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I saw, and could not hold his head,
Nor reach his dying hand-nor dead, -
Though hard I strove, but strove in vain,
To rend and gnash (1) my bonds in twain.
He died-and they unlock’d bis chain,
And scoop'd for him a shallow grave
Even from the cold earth of our cave.
I bece'd them, as a boon, to lay
His corse in dust whereon the day
Might shine—it was a foolish thought,
But then within my brain it wrought,
That even in death his freeborn breast
In such a dungeon could not rest.
I might have spared my idle prayer-
They coldly laugh'd-and laid him there:
The flat and turfless earth above
The being we so much did love;
His empty chain above it leant,
Such murder's fitting monument!

But be, the favourite and the flower,
Most cherish'd since his natal hour,
His mother's image in fair face,
The infant love of all his race,
His martyr'd father's dearest thought,
My latest care, for whom I sought
To hoard my life, that his might be
Less wretched now, and one day free;
He, 100, who yet had held untired
A spirit natural or inspired-
Je, too, was struck, and day by day
Was wither'd on the stalk away.
Oh, God! it is a fearful thing
To see the human soul lake wing
In any shape, in any mood :-
I've seen it rushing forth in blood,
I've seen it on the breaking ocean
Strive with a swoln convulsive motion;
I've seen the sick and ghastly bed
Of Sin delirious with its dread:
But these were horrors—this was woe
Unmix'd with such—but sure and slow :
He faded, and so calm and meek,
So softly worn, so sweelly weak,
So tearless, yet so tender-kind,
And grieved for thosc he left behind;
With all the while a cheek whose blooin
Was as a mockery of the lomb,
Whose tints as gently sunk away
As a departing rainbow's ray-
An eye of most transparent light,
That almost made the dungeon bright,
And not a word of murmur-not
A groan o'er his untimely lot,-

A little talk of better days,
A little hope my own to raise,
For I was sunk in silence-lost
In this last loss, of all the most;
And then the sighs he would suppress
Of fainting nature's feebleness,
More slowly drawn, grew less and less :
I listen'd, but I could not hear-
I call’d, for I was wild with fear;
I knew 't was hopeless, but my dread
Would not be thus admonished;
I call’d, and thought I heard a sound-
I burst my chain with one strong bound,
And rush'd to him:-1 found him not,
I only stirr'd in this black spot,
I only lived- I only drew
The accursed breath of dungeon-dew;
The last—the sole-lhe dearest link
Between me and the eternal brink,
Which bound me to my failing race,
Was broken in this fatal place. (2)
One on the earth, and one beneath-
My brothers—both had ceased to breathe :
I took that hand which lay so still,
Alas! my own was full as chill;
I had not strength to stir, or strive,
But felt that I was still alive-
A frantic feeling, when we know
That what we love shall ne'er be so.

I know not why

I could not die,
I had no earthly hope-but faith,
And that forbade a selfish death.

What next befell me then and there

I know not well-I never knew
First came the loss of light, and air,

And then of darkness too: I had no thought, no feeling-noneAmong the stones I stood a stone, And was, scarce conscious what I wist, As shrubless crags within the mist; For all was blank, and bleak, and grey, It was not night-it was not day, It was not even the dungeon-light, So hateful to my heavy sight, But vacancy absorbing space, And fixedness—without a place; There were no stars-no earth-no timeNo check-no change-no good-no crimeBut silence, and a stirless breath Which neither was of life nor death; A sea of stagnant idleness, Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless!

(1) In the MS.

"To break or bire," -E.

(2) “The gentle decay and gradual extinction of the youngest life is the most lender and beautiful passage in the poem." Jeffrey.


A light broke in upon my brain,

It was the carol of a bird;
It ceased, and then it came again,

The sweetest song ear ever heard;
And mine was thankful, till my eyes
Ran over with the glad surprise,
And they that moment could not see
I was the male of misery :
But then by dull degrees came back
My senses to their wonted track,
I saw the dungeon walls and floor
Close slowly round me as before;
I saw the glimmer of the sun
Creeping as it before had done,
But through the crevice where it came
That bird was perch’d, as fond and tame,

And lamer than upon the tree;
A lovely bird, with azure wings,
And song that said a thousand things,

And seem'd to say them all for me!
I never saw its like before,
I ne'er shall see its likeness more:
It seem'd like me to want a male,
But was not half so desolate,
And it was come to love me when
None lived to love me so again,
And cheering from my dungeon's brink,
Had brought me back to feel and think.
I know not if it late were free,

