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Though thou geest me not pass by, Thou shalt feel me with thine eye As a thing that, though unseen, Must be near thee, 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 feel 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 thce to rejoice; And to thee shall Night deny All the quiet of her sky; And the day shall have a snn, Which shall make thee wish it done.
Manf. 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 : Bethink ere thou dismiss us, ask againKingdom, and sway, and strength, and
length of daysManf. 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 ? Manf. No, none: yet stay-one moment,
ere we partI would behold ye face to face. I hear 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. Manf. I have no choice; there is no forin
on earth Hideous or beautiful to me. Let him, Who is most powerful of ye, take such aspect As unto him may scem most fitting - Come! Seventh Spirit. (Appearing in the shape of
a beautiful female figure.) Behold! Manf. Oh God! if it be thus, and thou Art 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. (1 voice is heard in the Incantation which
From thy false tears I did distil An essence which hath strength to kill; From thy own heart I then did wring The black blood in its blackest spring; From thy own smile I snatch'd the snake, For there it coil'd as in a brake; From thy 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 thiné own heart; 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 trial; Nor to slumber, nor to die, Shall be in thy destiny; Though thy death shall still seem near To thy wish, but as a fear; Lo! the spell now works around thee, And the clankless chain hath bound thee; O'er thy heart and brain together Hath the word been pass'd-now wither!
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; By a power to thee unknown, Thou canst never be alone; 'Thon 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.
SCENE II. - The Mountain of the Jungfrau.
Time, Morning MANPRED alone upon the Cliffs. Manf. The spirits I have raised abandon
The spells which I have studied baffle me –
The future, till the past be gulrd in darkness, | Have baffled me; my gains to-day will scarce It is not of my search.—My mother Earth! Repay my break-neck travail. What is here? And thou fresh breaking Day, and you, ye who seems not of my trade, and yet hath Mountains,
reach'd Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye. A height which none even of our mountAnd thou, the bright eye of the universe, aineers, That'openest over all, and unto all Save onr best hunters, may attain: his garb Art a delight, thou shinest not on my heart. Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme edge Proud as a free-born peasant's, at this I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneath
distance.Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs I will approach him nearer. In dizziness of distance ; when a leap, Manf. (Not perceiving the other.) To be A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring
thusMy breast upon its rocky boson's bed Gray-hair'd with anguish, like these blasted To rest for ever--wherefore do I pause?
pines, I feel the impulse - yet I do not plange; Wrecks of a single winter, barkless, branchI see the peril-yet do not recede;
less, And my brain reels—and yet my foot is firm: A blighted trunk upon a cursed root, There is a power upon me which withholds Which but supplies a feeling to decayAnd makes it my fatality to live;
And to be thus, eternally but thus, If it be life to wear within myself Having been otherwise! Now furrow'd o'er This barrenness of spirit, and to be With wrinkles, plough'd by moments, not My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased
by years; To justify my deeds into myself And hours-all tortured into ages-hours The last infirmity of evil. Ay,
Which I outlive!-Ye toppling crags of ice! Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister, Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws down
[An eagle passes. In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and Whose happy flight is highest into heaven, crush me! Well may'st thou swoop so near me--I I hear ye momently above, beneath, should be
Crash with a frequent conflict; but ye pass, Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou And only fall on things that still would live;
On the young flourishing forest, or the hut Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine And hamlet of the harmless villager. Yet pierces downward, onward, or above C. Hunt. The mists begin to rise from up With a pervading vision. - Beautiful!
the valley ; How beautiful is all this visible world! I'll warn him to descend, or he may chance How glorious in its action and itself! To lose at once his way and life together. But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, Manf. The mists boil up around the we,
glaciers; clouds Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
Rise curling fast beneath ine, white and To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence make sulphury, A conflict of its elements, and breathe Like foam from the roused ocean of deep The breath of degradation and of pride,
Hell, Contending with low wants and lofty will Whose every wave breaks ou a living shore, Till our mortality predominates,
Heap'd with the damn'd like pebbles.- 1 am And inen are—what they name not to them
C. Hunt. I must approach him cautiously; And trust not to each other. Hark! the note,
[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance A sudden step will startle him, and he is heard.
