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Man. Ye mock me-but the power which brought ye
Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will!
And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in clay !
Spirit. We answer as we answer'd; our reply
Is even in thine own words.
Why say ye so?
Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ours,
We have replied in telling thee, the thing
Mortals call death hath nought to do with us.
Man. I then have call'd ye from your realms in vain ; Ye cannot, or ye will not, aid me.
What we possess we offer; it is thine :
Bethink ere thou dismiss us, ask again—
Kingdom, and sway, and strength, and length of days— Man. Accursed! what have I to do with days?
They are too long already.-Hence-begone!
Spirit. Yet pause: being here, our will would do thee service;
Bethink thee, is there then no other gift
Which we can make not worthless in thine eyes?
Man. No, none; yet stay-one moment, ere we part
I would behold ye face to face. I hear
Your voices, sweet and melancholy sounds,
The steady aspect of a clear large star;
Spirit. We have no forms, beyond the elements
Of which we are the mind and principle:
But choose a form-in that we will appear.
Man. I have no choice; there is no form on earth Hideous or beautiful to me. Let him,
Who is most powerful of ye, take such aspect
As unto him may seem most fitting-Come!
Seventh Spirit. (Appearing in the shape of a beautiful female figure.) Behold!
Man. Oh God! if it be thus, and thou
Art not a madness and a mockery,
I yet might be most happy. I will clasp thee,
And we again will be
My heart is crush'd!
[The figure vanishes.
[MANFRED falls senseless.
(A Voice is heard in the Incantation which follows.)
When the moon is on the wave,
And the glow-worm in the grass,
With a power and with a sign.
Though thy slumber may be deep,
There are shades which will not vanish,
There are thoughts thou canst not banish;
By a power to thee unknown,
Thou art wrapt as with a shroud,
Though thou seest me not pass by,
And a magic voice and verse
Hath begirt thee with a snare;
Which shall make thee wish it done.
MANFRED ON THE CLIFFS.
(MANFRED, Act i. Scene 2.)
The Mountain of the Jungfrau.-Time, Morning.— MANFRED alone upon the Cliffs.
Man. THE spirits I have raised abandon me-
I lean no more on super-human aid;
It hath no power upon the past, and for
It is not of my search.-My mother Earth!
And thou fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains,
And makes it my fatality to live;
My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased
The last infirmity of evil.
Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,
[An eagle passes.
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
And men are-what they name not to themselves,
[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance is heard.
The natural music of the mountain reed
For here the patriarchal days are not
A pastoral fable-pipes in the liberal air,
Mix'd with the sweet bells of the sauntering herd;
A living voice, a breathing harmony,