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"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!