Seems tottering already. The natural music of the mountain-reed - Manf. Mountains have fallen, For here the patriarchal days are not Leaving a gap in the clouds, and with the A pastoral fable-pipes in the liberal air,
shock Mix'd with the sweet bells of the sauntering Rocking their Alpine brethren ; filling up. herd;
The ripe green valleys with destruction's My soul would drink those echocs.- Oh, splinters, that I were
Damming the rivers with a sudden dash, The viewless spirit of a lovely sound, Which crush'd the waters into mist, and made A living voice, a breathing harmony, Their fountains find another channel -- thus, A bodiless enjoyment-- born and dying Thus, in its old age, did Mount RosenbergWith the blest tone, which made me! Why stood I not beneath it?
C. Hunt. Friend ! have a care, Enter from below a Cramois HUNTER.
Your next step may be fatal!--for the love C. Hunter. Even so
Of him who made you, stand not on that This way the chamois leapt: hernimble feet brink!
Manf. (Not hearing him.) Such would My way of life leads me but rarely down
have been for me a fitting tomb; To bask by the huge hearths of those old My bones had then been quiet in their depth; halls, They had not then been strewn upon the rocks Carousing with the vassals; but the paths, For the wind's pastime, as thus-thus they Which step from out our mountains to their shall be
doors, In this one plunge.—Farewell, ye opening I know from childhood—which of these is heavens!
thine ? Look not upon me thus reproachfully Manf. No matter. Ye were not meant for me-Earth! take C. Hunt. Well,Sir,pardon me the question, these atoms !
And be of better cheer. Come, taste my wine; (A8 Manfred is in act to spring from 'Tis of an ancient vintage; many a day
the cliff, the Chamois Hunter scizes 'T has thaw'd my veins among our glaciers,
and retains him with a sudden grasp.) C. Hunt. Hold, madman!-though aweary Let it do thus for thine-Come, pledge me of thy life,
fairly. Stain not our pure vales with thy guilty Manf. Away, away! there's blood upon blood.
the brim! Away with me, I will not quit my hold. Will it then never-never sink in the earth? Manf. I am most sick at heart – nay, C. Hunt. What dost thou mean? thy senses grasp me not
wander from thee. I am all feebleness-the mountains whirl Manf. I say 'tis blood-my blood! the Spinning around me -I grow blind.-What
pure warm stream art thou ?
Which ran in the veins of my fathers, and C. Hunt. I'll answer that anon.-Away
in ours with me
When we were in our youth, and had one The clouds grow thicker-there-now lean
And loved each other as we should not Place your foot here-here, take this staff,
love, and cling
And this was shed: but still it rises up, A moment to that shrub-now give me Colouring the clouds, that shut me out your hand,
from heaven, And hold fast by my girdle-softly-well- Where thou art not-and I shall never be. The Chalet will be gain'd within an hour C. Hunt. Man of strange words, and some Come on, we'll quickly find a surer footing, half-maddening sin, And something like a pathway, which the Which makes thee people vacancy, whate'er torrent
Thy dread and sufferance be, there's comfort Hath wash'd since winter.—Come, 'tis brave
The aid of holy men,and heavenly patience You should have been a hunter - Follow me. Manf. Patience, and patience! Hence(As they descend the rocks with
that word was made difficulty, the scene closes.) For brutes of burthen, not for birds of
Preach it to mortals of a dust like thine, ACT II. .
I am not of thine order.
C. Hunt. Thanks to Heaven! SCENE I.-A Cottage amongst the Bernese I would not be of thine for the free fame Alps.
Of William Tell; but whatsoe'er thine ill, MANFRED and the CAAMOIS HUNTER.
