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Lak A thou

From

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Sous And I Wash And And

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I said Isaid

He lot

Which 'gainst the world in war had stood,

But yet I forced it on to cheer

Which the soul's war doth leave behind.

Which have not seen the sun 80 rise He was past all mirth or woe:

For years--I cannot count them o'er, Nothing more remain'd below

I lost their long and heavy score, But sleepless nights and heavy days,

When my last brother droop'd and died,
A mind all dead to scorn or praise,

And I lay living by his side.
A heart which shunn'd itself—and yet
That would not yield-nor could forget ;

They chain'd us each to a column stone,
Which when it least appear'd to melt,

And we were three-yet, each alone,

We could not move a single pace,
Intently thought-intensely felt:

We could not see each other's face,
The deepest ice which ever froze
Can only o'er the surface close-

But with that pale and livid light
The living stream lies quick below,

That made us strangers in our sight; And flows--and cannot cease to flow.

And thus together-yet apart, Still was his seal’d-up bosom baunted

Fetter'd in hand, but pined in heart;

'Twas still some solace in the dearth By thoughts which nature hath implanted; Too deeply rooted thence to vanish,

Of the pure elements of earth, Howe'er our stifled tears we banish;

To hearken to each other's speech,

And each turn comforter to each,
When, struggling as they rise to start,
We check those waters of the heart,

With some new hope, or legend old,
They are not dried-those tears unshed

Or song heroically bold; But flow back to the fountain head,

But even these at length grew cold. And resting in their spring more pure,

Our voices took a dreary tone,

An echo of the dungeon-stone,
For ever in its depth endure,
Unseen, unwept, but uncongeal'd,

A grating sound not full and free
And cherish'd most where least reveal'd.

As they of yore were wont to be: With inward starts of feeling left,

It might be fancy-but to me To throb o'er those of life bereft;

They never sounded like our own. Without the power to fill again

I was the eldest of the three, The desert gap which made his pain;

And to uphold and cheer the rest Without the hope to meet them where

I ought to do—and did my best United souls shall gladness share,

And each did well in his degree. With all the consciousness that he

The youngest, whom my father loved, Had only pass'd a just decree;

Because our mother's brow was given That they had wrought their doom of ill;

To him with eyes as blue as heaven, Yet Azo's age was wretched still.

For him my soul was sorely moved ; The tainted branches of the tree,

And truly might it be distrest, If lopp'd with care, a strength may give,

To see such bird in such a nest; By which the rest shall bloom and live

For he was beautiful as dayAll greenly fresh and wildly free:

(When day was beautiful to me But if the lightning, in its wrath,

As to young eagles, being free) The waving boughs with fury scathe,

A polar day, which will not see The massy trunk the ruin feels,

A sunset till its summer's gone, And never more a leaf reveals.

Its sleepless summer of long light,

The snow-clad offspring of the sun:
THE BROTHERS.

And in his natural spirit gay,
There are seven pillars of gothic mold,
In Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and gray,
Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
And through the crevice and the cleft
Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
Like a marsh's meteor lamp:
And in each pillar there is a ring,

And in each ring there is a chain;
That iron is a cankering thing,

For in these limbs its teeth remain, With marks that will not wear away, Till I have done with this new day, Which now is painful to these eyes,

It was For And The Was Our Have

Like But

Whi

And thus he was as pure and bright,

The
Bat
I say
Nor
Too
To
He
Ani
Ere
Ibe

With tears for nought but others' ills,
And then they flow'd like mountain rills,
Unless he could assuage the woe
Which he abhorr'd to view below.
The other was as pure of mind,
But form'd to combat with his kind;
Strong in his frame, and of a mood

Mi
Bu
TH
In
ID
TE
TE
TI
HL
SI

And perish'd in the foremost rank

With joy:--but not in chains to pine:
His spirit wither'd with their clank,

I saw it silently decline-
And so perchańce in sooth did mine;

1

Those relics of a home so dear.

