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Man. Ye mock me-but the power which brought ye


Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will!
The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark,
The lightning of my being, is as bright,
Pervading, and far darting as your own,

And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in clay !
Answer, or I will teach you what I am.

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,
As music on the waters; and I see

The steady aspect of a clear large star;
But nothing more. Approach me as ye are,
Or one, or all, in your accustom'd forms,

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,
And the meteor on the grave,
And the wisp on the morass;
When the falling stars are shooting,
And the answer'd owls are hooting,
And the silent leaves are still
In the shadow of the hill,
Shall my soul be upon thine,

With a power and with a sign.

Though thy slumber may be deep,
Yet thy spirit shall not sleep;

There are shades which will not vanish,

There are thoughts thou canst not banish;

By a power to thee unknown,
Thou canst never be alone;

Thou art wrapt as with a shroud,
Thou art gather'd in a cloud;
And for ever shalt thou dwell
In the spirit of this spell.

Though thou seest me not pass by,
Thou shalt feel me with thine eye
As a thing that, though unseen,
Must be near thee, and hath been;
And when in that secret dread
Thou hast turn'd around thy head,
Thou shalt marvel I am not
As thy shadow on the spot,
And the power which thou dost feel
Shall be what thou must conceal.

And a magic voice and verse
Hath baptized thee with a curse;
And a spirit of the air

Hath begirt thee with a snare;
In the wind there is a voice
Shall forbid thee to rejoice;
And to thee shall Night deny
All the quiet of her sky;
And the Day shall have a sun,

Which shall make thee wish it done.


(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-
The spells which I have studied baffle me—
The remedy I reck'd of tortured me.

I lean no more on super-human aid;

It hath no power upon the past, and for
The future, till the past be gulf'd in darkness,

It is not of my search.-My mother Earth!

And thou fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains,
Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye.
And thou, the bright eye of the universe,
That openest over all, and unto all
Art a delight-thou shin'st not on my heart.
And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme edge
I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest for ever-wherefore do I pause?
I feel the impulse-yet I do not plunge;
I see the peril-yet do not recede;
And my brain reels-and yet my foot is firm :
There is a power upon me which withholds,

And makes it my fatality to live;
If it be life to wear within myself
This barrenness of spirit, and to be

My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased
To justify my deeds unto myself—

The last infirmity of evil.


Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,

[An eagle passes.

Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well may'st thou swoop so near me—I should be
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above,
With a pervading vision. -Beautiful!
How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!

But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit

To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence make

A conflict of its elements, and breathe

The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will,
Till our mortality predominates,

And men are-what they name not to themselves,
And trust not to each other. Hark! the note,

[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;
My soul would drink those echoes.—Oh, that I were
The viewless spirit of a lovely sound.

A living voice, a breathing harmony,
A bodiless enjoyment-born and dying
With the blest tone which made me !

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