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An enemy, save in my just defence
Man. To look upon thy beauty-nothing further, But my embrace was fatal.
The face of the earth hath madden'd me, and I C. Hun,
Heaven give thee rest! Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce And penitence restore thee to thyself :
To the abodes of those who govern herMy prayers shall be for thee.
But they can nothing aid me. I have sought Man.
I need them not, From them what they could not bestow, and now But can endure thy pity. I depart-
I search no further. 'Tis time-farewell :-Here's gold and thanks for Witch.
What could be the quest thee:
Which is not in the power of the most powerful, No words-it is thy due.-Follow me not,
The rulers of the invisible? I know my path-the inountain peril's past;
But why should I repeat it ? 'twere in vain
Man. Well, though it torture me, 'tis but the same;
My pang shall find a voice. From my youth up. A lower Valley in the Alps.-A Cataract.
wards Enter Manfred.
My spirit walked not with the souls of men, It is not noon--the sunbow's rays still arch*
Nor look'd upon the earth with human eyes; The torrent with the many hues of heaven,
The thirst of their ambition was not mine, And roll the sheeted silver's waving column
The aim of their existence was not mine; O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular,
My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers, And Aing its lines of foaming light along,
Made me a stranger ; though I wore the forin, And to and fro, like the pale courser's tail,
I had no sympathy with breathing flesh, The Giant steed, to be bestrode by Death,
Nor midst the creatures of clay that girded me As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes
Was there but one who-but of her anon. But mine now drink this sight of loveliness;
I said, with men, and with the thoughts of men, I should be sole in this sweet solitude,
I held but slight communion; but instead, And with the Spirit of the place divide
My joy was in the Wilderness, to breathe The homage of these waters.--I will call her.
The difficult air of the iced mountain's top. (Manfred takes some of the water into the palm of Where the birds dare not build, nor insect's wing
his hand, and flings it into the air, muttering Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plunge
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.
In these my early strength exulted; or And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form
To follow through the night the moving moon, The charms of earth's least mortal daughters grow The stars and their development; or catch To an unearthly stature, in an essence
The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew dim; Of purer elements; while the hues of youth
Or to look, list'ning, on the scatter'd leaves, Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek,
While Autumn winds were at their evening song. Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart, These were my pastimes, and to be alone; Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight leaves For if the beings, of whom I was one,Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow,
Hating to be so-cross'd me in my path, The blush of earth, embracing with her heaven I felt myself degraded back to them, Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame
And was all clay again. And then I dived, The beauties of the sunbow which bends o'er thee. In my lone wanderings, to the caves of death, Beautiful Spirit ! in thy calm clear brow,
Searching its cause in its effect; and drew Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul,
From wither'd bones, and skulls, and heap'd up Which of itself shows immortality,
dust, I read that thou wilt pardon to a Son
Conclusions most forbidden. Then I pass'd
Save in the old time; and with time and toil,
And terrible ordeal, and such penance And gaze on thee a moment.
As in itself hath power upon the air, Witch.
Son of Earth!
And spirits that do compass air and earth,
Mine eyes familiar with Eternity,
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and Fatal and fated in thy sufferings.
He who from out their fountain dwellings raised I have expected this-what wouldst thou with me?
Eros and Anteros, * at Gadara,
As I do thee;-and with my knowledge grew * This iris is formed by the rays of the sun over the lower part of the Alpine torrents; it is exactly like a * The philosopher Jamblicus. rainbow come down to pay a visit, and so close that raising of Eros and Anteros may be found in his life
The story of the you may walk into it: this effect lasts till noon, by Eunapius. It is well told
305 The thirst of knowledge, and the power and joy
To do this thy power Of this most bright intelligence, until
Must wake the dead, or lay me low with them. Witch. Proceed.
Do so-in any shape-in any hourMan. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my words,
With any torture-so it be the last. Boasting these idle attributes, because
Witch. That is not in my province; but if thou As I approach the core of my heart's grief
Wilt swear obedience to my will, and do But to my task. I have not named to thee
My bidding, it may help thee to thy wishes. Father or mother, mistress, friend, or being
Man. I will not swear-Obey! and whom the With whom I wore the chain of human ties;
spirits If I had such, they seem'd not such to me
Whose presence I command, and be the slave Yet there was one
Of those who served me--Never !
Is this all?