24

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He was a hunter of the hills,

But he, the favourite and the flower,
Had follow'd there the deer and wolf;

Most cherish'd since his natal hour,
To him this dungeon was a gulf,

His mother's image in fair face,
And fetter'd feet the worst of ills.

The infant love of all his race,
Lake Leman lies by Chillou's walls:

His martyr'd father's dearest thought,
A thousand feet in depth below

My latest care, for whom I sought
Its massy waters meet and flow;

To hoard my life, that his might be
Thus much the fathom-line was sent

Less wretched now, and one day free;
From Chillon's snow-white battlement,

He, too, who yet had held untired

A spirit natural or inspired
Which round about the wave enthralls:

He, too, was struck, and day by day
A double dungeon wall and wave

Was wither'd on the stalk away.
Have made and like a living grave.

Oh God! it is a fearful thing
Below the surface of the lake

To see the human soul take wing
The dark vault lies wherein we lay,

In any shape, in any mood :-
We heard it ripple night and day;

I've seen it rushing forth in blood,
Sounding o'er our heads it knock'd;

I've seen it on the breaking ocean
And I have felt the winter's spray

Strive with a swoln convulsive motion,
Wash through the bars when winds were high,

I've seen the sick and ghastly bed
And wanton in the happy sky;

Of sin delirious with its dread:
And then the very rock hath rock'd,

But these were horrors, this was woe
And I have felt it shake, unshock’d,

Unmix'd with such-but sure and slow:
Because I could have smiled to see

He faded, and so calm and meek,
The death that would have set me free.

So softly worn, so sweetly weak,
I said my nearer brother pined,

So tearless, yet so tender kind,
I said his mighty heart declined,

And grieved for those he left behind;
He loath'd and put away his food;

With all the while a cheek wliose bloom
It was not that 'twas coarse and rude,

Was as a mockery of the tomb,
For we were used to hunter's fare,

Whose tints as gently sank away
And for the like had little care:

As a departing rainbow's ray-
The milk drawn from the mountain goat

An eye of most transparent light,
Was changed for water from the moat,

That almost made the dungeon bright,
Our bread was such as captive's tears

And not a word of murmur-not
Have moisten'd many a thousand years,

A groan o'er his untimely lot,

A little talk of better days,
Since man first pent his fellow men
Like brutes within an iron den:

A little hope my own to raise,

For I was sunk in silence-lost
But what were these to us or him?
These wasted not his heart or limb;

In this last loss, of all the most;
My brother's soul was of that mold

And then the sighs he would suppress
Which in a palace had grown cold,

Of fainting nature's feebleness,
Had his free breathing been denied

More slowly drawn, grew less and less;
The of the steep mountain's side;

I listen'd, but I could not hear-
range
But why delay the truth?-he died.

I call’d, for I was wild with fear;
I and could not hold his head,

I knew 'twas hopeless, but my dread
saw,
Nor reach his dying hand-nor dead,

Would not be thus admonished;
Though hard I strove, but strove in vain,

I call’d, and thought I heard a sound-
To rend and gnash my bonds in twain.

I burst my chain with one strong bound,
He died-and they unlock'd his chain,

And rush'd to him:-I found him not,
And scoop'd for him a shallow grave

I only stirr’d in this black spot,
Even from the cold earth of our cave.

I only lived-I only drew
I begg'd them, as a boon, to lay

The accursed breath of dungeon-dew;
His corse in dust whereon the day

The last--the sole-the dearest link
Might shine-it was a foolish thought,

Between me and the eternal brink,
But then within my brain it wrought,

Which bound me to my failing race,
That even in death his freeborn breast

Was broken in this fatal place.
In such a dungeon could not rest.

One on the earth, and one beneath-
I might have spared my idle prayer-

My brothers—both had ceased to breathe:
They coldly laugh'd—and laid him there:

I took that hand which lay so still;
The flat and turfless earth above

Alas! my own was full as chill:
The being we so much did love;

I had not strength to stir, or strive,
His empty chain above it leant,

But felt that I was still alive
Such murder's fitting monument!

A frantic feeling, when we know

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MANFRED INVOKES THE WITCH OF THE ALPS.