It must be borne, and these wild starts are
useless. C. Hunt. No, no, yet pausc—thou must Manf. Do I not bear it?-Look on monot yet go forth :
I live. Thy mind and body are alike unfit
C. Hunt. This is convulsion, and no To trust each other, for sonre hours, at least;
healthful life. When thou art better, I will be thy guide Manf. I tell thee, man! I have lived But whither?
many years, Manf. It imports not: I do know Many long years, but they are nothing now My route full well, and need no further To those which I must number: agesguidance.
agesC. Hunt. Thy garb and gait bespeak thee Space and cternity-and consciousness, of high lineage
With the fierce thirst of death-and still One of the many chiefs, whose castled crage
unslaked ! Look o'er the lower valleys-- which of these C. Hunt. Why, on thy brow the seal of May call thee Lord? I only know their portals;
Hath scarce been set; I am thine elder far.
Manf. Think'st thou existence doth do- | SCENE II.- A lover Valley in the Alps.pend on time?
A Cataract. It doth: but actions are our epochs: mine
Enter MANFRED. Have made my days and nights imperishable, Endless, and all alike, as sands on the shore, It is not noon-the sunbow's rays still arch Innumerable atoms; and one desert, The torrent with the many hues of heaven, Barren and cold, on which the wild waves And roll the sheeted silver's waving column break,
O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular, But nothing rests, save carcasses and wrecks, And fling its lines of foaming light along, Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness. And to and fro, like the pale
courser's tail, C. Hunt. Alas! he's mad—but yet I must The Giant-steed, to be bestrode by Death, not leave him.
As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes Manf. I would I were_for then the things But mine now drink this sight of loveliness;
I should be sole in this sweet solitude, Would be but a distemper'd dream. And with the Spirit of the place divide C. Hunt. What is it
The homage of these waters.- I will call her. That thou dost see, or think thou look'st (MANFRED takes some of the water into
the palm of his hand, and flings it in Manf. Myself and thee-a peasant of the air, muttering the adjuration. the Alps
After a pause, the WITCH OF THE Thy humble virtues, hospitable home,
ALPy rises beneath the arch of the And spirit patient, pious, proud and free; sunbeam of the torrent.) Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent Manf. Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair thoughts;
of light, Thy days of health, and nights of slcep; And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form thy toils,
The charms of Earth's least-mortal daughBy danger dignified, yet guiltloss; hopes of cheerful old age and a quiet grave, To an unearthly stature, in an essence With cross and garland over its green turf, of purer elements; while the hues of youthAnd thy grandchildren's love for epitaph; Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek, This do I see—and then I look within Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart, It matters not-my soul was scorch'd already! Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight C. Hunt. And wouldst thou then exchange
leaves thy lot for mine?
Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow, Manf. No, friend! I would not wrong The blush of earth embracing with her thee, nor exchange
heaven,My lot with living being : ( can bear Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear The beauties of the sunbow which bends In life what others could not brook to
o'er thee. dream,
Bcautiful Spirit! in thy calm clear brow, But perish in their slumber.
Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul, C. Hunt. And with this
Which of itself shows immortality, This cautious feeling for another's pain, I read that thou wilt pardon to a Son Canst thou be black with evil ?-say not so, Of Earth, whom the abstruser powers permit Can one of gentle thoughts have wreak'd At times to commune with them, if that he revenge
Avail him of his spells—to call thee thus, Upon his enemies?
And gaze on thee a moment. Manf.: Oh! no, no, no!
Witch. Son of Earth! My injuries came down on those who loved I know thee and the powers which give
thee power; On those whom I best loved: I never quell'd I know thee, for a man of many thoughts, An enemy, save in my just defence - And deeds of good and ill, extreme in both, But my embrace was fatal.
Fatal and fated in thy sufferings. C. Hunt. Heaven give thee rest!, I have expected this—what wouldst thou And penitence to restore thee to thyself;
with me? My prayers shall be for thee.