Hast thou no gentler answer !-Yet bethink thee, Her hair, her features, all, to the very tone
And pause ere thou rejectest. Even of her voice, they said were like to mine;
I have said it. But soften'd all, and temper'd into beauty :
IVitch. Enough !-I may retire then-say! She had the same lone thoughts and wanderings,
Retire! The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind
I The Witch disappeurs. To comprehend the universe : nor these
Man. (alone.) We are the fools of time and terror: Alone, but with them gentler powers than mine,
days Pity, and seniles, and tears—which I had not;
Steal on us and steal from us; yet we live, And tenderness—but that I had for her;
Loathing our life, and dreading still to die. Iumility and that I never had.
In all the days of this detested yokeler faults were mine-her virtues were her own This vital weight upon the struggling heart, loved her, and destroy'd her!
Which sinks with sorrow, or beats quick with pain, IV itch.
With thy hand?
Or joy that ends in agony or faintnessMan. Not with my hand, but heart-which broke In all the days of past and future, for her heart
In life there is no present, we can number gazed on mine and wither'd. I have shed
How few-how less than few-wherein the soul lood, but not hers-and yet her blood was shed; Forbears to pant for death, and yet draws back saw-and could not stanch it.
As from a stream in winter, though the chill Vilch.
And for this
Be but a moment's. I have one resource being of the race thou dost respise,
Still in my science-I can call the dead, he order which thine own would rise above,
And ask them what it is we dread to bc: ingling with us and ours, thou dost forego
The sternest answer can but be the Grave, he gifts of our great knowledge, and shrink'st back And that is nothing--if they answer noto recreant mortality-Away!
The buried Prophet answer'd to the Hag Man. Daughter of Air! I tell thee, since that Of Endor; and the Spartan Monarch drew hour
From the Byzantine maid's unsleeping spirit at words are breath-look on me in my sleep,
An answer and his destiny-he slew · watch my watchings-Come and sit by me! That which he loved, unknowing what he slew, y solitude is solitude no more,
And died unpardon d—though he call'd in aid it peopled with the Furies. I have gnash'd The Phyxian Jove, and in Phigalia roused y teeth in darkness till returning morn,
The Arcadian Evocators to compel len cursed myself till sunset; I have pray'd The indignant shadow to depose her wrath, r madness as a blessing-'tis denied me.
Or fix her term of vengeance-she replied ave affronted death-but in the war
In words of dubious import, but fulfill'd.* elements the waters shrank from me,
If I had never lived, that which I love d fatal things pass'd harmless-the cold hand Had still been living ; had I never loved, an all-pitiless demon held me back,
That which I love would still be beautifulck by a single hair, which would not break. Happy and giving happiness. What is she? hantasy, imagination, all
What is she now?-a sufferer for my sinse affluence of my soul-which one day was A thing I dare not think upon-or nothing. resus in creation-I plunged deep.
Within few hours I shall not call in vain, like an ebbing wave, it dashed me back Yet in this hour I dread the thing I dare : > the gulf of my unfathom'd thought.
Until this hour I never shrunk to gaze unged amidst mankind-Forgetfulness
On spirit, good or evil; now I tremble, light in all, save where 'tis to be found,
And feel a strange cold thaw upon my heart. I that I have to learn-my sciences, long pursued and superhuman art,
* The story of Pausanias. king of Sparta (who comortal here- I dwell in my despair
manded the Greeks at the battle of Platea, and afterlive-and live for ever.
wards perished for an attempt to betray the Lacede. itch.
It inay be
monians), and Cleonice, is told in Plutarch's Life of
Cimon ; and in the Laconics of Pausanias the sophist, t I can aid thee.
in his description of Greece
But I can act even what I most abhor,
This wreck of a realm--this deed of my doingAnd champion human fears.—The night approaches For ages I've done, and shall still be renewing!
Enter the Second and Third Destinies.
Our hands contain the hearts of men,
Our footsteps are their graves;
The spirits of our slaves !
First Des. Welcome!-Where's Nenesis ? And leave no traces ; o'er the savage sea,
At some great work: The glassy ocean of the mountain ice,
But what I know not, for my hands were full. We skim its rugged breakers, which put on
Third Des. Behold, she cometh.