Vorld

Thet

Made
Thad
Nort

The

The

That what we love shall ne'er be so.

Which made me both to weep and smile; I know not why

I sometimes deem'd that it might be I could not die,

My brother's soul come down to me; I had no earthly hope—but faith,

But then at last away it flew, And that forbade a selfish death.

And then 'twas mortal-well I knew,

For he would never thus bave flown, What next befell me then and there

And left me twice so doubly lone,I know not well-I never knew

Lone—as the corse within its shroud, First came the loss of light, and air,

Lone-as a solitary cloud, And then of darkness too:

A single cloud on a sunny day, I had no thought, no feeling-none

While all the rest of heaven is clear, Among the stones I stood a stone,

A frown upon the atmosphere, And was, scarce conscious what I wist,

That hath no business to appear
As shrubless crags within the mist;

When skies are blue, and earth is gay.
For all was blank, and bleak, and gray,
It was not night-it was not day,
It was not even the dungeon-light,

SCENES FROM MANFRED.
So hateful to my heavy sight,
But vacancy absorbing space,
And fixedness—without a place;

A lower Valley in the Alps. A Cataract.
There were no stars-no earth-no time-

Enter MANFRED. No check-no change—no good-no crime

It is not noon-the sunbow's rays still arch But silence, and a stirless breath

The torrent with the many hues of heaven, Which neither was of life nor death;

And roll the sheeted silver's waving column A sea of stagnant idleness,

O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular, Blind, boundless, mute, and motionless !

And fing its lines of foaming light along,

And to and fro, like the pale courser's tail, A light broke in upon my brain,

The giant steed, to be bestrode by death, It was the carol of a bird;

As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes It ceased, and then it came again,

But mine now drink this sight of loveliness; The sweetest song ear ever heard,

I should be sole in this sweet solitude, And mine was thankful till my eyes

And with the Spirit of the place divide Ran over with the glad surprise,

The homage of these waters. I will call her. And they that moment could not see

(MANFRED takes some of the water into the pals I was the mate of misery;

of his hand, and flings it in the air, mutterBut then by dull degrees came back

ing the adjuration. After a pause, the My senses to their wonted track.

WITCH OF THE Alps rises beneath the arch I saw the dungeon walls and floor

of the sunbeam of the torrent.) Close slowly round me as before,

Man. Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair of light, I saw the glimmer of the sun

And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form Creeping as it before had done,

The charms of earth's least-mortal daughters grow But through the crevice where it came

To an unearthly stature, in an essence That bird was perch'd, as fond and tame,

Of purer elements; while the hues of youth,And tamer than upon the tree;

Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek, A lovely bird, with azure wings,

Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart, And song that said a thousand things,

Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight leaves
And seem'd to say them all for me!

Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow,
I never saw its like before,
I ne'er shall see its likeness more:

The blush of earth embracing with her heaven,-
It seem'd like me to want a mate,

Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame But was not half so desolate,

The beauties of the sunbow which bends o'er thee. And it was come to love me when

Beautiful Spirit! in thy calm clear brow, None lived to love me so again,

Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul, And cheering from my dungeon's brink

Which of itself shows immortality, Had brought me back to feel and think.

I read that thou wilt pardon to a son I know not if it late were free,

Of earth, whom the abstruser powers permit Or broke its cage to perch on mine,

At times to commune with them if that he But knowing well captivity,

Avail him of his spells—to call thee thus, Sweet bird! I could not wish for thine!

And gaze on thee a moment. Or if it were, in winged guise,

Witch. A visitant from Paradise ;

I know thee, and the powers which give thee power;
For-Heaven forgive that thought! the while

I know thee for a man of many thoughts,
And deeds of good and ill, extreme in both,

Flit
Inte

In То

TI Or W

TI fo H

Son of earth!

1

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Fatal and fated in thy sufferings.

Of this most bright intelligence, until-
I have expected this what wouldst thou with me? Witch. Proceed.