Or broke its cage to perch on mine,
But knowing well captivity,

Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine!
Or if it were, in winged guise,
A visitant from Paradise ;
For-Heaven forgive that thought! the while
Which made me both to weep and smile-
I sometimes deem'd that it might be
My brother's soul come down to me;
But then at last away it flew,
And then 't was mortal-well I knew;
For he would never thus have flown,
And left me twice so doubly lone,-
Lone—as the corse within ils shroud,
Lone-as a solitary cloud,

A single cloud on a sunny day,
While all the rest of heaven is clear,
A frown upon the atmosphere,
That hath no business to appear
When skies are blue, and earth is gay.

A kind of change came in my fate,
My keepers grew compassionate,

I know not what had made them so,
They were inured to sights of woe,
But so it was:-my broken chain
With links unfasten'd did remain,
And it was liberty to stride
Along my cell from side to side,
And up and down, and then athwart,
And tread it over every part;
And round the pillars one by one,
Returning where my walk begun,
Avoiding only, as I trod,
My brothers' graves without a sod;
For if I thought with heedless tread
My step profaned their lowly bed,
My breath came gaspingly and thick,
And my crush'd heart fell blind and sick.

I made a footing in the wall, -

It was not therefrom to escape,.
For I had buried one and all

Who loved me in a human shape; And the whole earth would henceforth be A wider prison unto me: No child-no sireno kin had I, No partner in my misery; I thought of this, and I was glad, For thought of them had made me mad; But I was curious to ascend To my barr'd windows, and to bend Once more, upon the mountains high, The quiet of a loving eye.

XIII. I saw them—and they were the same, They were not changed like me in frame; I saw their thousand years of snow On high-their wide long lake below, (1) And the blue Rhone in fullest flow; I heard the torrents leap and gush O'er channell’d rock and broken bush; I saw the white-wall'd distant town, And whiter sails go skimming down; And then there was a little isle, (2) Which in my very face did smile,

The only one in view;
A small green isle, it seem'd no more,
Scarce broader than my dungeon floor,
But in it there were three tall trees,
And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
And by it there were waters flowing,
And on it there were young flowers growing,

Orgentle breath and hue.
The fish swam by the castle wall,
And they seem'd joyous each and all;

(1) la the MS.

« I saw them with their lake below,

And their three thousand years of snow."-E.

(2) Between the entrances of the Rhone and Villeneuve, not far from Chillon, is a very small island; the ouly one I could perceive, in my voyage round and over the lake, wilhin its cir

The eagle rode the rising blast,
Melbought he never flew so fast
As then to me he seem'd to fly,
And then new tears came in my eye.
And I felt troubled—and would fain.
I had not left my recent chain;
And when I did descend again,
The darkness of my dim abode
Fell on me as a heavy load;
It was as is a new-dug grave,
Closing o'er one we sought to save,-
And yet my glance, too much oppressid,
Had almost need of such a rest.


It was at length the same to me,
Fetter'd or fetterless to be,

I learn'd to love despair :
And thus when they appear'd at last,
And all my bonds aside were cast,
These heavy walls to me had grown
A hermitage—and all my own!
And half 1 felt as they were come
To tear me from a second home.
With spiders I had friendship magle,
And watch'd them in their sullen trade,
Had seen the mice by moonlight play,
And why should I feel less than they ?
We were all inmates of one place,
And I, the monarch of each race,
Had power to kill-yet, strange to tell !
In quiet we had learn'd to dwell—(1)
My very chains and I grew friends,
So much a long communion tends
To make us what we are:-even I
Regain'd my freedom with a sigh. (?)

It might be months, or years, or days,

I kept no count-I took no nole, I had no hope my eyes to raise,

And clear them of their dreary mote; At last men came to set me free,

I ask'd not why, and reck'd not where:

cumference. It contains a few trees (I think not above three), ly possible to witness a sight more degrading to humanity than and from its singleness and diminutive size has a peculiar elfect this exhibition :-with matted hair, wild looks, and haggard seaupon the view.

tures, with eyes dazzled by the unwonted light of the sun, and (1) Here follow in MS.

ears deafened and astounded the sudden exchange of the silence “Nor slew 1 of my subjects one

of a dungeon for the busy hum of men, the wretches sit more like bath su little What sovereign

I dune?"-E.

