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[The Phantom of ASTARTE rises and stands in the

midst.
Man. Can this be death ? there's bloom upon her cheek ;
But now I see it is no living hue,
But a strange hectic-like the unnatural red
Which autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf.
It is the same! O God! that I should dread
To look upon the same-Astarte !No,
I cannot speak to her—but bid her speak-
Forgive me or condemn me.

NEMESIS.
By the power which hath broken

The grave which enthrali'd thee,
Speak to him who hath spoken,

Or those who have call'd thee.
Man.

She is silent, And in that silence I am more than answer'd.

Nem. My power extends no further. Prince of Air ! It rests with thee alone-command her voice.

Ari. Spirit-obey this sceptre.
Nem.

Silent still!
She is not of our order, but belongs
To the other powers. Mortal! thy quest is vain,
And we are baffled also.
Man.

Hear me; hear me-
Astarte! my beloved ! speak to me :
I have so much endured-so much endure-
Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me
Too much, as I loved thee; we were not made
To torture thus each other, though it were
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved.
Say that thou loath'st me not—that I do bear
This punishment for both-that thou wilt be
One of the blessed-and that I shall die ;
For hitherto all hateful things conspire

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To bind me in existence-in a life
Which makes me shrink from immortality,
A future like the past. I cannot rest.
I know not what I ask, nor what I seek :
I feel but what thou art-and what I am ;
And I would hear yet once before I perish
The voice which was my music-Speak to me!
For I have call'd on thee in the still night,
Startled the slumbering birds from the hush'd boughs,
And woke the mountain wolves, and made the caves
Acquainted with thy vainly echoed name,
Which answer'd me-many things answer'd me-
Spirits and men-but thou wert silent all.

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Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
And gazed o'er heaven in vain in search of thee.
Speak to me! I have wander'd o'er the earth,
And never found thy likeness.-Speak to me!
Look on the fiends around-they feel for me:
I fear them not, and feel for thee alone-
Speak to me! though it be in wrath ; but say~
I reck not what--but let me hear thee once-
This once-once more !

Phantom of Astarte. Manfred !
Мап.

Say on, say on-
I live but in the sound, it is thy voice!

150 Phan. Manfred ! to-morrow ends thine earthly ills. Farewell ! Man. Yet one word more-am I forgiven ?

Plat. Farewell.
Man.

Say, shall we meet again ?
Phan.

Farewell!
Man. One word for mercy! Say thou lovest me.
Phat. Manfred !

[The Spirit of Astarte disappears. Nem. She's gone, and will not be recall’d; Her words will be fulfill'd. Return to the earth,

A Spirit. He is convulsed.— This is to be a mortal, And seek the things beyond mortality. Another Spirit. Yet, see, he mastereth himself, and

makes His torture tributary to his will.

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Had he been one of us, he would have made
An awful spirit.
Nem.

Hast thou further question
Of our great sovereign, or his worshippers ?
Man. None.
Nem.

Then for a time farewell.
Man. We meet then! Where? On the earth ?
Even as thou wilt: and for the grace accorded
I now depart a debtor. Fare ye well!

(Scene closes.)

ACT III.
SCENE I.-A Hall in the Castle of MANFRED.

MANFRED and HERMAN.
Man. What is the hour?
Her.

It wants but one till sunset,
And promises a lovely twilight.
Ман.

Say,
Are all things so disposed of in the tower
As I directed ?
Her.

All, my lord, are ready:
Here is the key and casket.
Man.

It is well :
Thou may'st retire.

[Exit Herman. Man. (alone). There is a calm upon meInexplicable stillness ! which till now Did not belong to what I knew of life. If that I did not know philosophy To be of all our vanities the motliest,

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The merest word that ever fool'd the ear
From out the schoolman's jargon, I should deem
The golden secret, the sought “ Kalon ” found,
And seated in my soul. It will not last,
But it is well to have known it, though but once:
It hath enlarged my thoughts with a new sense,
And I within my tablets would note down
That there is such a feeling. Who is there?

Re-enter HERMAN.
Her. My lord, the Abbot of St. Maurice craves
To greet your presence.

Enter the ABBOT OF ST. MAURICE.
Abbot.

Peace be with Count Manfred ! Man. Thanks, holy father! welcome to these walls ; Thy presence honors them, and blesseth those Who dwell within them. Abbot.

Would it were so, Count !-
But I would fain confer with thee alone.
Man. Herman, retire.- What would my reverend guest ?
Abbot. Thus, without prelude :- Age and zeal, my

office,
And good intent must plead my privilege ;
Our near, though not acquainted neighborhood,
May also be my herald. Rumors strange,
And of unholy nature, are abroad,

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And busy with thy name; a noble name
For centuries; may he who bears it now
Transmit it unimpair'd!
Man.

Proceed-I listen. Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the things Which are forbidden to the search of man; That with the dwellers of the dark abodes, The many evil and unheavenly spirits Which walk the valley of the shade of death, Thou communest. I know that with mankind,

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Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely
Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy solitude
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.
Man. And what are they who do avouch these things?

Abbot. My pious brethren-the scared peasantry
Even thy own vassals—who do look on thee
With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril.

Man. Take it.
Abbot.

I come to save, and not destroy~
I would not pry into thy secret soul;
But if these things be sooth, there still is time
For penitence and pity: reconcile thee
With the true church, and through the church to Heaven.

Man. I hear thee. This is my reply: Whate'er
I may have been, or am, doth rest between
Heaven and myself-I shall not choose a mortal
To be my mediator. Have I sinn'd
Against your ordinances ? Prove and punish!

Abbot. My son ! I did not speak of punishment,
But penitence and pardon ;-with thyself
The choice of such remains—and for the last,
Our institutions and our strong belief
Have given me power to smooth the path from sin
To higher hope and better thoughts; the first
I leave to Heaven-“ Vengeance is mine alone!"
So saith the Lord, and with all humbleness
His servant echoes back the awful word.

Man. Old man ! there is no power in holy men,
Nor charm in prayer—nor purifying form
Of penitence—nor outward look-nor fast-
Nor agony--nor, greater than all these,
The innate tortures of that deep despair,
Which is remorse without the fear of hell,
But all in all sufficient to itself
Would make a hell of heaven-can exorcise
From out the unbounded spirit, the quick sense
Of its own sins, wrongs, sufferance, and revenge

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