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In knowledge of our fathers--when the earth
Saw men and spirits walking side by side,
And gave ye no supremacy : I stand
Upon my strength-I do defy-deny-
Spurn back, and scorn ye!
But thy many crimes
Have made thee-
What are they to such as thee?
Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes,
And greater criminals ?-back to thy hell!
Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel ;
Thou never shalt possess me, that I know:
What I have done is done: I bear within
A torture which could nothing gain from thine:
The mind which is immortal makes itself
Requital for its good or evil thoughts-
Is its own origin of ill and end-
And its own place and time-its innate sense,
When stripp'd of this mortality, derives
No colour from the fleeting things without;
But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy,
Born from the knowledge of its own desert.
Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt me;
I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey-
But was my own destroyer, and will be
My own hereafter.-Back, ye baffled fiends!
140 The hand of death is on me--but not yours!
[The Demons disappear. Abbot. Alas ! how pale thou art—thy lips are white-And thy breast heaves—and in thy gasping throat The accents rattle—Give thy prayers to HeavenPray—albeit in thought-but die not thus.
Man. 'Tis over--my dull eyes can fix thee not; But all things swim around me, and the earth Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee wellGive me thy hand.
Abbot. Cold-cold-even to the heart
But yet one prayer-Alas! how fares it with thee ? 150 Man. Old man ! 'tis not so difficult to die.
[MANFRED expires. Abbot. He's gone—his soul hath ta'en his earthless
flightWhither? I dread to think-but he is gone.
OUR life is twofold : Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality.
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy ;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off our waking toils,
They do divide our being; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity;
They pass like spirits of the past—they speak
Like sibyls of the future; they have power-
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain;
They make us what we were not-what they will,
And shake us with the vision that's gone by,
The dread of vanish'd shadows-are they so ?
Is not the past all shadow ?-What are they?
Creations of the mind ?--The mind can make
Substance, and people planets of its own
With beings brighter than have been, and give
A breath to forms which can outlive all flesh.
I would recall a vision which I dream'd
Perchance in sleep; for in itself a thought,
A slumbering thought, is capable of years,
And curdles a long life into one hour.
I saw two beings in the hues of youth
Standing upon a hill, a gentle hill,
Green, and of mild declivity, the last
As 'twere the cape of a long ridge of such,
Save that there was no sea to lave its base,
But a most living landscape, and the wave
Of woods and cornfields, and the abodes of men
Scatter'd at intervals, and wreathing smoke.
Arising from such rustic roofs ;--the hill
Was crown'd with a peculiar diadem
Of trees, in circular array, so fix'd,
Not by the sport of nature, but of man:
These two, a maiden and a youth, were there
Gazing--the one on all that was beneath,
Fair as herself—but the boy gazed on her ;
And both were young, and one was beautiful :
And both were young-yet not alike in youth.
As the sweet moon on the horizon's verge,
The maid was on the eve of womanhood;
The boy had fewer summers, but his heart
Had far outgrown his years, and to his eye
There was but one beloved face on earth,
And that was shining on him ; he had look'd
Upon it till it could not pass away ;
He had no breath, no being, but in hers;
She was his voice; he did not speak to her,
But trembled on her words; she was his sight,
For his eye follow'd hers, and saw with hers,
Which colour'd all his objects :-he had ceased
To live within himself; she was his life,
The ocean to the river of his thoughts,
Which terminated all : upon a tone,
A touch of hers, his blood would ebb and flow,
And his cheek change tempestuously-his heart
Unknowing of its cause of agony.
But she in these fond feelings had no share :
Her sighs were not for him ; to her he was
Even as a brother-but no more; 'twas much,
For brotherless she was, save in the name
Her infant friendship had bestow'd on him ;
Herself the solitary scion left
Of a time-honour'd race.--It was a name
Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not-and why?
Time taught him a deep answer-when she loved
Another; even now she loved another,
And on the summit of that hill she stood
Looking afar if yet her lover's steed
Kept pace with her expectancy, and flew.
A change came o'er the spirit of my dream.
There was an ancient mansion, and before
Its walls there was a steed caparison'd :
Within an antique Oratory stood
The Boy of whom I spake ;-he was alone,
And pale, and pacing to and fro: anon
He sate him down, and seized a pen, and traced
Words which I could not guess of; then he lean'd
His bow'd head on his hands, and shook as 'twere
With a convulsion—then arose again,
And with his teeth and quivering hands did tear
What he had written, but he shed no tears,
And he did calm himself, and fix his brow
Into a kind of quiet : as he paused,
The Lady of his love re-enter'd there;
She was serene and smiling then, and yet
She knew she was by him beloved,—she knew,
For quickly comes such knowledge, that his heart
Was darken'd with her shadow, and she saw
That he was wretched, but she saw not all.
He rose, and with a cold and gentle grasp