rude images fashioned to a fantastic imitation of humanity, than yet so much hatla

like living and reflecting beings. In the course of time we are (2) It has not been the purpose of Lord Byron to paint the po- assured they generally become either madmen or idiots, as mind or culiar character of Bonnivard. The object of the poem, like that matter happens to predominate, when the mysterious balance of Sterne's celebrated sketch of the prisoner, is to consider between them is destroyed. It will readily be allowed that this captivity in the abstract, and to mark its effects in gradually singular poem is more powerful than pleasing. The dungeon of lebilling the mental powers as it benumbs and freezes the ani- Bonnivard is, like that of the Ugolino, a subject too dismal for mal frame, until the unfortunate victim becomes, as it were, a even the power of the painter or poet to counteract its horrors. part of his dungeon, and identified with his chains. This trans. It is the more disagreeable as affording human hope no anchor to mulation we believe to be founded on fact: at least, in the Low res! upon, and describing the sufferer, though a man of talents Countries, where solitude for life is substiluted for capital pu- and virtues, as altogether inert and powerless under his accunishments, something like it may be witnessed. On particular mulated sufferings: yel, as a picture, however gloomy the codays in the course of the year, these victims of a jurisprudence louring, it may rival any which Lord Byron has drawn; nor is in

which calls itself bumane, are presented to the public eye, upon possible to read it without a sinking of the heart, corresponding a stage erected in the open market-place, apparently to prevent with that which he describes the victim to have suffered." Sir their guilt and their punishment fror being forgotten. It is scarce

Walter Scott.


“ There are more things in beaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy,


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.
The DestinIES.

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.
The Scene of the Drama is amongst the Higher Philosophy and science, and the springs
Alps-partly in the Castle of Manfred, and partly in Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world,
the Mountains.

I have essay'd, and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself-

But they avail not: 1 have done men good,

and I have met with good even among men-
But 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,

Powers, passions, all I see in other beings,

Have been to me as rain unto the sands, MANFRED alone.--Scene, a Gothic Gallery.

Since that all-nameless hour. I have no dread, Time, midnight.

And feel the curse to have no natural fear, Man. The lamp must be replenish'd, but even Norfluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes, then

Or lurking love of something on the earth.-It will not burn so long as I must watch:

Now to my task.My slumbers—if I slumber-are not sleep,

Mysterious Agency!

(1) The following are extracts from Lord Byron's lellers to March 6.-]n remilliog the third act of the sort of dramatic Mr. Murray respecting the history of the composition of Man- poem of which you will by this time bave received the two tirsi, fred:

I have little to observe, except that you must not publish it (if it “Venice, Feb. 18, 1817.-1 forgot to mention to you, ever is published) without giving me previous police. I have kind of Poem in dialogue (in blank verse) or Drama, from which really and truly no notion whether it is good or bad; and as "the Incantation' is an extracı, begun last summer in Switzerland, this was not the case with the principal of my former publicais finished: it is in three acts, but of a very wild, metaphysical, tions, I am, therefore, inclined to rank it very humbly. You and inexplicable kind. Almost all the persons-bul iwo or three will submit it to Mr. Gifford, and to whomsoever you please -are Spirits of the earth and air, or the waters; the scene is in besides. The thing, you will see at a glimpse, could never be the Alps; the hero a kind of magician, who is tormented by a altempled or thought of for the stage; I much doubt if for publispecies of remorse, the cause of which is left half unexplained. cation even. It is too much in my old style; but I composed it He wanders about invoking these Spirits, which appear to him, actually with a horror of the stage, and withoa view to render and are of no use ; he at last goes to the very abode of the Evil the thought of it impracticable, knowing the zeal of my friends Priuciple, in proprid persond, lo evocale a ghust, which an- :ha:: should try that for which I bave an invincible repugnance, pears, and gives him an ambiguous and disagreeable answer; and, viz. a representation. I certainly am a devil of a mannerist, and in the third act, he is found by his attendants dying in a lower must leave od ; but what could I do? Without exertion of some where he had studied his art. You may perceive, by this out- kind, I should have sunk under my imagination and reality." line, that I have no great opinion of this piece of fantasy; but I “ March 26.-With regard to the Witch Drama,'I repeal, have at least rendered it quite impossible for the stage, for which that I have not an idea if it is good or bad. If bad, it must, on my intercourse with Drury-lane has given me the greatest con- no account, be risked in publication; is good, it is at your service. templ. I have not even copied it off, and feel 100 lazy at present 1 value it at three hundred guineas, or less, if you like it. 10 allempt the whole; but when I have, I will send it you, and Perhaps, ir published, the best way will be to add it to your winyou may either throw it into the fire or not."

