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MANUEL.

That was a night indeed; I do remember
'Twas twilight, as it may be now, and such
Another eveniug;—yon red cloud, which rests
On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then,—
So like that it might be the same; the wind
Was faint and gusty, and the mountain snows
Began to glitter with the climbing moon;
Count Manfred was, as now, withi.i his tower,—
How occupied, we knew not, but with him
The sole companion of his wanderings
And watchings—her, whom of all earthly things
That lived, the only thing he seem'd to love,
As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do,
The lady Astarte, his,—Hush! who comes here?

(Enter the Abbot Of S.ust Maurice.")

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

Where is your master?

HERMAN.

Yonder, in the tower.

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

I must speak with- him.

MANUEL.

'Tis impossible;

He is most private, and mast not be thus
Intruded on.

ABBQT OF SAINT MAURICE.'

Upon myself I take

The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be-
But I must see him.

her MAN.

Thou hast seen him Once This eve already.

ABBOT OF SAINT MAUIRICE.

Herman! I command thee, Knock, and apprize the Count of my approach.

HERMAN. We dare not.

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

Then it seems I must be herald
Of my own purpose.
MANUEL.

Reverend father, stop— I pray you, pause.

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.
Why so? “
MANUEL.

But step this way, And I will tell you further.

(Exeunt.)
SCENE IV.
(Interior of the Tower.)
MANFRED alone.

The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains.—Beautiful!
I linger yet with Nature, for the night

Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim aud solitary loveliness
I learn'd the language of another vrorld.
I do remember me, that in my youth,
When I was wandering,—upon such a night
I stood within the Coliseum's wall,
Midst the chief relies of almighty Rome;
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the renls of ruin; from afar
The watchdog bayed beyond the Tiber; and
.More near from out the Caesar's palace came
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly,
Of distant sentinels the fitful song
l5cgun and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Within a bowshot—where the Casars dwelt,
And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst -
A grove which springs through Icvell'd battlements,
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths.
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth;— -

But the gladiator's bloody Circus stands,
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection!
While Cesar's chambers, and the Augustan halls,
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.—
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,
Which softeu'd down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up,
As 'twere, anew, the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place

Became religion, and the heart ran o'er

With silent worship of the great of old!—

The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule

Our spirits from their urns.—Twas such a night I

'Tis strange that I recall it at this time;

But I have found our thoughts take wildest flight

Even at the moment when they should array

Themselves in pensive order.

( Enter Me-abbot Op Saint Xaubicb.) ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

My good Lord!

I crave a second grace for this approach;

But yet let not my humble zeal offend

By its abruptness—all it hath of ill

Recoils on me; its good in the effect

May light upon your head—could I say "heart

Could I touch that, with words or prayers, I should

Recall a noble spirit which hath wandered,

But is not yet all lost.

MANFRED.

Thou know'st me not;

My days are numbered, and my deeds recorded:
Retire, or 'twill be dangerous—Away!

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

Thou dost not mean to menace me?

MANFRED.

Not I;

I simply tell th.ee peril is at hand,
And would preserve thee.

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

What dost mean?

MANFRED.

Look there! What dost thou see?

ABBOT OF SAINT MAUBICE.

Nothing.

MANFRED.

Look-there, I say, And steadfastly; Dow tell me what thou seest?

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

That which should shake me,—but I fear it not—
I see a dusk and awful figure rise
Like an infernal god from out the earth;
His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form
Robed as with angry clouds; he stands between
Thyself and me—but I do fear him not.

MANFRED.

Thou hast no cause—he shall not harm thee—but
His sight may .shock thine old limbs into palsy.
I say to thee—Retire!

ABBOT OF SAINT MAURICE.

And I replyNever—till I have battled with this fiend— What doth he here?

MANFRED.

Why—ay—what doth he here? I did not send for him,—he is unbidden.

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