Say, where hast thou been? The fretwork of some earthquake-where the My sisters and thyself are slow to-night. clouds
Nem. I was detain'd repairing shatter'd thrones, Pause to repose themselves in passing by
Marrying fools, restoring dynasties, Is sacred to our revels, or our vigils;
Avenging men upon their enemies, Here do I wait my sisters, on our way
And making them repent their own revenge; To the Hall of Arimanes, for to-night
Goading the wise to madness; from the dull
Shaping out oracles to rule the world
Afresh, for they were waxing out of date,
And mortals dared to ponder for themselves,
To weigh kings in the balance, and to speak
Of freedom, the forbidden fruit.-Away!
We have outstay'd the hour-mount we our clouds !
(Exeunt. I broke through his slumbers,
SCENE IV.-The Hall of Arimanes-Arimmes I shiver'd his chain,
on his Throne, a Globe of Fire, surrounded by I leagued him with numbers
Hymn of the Spirits.
Hail to our Master I-Prince of Earth and Air!
Who walks the clouds and waters-in his hand Second Voice, without.
The sceptre of the elements, which tear The ship sail'd on, the ship sail'd fast, :
Themselves to chaos at his high command ! But I left not a sail, and I left not a mast;
He breatheth-and a tempest shakes the sea ; There is not a plank of the hull or the deck,
He speaketh-and the clouds reply in thunder; And there is not a wretch to lament o'er his wreck He gazeth--from his glance the sunbeams flee; Save one, whom I held, as he swam, by the hair, He moveth-earthquakes rend the world asunder. And he was a subject well worthy my care; Beneath his footsteps the volcanoes rise; A traitor on land, and a pirate at sea
His shadow is the Pestilence; his path But I saved him to wreak further havoc for me : The comets herald through the crackling skies; First Destiny, answering.
And planets turn to ashes at his wrath.
To him War offers daily sacrifice;
To him Death pays his tribute; Life is his,
With all its infinite of agonies-
And his the spirit of whatever is !
Enter the Destinies and Nemesis.
First Des. Glory to Arimanes ! on the earth
His power increaseth-both iny sisters did
His bidding, nor did I neglect my duty!
Second Des. Glory to Arimanes! we who bow
The necks of men bow down before his throne! The touch that they die from.
Third Des. Glory to Arimanés! we await his Sorrow and anguish,
nod! And evil and dread,
Nem. Sovereign of sovereigns, we are thine,
And all that liveth, more or less, is ours,
And most things wholly so; still to increase
Our power, increasing thine, demands our care,
And we are vigilant. Thy late commands
Have been fulfill'd to the utinost.
Nem. What wouldst thou ! d Spirit. What is here? Man.
Thou canst not reply to me. A mortal - Thou most rash and fatal wretch, Call up the dead-my question is for them. Bow down and worship!
Nem. Great Arimanes, doth thy will avouch Second Spirit. I do know the man
The wishes of this inortal ? A Magian of great power, and fearful skill!
Yea. Third Spirit. Bow down and worship, slave
Whom wouldst thou What, know'st thou not
Shadow! or Spirit ! Man.
I know it;
Whatever thou art, And yet ye see I kneel not.
Which still doth inherit Fourth Spirit. 'Twill be taught thee.
The whole or a part Man. 'Tis taught already ;-many a night on the
of the form of thy birth, earth,
Of the mould of thy clay, On the bare ground, have I bow'd down my face,
Which return'd to the earth, And strew'd my head with ashes; I have known
Re-appear to the day! The fulness of humiliation, for
Bear what thou borest, sunk before my vain despair, and knelt
The heart and the form,
And the aspect thou worest
Redeem from the worm.
Appearl-Appear!-Appear! Vhat the whole earth accords, beholding not
Who sent thee there requires thee hcrc! The terror of his glory!-Crouch! I say.
[The Phantom of. Astarte rises and stands in Man. Bid him bow down to that which is above
the midst. him,
Man. Can this be death? there's bloom upon her "he overruling Infinite-the Maker
cheek; Vho made him not for worship-let him kneel, But now I see it is no living hue, ind we will kneel together.
But a strange hectic--like the unnatural red The Spirits.
Crush the worm! Which autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf. 'ear him in pieces !
It is the same! O Godl that I should dread First Des.