that a

ler volume, and not publish separately. The price will show “ March 3.—1 sent you the other day, in two covers, the first you I don't pique myself upon it; so speak out. You may put it act of Manfred, a drama as mad as Nat Lee's Bedlam tragedy, into the fire, if you like, and Gifford don't like." which was in twenty-five acts and some odd scenes: mine is but “ April 9-ds for Manfred, the two first acts are the best, in three acts."

he third so so; but I was blown with the first and second beads. of ils reality enhances our emotions and kindles our imagi• There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, nation ;-for it is Manfred only that we are required to fear, to Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'

Ye spirits of the unbounded universe!
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,
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 yel urged, a tyrant-spell,
Which had its birth-place 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!
[4 star is seen at the darker end of the gal-

lery: il is stationary; and a voice is heard

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

Voice 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 soow.
Around bis 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 wouldst thou ?

Voice of the THIRD SPIRIT.
In the blue depth of the waters,

Where the wave hath no strife,

You may call it a poem,' for it is no drama, and I do not choose the helps that could be derived from the majesty of nalure, or the to bave it called by so d-d a name,-a Poem in dialogue,' or dread of superstition. It is enough, therefore, if the situation in -Pantomime, if you will, any thing but a green-room syno- which he has placed him is conceivable, and if the supposition Dyme; and this is your moilo

pily, or admire. If we can once conceive of him as a real exislThe annexed passages are extracted from the two ablest criti. ence, and enter into the depth and the height of his pride and his eismas that followed the publication of Manfred. “This celebrated sorrows, we may deal as we please with the means that have been piece is properly entilled a dramatic poem-for it is merely used to furnish us with this impression, or lo enable us to attain pretical, and is not at all a drama or play in the modern accep to this conception. We may regard them but as types, or melatalion of the term. It has no action, no plot, and no characters; phors, or allegories; but he the thing to be expressed, and Manfred merely muses and suffers from the beginning to the end. the feeling and the intellect of which all these are but shadows." His distresses are the same at the opening of the scene and at its -Jeffrey. closing, and the temper in which they are borne is the same. A “In this very extraordinary poem, Lord Byron has pursued bunter and a priest, and some domestics, are indeed introduced, the same course as in the third canto of Childe llarold, and put but they bave no connection with the passions or sufferings on out his strength upon the same objects. The action is laid which the interest depends; and Manfred is substantially alone among the mountains of the Alps-the characters are all, more throughout the whole piece. He holds no communion but with or less, formed and swayed by the operations of the magnificent the memory of the Being he had loved; and the immortal Spirits scenery around them, and every page of the poem teems with whom he evokes lo reproach with his misery, and their inability imagery and passion, though, at the same time, the mind of to relieve it. These unearthly beings approach nearer to the the poet is often overborne, as it were, by the strength and nocharacter of persons of the drama-but still they are but choral velty of its own conceptions; and thus the composition, as a accompaniments to the performance; and Manfred is, in reality, whole, is liable to many and fatal objections. But there is a still tbe only actor and sufferer on the scene. To delineate his cha- more novel exhibition of Lord Byron's powers in this remarkable racier indeed-lo render conceivable his feelings—is plainly the drama. He has here burst into the world of spirits; and, in the whole scope and design of the poem; and the conceplion and exe-wild delight with which the elements of nature seem to have culion are, in this respect, equally admirable. It is a grand and inspired him, he has endeavoured to embody and call up before terrific vision of a being invested with superhuman attributes, in him their ministering agents, and to employ these wild personiorder that he may be capable of more than human sufferings, fications, as he formerly employed the feelings and passions of and be sustained under them by more than human force and man. We are not prepared to say, that, in this daring attempt, pride. To object to the improbability of the fiction, is to mistake he has completely succeeded. We are inclined to think, that the end and aim of the author. Probabilities, we apprehend, did the plan he has conceived, and the principal character which be not enter at all into his consideration; his object was, to produce has wished to delineate, would require a fuller developement effect-o exalt and dilate the character through whom he was than is here given to them; and, accordingly, a sense of imperto imerest or appal us—and to raise our conception of il, by all lection, incompleteness, and confusion, accompanies the mind

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