Manf. To look upon thy beauty-nothing Manf I need them not,
further. But can endure thy pity. - I depart The face of the earth hath madden'd me, and I 'Tis time-farewell!– Here's gold, and Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce thanks for thee-
To the abodes of those who govern her No words-it is thy due.-- Follow me not But they can nothing aid me.
I have I know my path--the mountain peril 's songht past:
From them what they could not bestow, and And once again, I charge thee, follow not!
[Exit Manfred. I search no further.
Witch. What could be the quest The thirst of knowledge, and the power Which is not in the power of the most
and joy powerful,
of this most bright intelligence, until The rulers of the invisible?
Witch. Proceed. Manf. A boon;
Manf. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my words, But why should I repeat it? 'twere in vain. Boasting these idle attributes, because Witch. I know not that; let thy lips As I approach the core of my heart's griefutter it.
But to my task. I have not named to thee Manf. Well, though it torture me, 'tis Father or mother, mistress, friend, or being, but the same;
With whom I wore the chain of human ties; My pang shall find a voice. From my youth If I had such, they seem'd not such to meupwards
Yet there was one-My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men, Witch. Spare not thyself-proceed. Nor look'd upon the earth with human eyes; Manf. She was like me in lineaments The thirst of their ambition was not mine, The aim of their existence was not mine; Her hair, her features, all, to the very tone My joys, my griefs, my passions and my Even of her voice, they said were like to powers,
mine; Made me a stranger; though I wore the form, But soften'd all, and temper'd into beauty; I had no sympathy with breathing flesh, She had the same lone thoughts and wanNormidst the creatures of clay that girded me derings, Was there but one who--but of her anon. The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind I said, with men, and with the thoughts To comprehend the Universe: nor these of men,
Alone, but with them gentler powers than I held but slight 'communion; but instead, mine, My joy was in the Wilderness, to breathe Pity, and smiles, and tears—which I had not; The difficult air of the iced mountain's top, And tenderness -- but that I had for her, Where the birds dare not build, nor insect's Humility—and that I never had. wing
Her faults were mine- her virtues were her Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plunge Into the torrent, and to roll along I loved her, and destroy'd her! On the swift whirl of the new breaking Witch. With thy hand ?
Manf. Not with my hand, but heartOf river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.
which broke her heartIn these my early strength exulted; or It gazed on mine, and wither'd. I have shed To follow through the night the moving Blood, but not hers--and yet her blood was moon,
shed The stars and their development; or catch 1 saw- and could not staunch it. The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew
Witch. And for this
A being of the race thou dost despise, Or to look, list'ning, on the scattered leaves, The order which thine own would rise While Autumn-winds were at their evening above, song
Mingling with us and ours, thou dost forego These were my pastimes, and to be alone; The gifts of our great knowledge, and For if the beings, of whom I was one,
shrink'st back Hating to be so, -cross'd me in my path, To recreant mortality-Away! I felt myself degraded back to them, Monf. Daughter of Air! I tell thee, since And was all clay again. And then I dived, that hour In my lone wanderings, to the caves of death, But words are breath--look on me in my Searching its cause in its effect; and drew sleep, From wither'd bones, and skulls, and heap'd- Or watch my watchings—Come and sit by
me! Conclusions most forbidden. Then I pass'd My solitude is solitude no more, The nights of years in sciences untaught, But peopled with the Furies; - I have gnash'd Save in the old-time; and with time and toil, My teeth in darkness till returning morn, And terrible ordeal, and such penance Then cursed myself till sunset; I have As in itself hath power upon the air,
pray'd And spirits that do compass air and earth, For madness as a blessing—'tis denied me. Space, and the peopled Infinite, I made I have affronted death-but in the war Mine eyes familiar with Eternity,
Of elements the waters shrunk from me, Such as, before me, did the Magi, and And fatal things pass'd harmless—the cold He who from out their fountain-dwellings
of an all-pitiless demon held me back, Eros and Anteros, at Gadara,
Back by a single hair, which would not As I do thee;--and with my knowledge grew