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MANFRED AND THE SEVEN SPIRITS.
(MANFRED, Act i. Scene 1.)
MANFRED alone.--Scene, a Gothic Gallery.—Time,
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 itselfBut they avail not : I have done men good, And I have met with good even among menBut 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,
[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 will. ---Appear ! [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,
of the SECOND SPIRIT.
Mont Blanc is the Monarch of mountains ;
They crown'd him long ago
With a diadem of snow.
The Avalanche in his hand ;
Must pause for my command,
Moves onward day by day ;
Or with its ice delay.
Could make the mountain bow
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 rollid 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,
Shoot soaringly forth ;
Thy bidding to bide-
Thy will be my guide !