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The Masque of Pandora

The Masque of Pandora
I
THE WORKSHOP OF HEPHAESTUS
HEPHAESTUS (standing before the statue of Pandora.)
Not fashioned out of gold, like Hera's throne,
Nor forged of iron like the thunderbolts
Of Zeus omnipotent, or other works
Wrought by my hands at Lemnos or Olympus,
But moulded in soft clay, that unresisting
Yields itself to the touch, this lovely form
Before me stands, perfect in every part.
Not Aphrodite's self appeared more fair,
When first upwafted by caressing winds
She came to high Olympus, and the gods
Paid homage to her beauty. Thus her hair
Was cinctured; thus her floating drapery
Was like a cloud about her, and her face
Was radiant with the sunshine and the sea.
THE VOICE OF ZEUS.
Is thy work done, Hephaestus?
HEPHAESTUS.
It is finished!
THE VOICE.
Not finished till I breathe the breath of life
Into her nostrils, and she moves and speaks.
HEPHAESTUS.
Will she become immortal like ourselves?
THE VOICE.
The form that thou hast fashioned out of clay
Is of the earth and mortal; but the spirit,
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