Hence! Avaunt! he's inine, To look upon the same-Astarte !-No, rince of the Powers invisible! this man
I cannot speak to her-but bid her speak5 of no common order, as his port
Forgive me or condemn me. nd presence here denote : his sufferings
Nemesis. ave been of an immortal nature, like ur own; his knowledge, and his powers and will,
By the power which hath broken s far as is compatible with clay,
The grave which enthrall’d thee, hich clogs the ethereal essence, have been such
Speak to him who hath spoken,
Or those who have call'd thee. s clay hath seldom borne; his aspirations ave been beyond the dwellers of the earth,
She is silent, nd they have only taught him what we know
And in that silence I am more than answer'd. hat knowledge is not happiness, and science Nem. My power extends no further.
Prince of it an exchange of ignorance for that
Air ! hich is another kind of ignorance.
It rests with thee alone-command her voice. his is not all-the passions, attributes
Ari. Spirit-obey this sceptre ! earth and heaven, from which no power, nor
Silent still! being,
of our order, but belongs or breath, from the worm upwards, is exempt,
To the other powers. Mortal! thy quest is vain, ive pierced his heart, and in their consequence And we are baffled also. ide him a thing, which I, who pity not,
Hear me, hear me t pardon those who pity. He is mine,
Astarte my beloved I speak to me: id thine, it may be-be it so, or not,
I have so much endured-so much endureother spirit in this region hath
Look on me! the grave hath not changed thce soul like his or power upon his soul.
more Vem. What doth he here then?
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me First Des.
Let him answer that. Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made Tan. Ye know what I have known; and without To torture thus each other, though it were power
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved. ould not be amongst ye: but there are
Say that thou loath'st me not-that I do bear vers deeper still beyond—I come in quest This punishment for both-that thou wilt be such, to answer unto what I seek.
One of the blessed--and that I shall die;
For hitherto all hateful things conspire
Her. All, my lord, are ready : To bind me in existence-in a life
Here is thic key and casket. Which makes me shrink from immortality
It is well : A future like the past. I cannot rest.
Thou may'st retire.
[Exit Herman. I know not what I ask, nor what I seek:
Man. (alone.) There is a calm upon meI feel but what thou art--and what I am ;
Inexplicable stillness! which till now
Did not belong to what I knew of life.
To be of all our vanities the motliest,
The golden secret, the sought • Kalon' found, Which answer'd me-many things answered me And seated in my soul. It will not last, Spirits and inen-but thou wert silent all.
But it is well to have known it, though but once :
Her. My lord, the Abbot of St. Maurice craves Speak to me I though it be in wrath ;-but say
To greet your presence. I reck not what-but let me hear thee once
Enter the Abbot of St. Maurice. This once-once more !
Peace be with Count Manfred! Phantom of Astarte. Manfred !
Man. Thanks, holy father! welcome to these Man.
Say on, say on walls; I live but in the sound-it is thy voice!
Thy presence honours them, and blesseth those Phan. Manfred ! to-morrow ends thine earthly ills. Who dwell within them. Farewell !
Would it were so, Count! Man. .
Yet one word more-am I forgiven? But I would fain confer with thee alone. Plant. Farewell !
Man. Herman, retire. What would my reverend Man. Say, shall we meet again?
Abbot. Thus, without prelude :-Age and zeal, Man. One word for mercy! Say thou lovest me.
my office, Pha!. Manfred!
And good intent must plead my privilege ; The Spirit of Astarte disappears. Our near, though not acquainted neighbourhood, Nem.
She's gone, and will not be recall'd; May also be my herald. Rumours strange,
And of unholy nature, are abroad,
For centurie may he who bears it now
Proceed-I listen. His torture tributary to his will.
Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the Had he been one of us, he would have made
things An awful spirit.
Which are forbidden to the search of man;
That with the dwellers of the dark abodes,
The many evil and unheavenly spirits Man. None.
Which walk the valley of the shade of death, Nem. Then for a time farewell.
Thou communest. I know that with mankind, Man. We meet then! Where? On the earth Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely Even as thou wilt : and for the grace accorded Exchange thy thouglıts, and that thy solitude I now depart a debtor. Fare ye well !
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy. (Exit Manfred. Man. And what are they who do arouch these (Scene closes.)
Abbot. My pious brethren - the sacred pok ACT III.
Even thy own vassals—who do look on thee
With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril.
Man. Take it.
I come to save, and not destroy : Her.
It wants but one till sunset, I would not pry into thy secret soul; And promises a lovely twilight.
But if these things be sooth, there still is time Man,
For penitence and pity: reconcile thee Are all things so disposed of in the tower
With the true church, and through the church 13 As I directed ?