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MANFRED.'

ACT I. SCENE I.-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 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 meBut 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 2
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,3
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 will.–Appear !

(A star is seen at the darker end of the gallery : it is stationary;

and a voice is heard singing.

FIRST SPIRIT.

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 ; 4
Though thy quest may be forbidden,
On a star-beam I have ridden :
To thine adjuration bow'd,
Mortal-be thy wish avow'd !

l'oice 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 would'st 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 !

FOURTH SPIRIT.

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 bideThy spell hath subdued me,

Thy will be my guide !

FIFTI SPIRIT. I am the Rider of the wind,

The Stirrer of the storm ;
The hurricane I left behind

Is yet with lightning warm ;
To speed to thee, o'er shore and sea

I swept upon the blast :
The fleet I met sail'd well, and yet

'T will sink ere night be past.

Sixth SPIRIT.
My dwelling the shadow of the night,
Why doth thy magic torture me with light?

SEVEXTII SPIRIT. The star which rules thy destiny Was ruled, ere earth began, by me : It was a world as fresh and fair As e'er revolved round sun in air; Its course was free and regular, Space bosom'd not a lovelier star. The hour arrived--and it became A wandering mass of shapeless flame, A pathless comet, and a curse, The menace of the universe; Still rolling on with innate force, Without a sphere, without a course, A bright deformity on high, The monster of the upper sky! And thou ! beneath its influence born Thou worm ! whom I obey and scornForced by a power (which is not thine, And lent thee but to make thee mine) For this brief moment to descend, Where these weak spirits round thee bend And parley with a thing like thee-What would'st thou, Child of Clay! with me ?

The SEVEN SPIRITS.

Earth, ocean, air, night, mountains, winds, thy star,

Are at thy beck and bidding, Child of Clay ! Before thee at thy quest their spirits are

What would'st thou with us, son of mortals--say ?

Man. Forgetfulness-
First Spirit. Of what—of whom—and why?

Man. Of that which is within me; read it there
Ye know it, and I cannot utter it.

Spirit. We can but give thee that which we possess :
Ask of us subjects, sovereignty, the power
O'er earth-the whole, or portion--or a sign
Which shall control the elements, whereof
We are the dominators,-each and all,
These shall be thine.
Мап. .

Oblivion, self-oblivion !
Can ye not wring from out the hidden realms
Ye offer so profusely what I ask ?

Spirit. It is not in our essence, in our skill ;
But—thou may'st die.
Man.

Will death bestow it on me?
Spirit. We are immortal, and do not forget;
We are eternal; and to us the past
Is, as the future, present. Art thou answer'd ?

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

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 118.

Man. I then have call'd ye from your realms in vain ;
Ye cannot, or ye will not, aid me.
Spirit.

Say,
What we possess we offer; it is thine :

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