Man. To look upon thy beauty-nothing further. Man. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my words,
The face of the earth hath madden'd me, and I Boasting these idle attributes, because
Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce

As I approach the core of my heart's grief,
To the abodes of those who govern her-

But to my task. I have not named to thee
But they can nothing aid me. I have sought Father or mother, mistress, friend, or being,
From them what they could not bestow, and now With whom I wore the chain of human ties;
I search no further.

If I had such, they seem'd not such to me-
Witch. What could be the quest

Yet there was one-
Which is not in the power of the most powerful, Witch. Spare not thyself-proceed.
The rulers of the invisible?

Man. She was like me in lineaments-her eyes,
Man.

A boon;

Her hair, her features, all, to the very tone
But why should I repeat it? 'twere in vain.

Even of her voice, they said were like to mine;
Witch. I know not that; let thy lips utter it.

But soften'd all, and temper’d into beauty.
Man. Well, though it torture me, 'tis but the same;

She had the same lone thoughts and wanderings,
My pang shall find a voice. From my youth upwards

The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind
My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men,

To comprehend the universe: nor these
Nor look'd upon the earth with buman eyes;

Alone, but with them gentler powers than mine,
The thirst of their ambition was not mine,

Pity, and smiles, and tears-which I had not ;
The aiin of their existence was not mine;

And tenderness—but that I had for her;
My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers, Humility—and that I never had.
Made me a stranger; though I wore the form,

Her faults were mine her virtues were her own-
I had so sympathy with breathing flesh,

I loved her, and destroy'd her!
Nor midst the creatures of clay that girded me

Witch.

With thy hand?
Was there but one who—but of her anon.

Man. Not with my land, but heart, which broke
I said, with men, and with the thoughts of men,

her heart-
I held but slight communion; but instead,

It gazed on mine, and wither’d. I have shed
My joy was in the wilderness, to breathe

Blood, but not hers—and yet her blood was shed
The difficult air of the iced mountain's top

I saw-and could not stanch it.

Witch.
Where the birds dare not build, nor insect's wing

And for this-
Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plunge

A being of the race thou dost despise,
Into the torrent, and to roll along

'The order which thine own would rise above,
On the swift whirl of the new breaking wave Mingling with us and ours, thou dost forego
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.

The gifts of our great knowledge, and shrink'st back
In these my early strength exulted; or

To recreant mortality-Away!
To follow through the night the roving moon, Man. Daughter of air! I tell thee, since that hour-
The stars and their developement; or catch

But words are breath-look on me in my sleep,
The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew dim; Or watch my watchings-Come and sit by me!
Or to look, list’ning, on the scatter'd leaves,

My solitude is solitude no more,
While autumn winds were at their evening song. But peopled with the furies;-I have gnash'd
These were my pastimes, and to be alone;

My teeth in darkness till returning morn,
For if the beings, of whom I was one,-

Then cursed myself till sunset;--I have pray'd
Hating to be so-cross'd me in my path,

For madness as a blessing-'tis denied me.
I felt myself degraded back to them,

I have affronted death-but in the war
And was all clay again. And then I dived,

Of elements the waters shrank from me,
In my lone wanderings, to the caves of death, And fatal things pass'd harmless--the cold hand
Searching its cause in its effect; and drew

Of an all-pitiless demon held me back,
From wither'd bones, and skulls, and heap'd up dust, Back by a single hair, which would not break. :?
Conclusions most forbidden. Then I pass'd In phantasy, imagination, all
The nights of years in sciences untaught,

The affluence of my soul-which one day was
Save in the old-time; and with time and toil, A Cræsus in creation-1 plunged deep;
And terrible ordeal, and such penance

But, like an ebbing wave, it daslı'd me back
As in itself hath power upon the air,

Into the gulph of my unfathom'd thought.
And spirits that do compass air and earth,

I plunged amidst mankind-Forgetfulness
Space, and the peopled infinite, I made

I sought in all, save where 'tis to be found,
Mine eyes familiar with eternity,

And that I have to learn-my sciences,
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and

My long pursued and super-human art,
He who from out their fountain dwellings raised Is mortal here I dwell in my despair
Eros and Anteros, at Gadara,

And live and live for ever.
As I do thee and with my knowledge grew

Witch,
The thirst of knowledge, and the power and joy

'That I can aid thee.

