utter many useless things
and groan without finding any relief,
for the hard heart of Zeus cannot be moved
like all whose power is so newly won.
May he be punished! Why do you restrain?
And why do you so vainly sympathize?
How can you not hate a god who is so
hated and despised by all other gods?
And more so, since it was your gift and your
Honor that he freely gave to mankind.
Friendship is powerful and so is blood.
Of course, but to stand alone against Zeus—
to neglect the things which he commands—
do you not fully fear this even more?
You are imprudent and fully ruthless.
Yet it does not help anyone to cry,
but still you labor without helping things.
Oh! how I hate this foolish work of mine!
How can you claim to hate your work so much?
For frankly, it is not your skill that will
cause him to suffer so much and so long.
Someone else ought to have been fated this.
Everything is hard work except when
one rules the Olympian gods themselves:
for no one is free except mighty Zeus.
I know this and I will not deny it.
Then hurry to throw this chain around him
so that the father does not see you idle!
And surely you see the chain here ready—
Then strike now! Bind his hands to that sharp rock,
strongly fasten those chains about him now.
This work is being done without delay.
Continue to strike him and bind him tight,
do not let the chain be loose anywhere
for he is clever and surely can find
an escape where there is none possible.
See!—this arm, at least, is tightly fastened.
Okay, now firmly bind the other one
so that here in this dark place he may learn
that even though he is very clever
he is foolish and Zeus is his better.
No one except him can rightly blame me.
Now firmly drive that spear right through his heart!
My poor friend, I grieve for all your pain.
If you continue to cry over this—
and if you fail to do your duty now—
refusing to punish a man hated
by Zeus and the other Olympians,
then you will soon learn to pity yourself
for you will be just as harshly punished.
You seem to want many unpleasant things.
I only want what is just and fair
and justice demands that he is punished.
So throw the leather straps around his chest.
I only do this because I am forced.
There is no reason to blatantly cheer.
Still I will urge you on, commanding you:
tightly bind his legs using all your strength.
And see how swiftly I do as I’m told!
Yes, quickly tighten his painful shackles
since Zeus is so severe and critical.
It seems that your harsh tongue has shaped your face.
Can’t your heart be softened for me as well?
Do not berate me because I am fair,
because of my stubborn and rough feelings
We may leave since the chains tightly hold him.
Try now to insult us Prometheus!
Try now to seize the prizes of the gods
and to give them to poor time-bound mortals!
What mortal can lessen this endless pain?
You are falsely named, my friend, for you show
no forethought in your words or your actions,
and too bad as you would need them right now
if you were to free yourself from these bonds.