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(MANFRED, Act i. Scene 1.)

MANFRED alone.-Scene, a Gothic Gallery.-Time, Midnight.

Man. THE lamp must be replenish'd, but even then It will not burn so long as I must watch: My slumbers-if I slumber—are not sleep, But a continuance of enduring thought, Which then I can resist not in my heart There is a vigil, and these eyes but close To look within; and yet I live, and bear The aspect and the form of breathing men. But grief should be the instructor of the wise; Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth, The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life. Philosophy and science, and the springs Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world, I have essay'd, and in my mind there is A power to make these subject to itself— But they avail not: I have done men good, And I have met with good even among men— But this avail'd not: I have had my foes,

And none have baffled, many fallen before me—

But this avail'd not: Good, or evil, life,
Powers, passions, all I see in other beings,
Have been to me as rain unto the sands,
Since that all-nameless hour.

I have no dread,

And feel the curse to have no natural fear,

Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes, Or lurking love of something on the earth.

Now to my task.—

Mysterious Agency!

Ye spirits of the unbounded Universe!

Whom I have sought in darkness and in light—

Ye, who do compass earth about, and dwell

In subtler essence-ye, to whom the tops
Of mountains inaccessible are haunts,

And earth's and ocean's caves familiar things

I call upon ye by the written charm
Which gives me power upon you-

-Rise! appear!

[A pause.

They come not yet. -Now by the voice of him
Who is the first among you-by this sign,
Which makes you tremble-by the claims of him
Who is undying,-Rise! appear !——Appear!

[A pause.

If it be so.-Spirits of earth and air,
Ye shall not thus elude me: by a power,
Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant-spell,
Which had its birthplace in a star condemn'd,
The burning wreck of a demolish'd world,
A wandering hell in the eternal space;
By the strong curse which is upon my soul,
The thought which is within me and around me,
I do compel ye to my

[A star is seen at the darker end of the gallery: it is stationary; and a voice is heard singing.


Mortal! to thy bidding bow'd,
From my mansion in the cloud,
Which the breath of twilight builds,
And the summer's sunset gilds
With the azure and vermilion,
Which is mix'd for my pavilion ;
Though thy quest may be forbidden,
On a star-beam I have ridden;
To thine adjuration bow'd,
Mortal-be thy wish avow'd!

Voice of the SECOND SPirit.

Mont Blanc is the Monarch of mountains; They crown'd him long ago

On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds,
With a diadem of snow.

Around his waist are forests braced,
The Avalanche in his hand;
But ere it fall, that thundering ball
Must pause for my command.
The Glacier's cold and restless mass
Moves onward day by day;
But I am he who bids it pass,
Or with its ice delay.

I am the spirit of the place,

Could make the mountain bow And quiver to his cavern'd base—

And what with me wouldst Thou?

Voice of the THIRD SPIRIT.

In the blue depth of the waters, Where the wave hath no strife, Where the wind is a stranger,

And the sea-snake hath life, Where the Mermaid is decking Her green hair with shells; Like the storm on the surface Came the sound of thy spells; O'er my calm Hall of Coral

The deep echo roll'd

To the Spirit of Ocean
Thy wishes unfold!


Where the slumbering earthquake

Lies pillow'd on fire,

And the lakes of bitumen

Rise boilingly higher; Where the roots of the Andes

Strike deep in the earth,
As their summits to heaven

Shoot soaringly forth;
I have quitted my birthplace,
Thy bidding to bide—

Thy spell hath subdued me,

Thy will be my guide!

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