"The New Prometheus, after J. S. Mill's 'Prescription'"

Henry Ellison (from Stones from the Quarry [1875])


Our "Frankenstein" of Brain compact! No beat
Of heart, no fancy, twinkle of the eye,
No human weaknesses, false notes, belie
Our New Prometheus; sheer from crown to feet
Cast-steel'd, in brain-proof panoply complete!
No tribute of a tear, no passing sigh
For victims claimed by stern Philosophy;
Hers the sole altar, hers the incense sweet!
Pluck "the old woman" out! Broomstick and cat
Were sent to the Devil long ago, I trow;
Let "Devil" follow suit, with owl and bat!
No hankering for Old Egypt's flesh-pots; vow
And prayer to gods of clay! Reason holds at
The Temple's gates the keys, not Peter now!