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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 borno-
Thou worm! whom I obey and scorn-
Forced 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 parlay with a thing like theo-
What woulust thou, Child of Clay! with due !

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 wouldst 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 thero
Ye know it, and I cannot utter it.

Spirit. We can but give thee that which we possese :
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 mo-but the power which brought ye bere
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 us.

Man. I then have call'd ye from your realms in vain ;
Ye cannot, or ye will :0t, aid me.
Spirit.

Say;
What we possess we offer; it is thing :
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 herr
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. O God! if it be thus, and th:02
Are not a madness and a mockery,
1 yet might be most happy. I will clasp thee,
And we again will be-

[The figure vanishes. My heart is crush'd.

[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,
Saall 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;

Ay a power to thee unknown,
zhou canst never bo 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 eyo
As a thing that, though unseen,
Must be near 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 foa!
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 bave a sun,
Which shall make thee wish it done.

From thy false tears I did distil
An essence which has strength to kill ;
From thine own heart I then did wring
The black blood in its blackest spring;
From thine own smile I snatch'd the snake,
For there it coil'd as in a brake;
From thino own lip I drew the charm
Which

gave

all these their chiefest harm;
In proving every poison known,
I found the strongest was thine own.
By thy cold breast and serpent smile,
By thy unfathom'd gulfs of guile,
By that most seeming virtuous eye,
By thy shut soul's hypocrisy ;
By the perfection of thine art
Which pass’d for human thine own hearts
By thy delight in others' pain,
And by thy brotherhood of Cain,
I call upon thee ! and compel
Thyself to be thy proper Hell !

And on thy head I pour the vial
Which doth devote thee to this tria;
Nor to slumber, nor to die,
Sha:l be in thy destiny ;

Though thy death shall still seem near
To thy wish, but as a fear;
Jo! the spell now works around theo,
And the clankless chain hath bound thee;
O'er thy heart and brain together
Hath the word been pass'd—now wither!

SCENE II.

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 superhuman 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 Mountaing,
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. Ay,
Thou winged and cloud-cleaving ininister,

[An eagle passer
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 her ;
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 mo !

Enter from below a CHAMOIS HUNTER.
Chamois Hunter.

Even sc
This way the chamois leapt: her nimble feet
Have baffled me; my gains to-day will scarce
Repay my break-neck travail.- What is here?
Who seems not of my trade, and yet hath reach'd
A height which none even of our mountaineers,
Save our best hunters, may attain : his garb
Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air
Proud as a freeborn peasant's, at this distance-
I will approach him nearer.

Man. (not perceiving the other). To be thus-
Gray-hair'd with anguish, like these blasted pines,
Wrecks of a single winter, barkless, branchless,
A blighted trunk upon a cursed root,
Which but supplies a feeling to decay-
And to be thus, eternally but thus,
Having been otherwise ! Now furrow'd o'er
With wrinkles, plough'd by moments, not by years
And hours—all tortured into ages-hours
Which I outlive !-Ye toppling crags of ice !
Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws dawn
In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and crush me!
I hear ye momently above, beneath,
Crash with a frequent conflict ; but ye pass
And only fall on things that still would livo;
On the young flourishing forest, or the hut
And hamlet of the harmless villager.

C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from up the valley;
I'll warn him to descend, or he may chance
To lose at once his way and life together.

Man. The mists boil up around the glaciers : clouds
Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphury,
Like foam from the roused ocean of deep Hell,
Whose every wave breaks on a living shore,
Heap'd with the damn'd like pebbles.- I am giddy.

C. Hun. I must approach him cautiously ; if near,
A sudden step will startle him, and he
Seems tottering already.

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