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And gaz'd o'er heaven in vain in search of thee.

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Man.
To do this thy power

MANFRED ADDRESSES THE SPIRIT OF ASTARTE.
Must wake the dead, or lay me low with them.

(The Phantom of ASTARTE rises. Do so-in any shape-in any hour

Man. Can this be death? there's bloom upon her With any torture—so it be the last.

But now I see it is no living hue, (check: Witch. That is not in my province; but if thou But a strange hectic-like the unnatural red Wilt swear obedience to my will, and do

Which autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf. My bidding, it may help thee to thy wishes.

It is the same! Oh, God! that I should dread Man. I will not swear-Obey! and whom the To look upon the same-Astarte!-No, spirits

I cannot speak to her—but bid her speak-
Whose presence I command, and be the slave

Forgive me or condemn me.
Of those who served me-Never!
Witch.
Is this all ?

Nemesis.
Hast thou no gentler answer?-Yet bethink thee,

By the power which hath broken
And pause ere thou rejectest.

T'he grave which enthrallid thee,
Man.
I have said it.

Speak to him who hath spoken,
Witch. Enough!- I may retire then-say!

Or those who have call'd thee!
Man.

Retire!
[The Witch disappears.

Man.

She is silent, Man. (alone.) We are the fools of time and terror: And in that silence I am more than answer'd. days

Nem. My powerextends no further. Prince of air! Steal on us and steal from us; yet we live,

It rests with thee alone-command her voice. Loathing our life, and dreading still to die.

Ari. Spirit-obey this sceptre! In all the days of this detested yoke

Nem.

Silent still!
This vital weight upon the struggling heart

She is not of our order, but belongs
Which sinks with sorrow, or beats quick with pain, To the other powers. Mortai! thy quest is vain,
Or joy that ends in agony or faintness-

And we are baffled also.
In all the days of past and future, for

Man,

Hear me, hear me-
In life there is no present, we can number

Astarte! my beloved! speak to me:
How few--how less than few-wherein the soul I have so much endured-so much endure-
Forbears to pant for death, and yet draws back Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more
As from a stream in winter, though the chill Than I am changed for thee. Thou loved'st me
Be but a moment's. I have one resource

Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made
Still in my science-I can call the dead,

To torture thus each other, though it were And ask them what it is we dread to be:

The deadliest sin to love as we have loved. The sternest answer can but be the grave,

Say that thou loath'st me not that I do bear And that is nothing—if they answer not

This punishment for both-that thou wilt be The buried prophet answer'd to the Hag

One of the blessed and that I shall die; Of Endor; and the Spartan monarch drew

For hitherto all hateful things conspire From the Byzantine maid's unsleeping spirit

To bind me in existence in a life An answer and his destiny-he slew

Which makes me shrink from immortality-
That which he loved, unknowing what he slew,

A future like the past. I cannot rest.
And died unpardon'd—though he call'd in aid
The Phyxian Jove, and in Phigalia roused
The Arcadian Evocators to compel
The indignant shadow to depose her wrath,
Or fix her term of vengeance-she replied
In words of dubious import, but fulfill'd.

1

I know not what I ask, nor what I seek:

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 memo
Spirits and men--but thou wert silent all.
Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,

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If I had never lived, that which I love
Had still been living; had I never loved,
That which I love would still be beautiful-
Happy and giving happiness. What is she?
What is she now?-a sufferer for my sins
A thing I dare not think upon-or nothing.
Within few hours I shall not call in vain
Yet in this hour I dread the thing I dare:
Until this hour I never shrank to gaze
On spirit, good or evil—now I tremble,
And feel a strange cold thaw upon my heart,
But I can act even what I most abhor,
And champion human fears. The night ap-

proaches.

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:

This once once more!

Phantom of Astarte. Manfred!

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