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MANFRED.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Time,

MANFRED alone-Scene, a Gothic gallery

Midnight.

Man. The lamp must be replenish’d, but even then
It will not burn so long as I must watch :
My slumbers—if I slumber-are not sleep,
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.
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.

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Philosophy and science, and the springs
Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world,
I have essayed, and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself-
But they avail not: I 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,
Since that all-nameless hour. I have no dread,
And feel the curse to have no natural fear,
Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes,
Or lurking love of something on the earth.-
Now to my task.-

Mysterious Agency !
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 essenceye, 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

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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, Whith 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 yet 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 ! (A star is seen at the darker end of the gallery; it is

stationary; and a voice is heard singing.)

FIRST SPIRIT.
Mortal ! to thy bidding bow'd,
From my mansion in the cloud,
Which the breath of twilight builds,
And the summer's sun-set 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 crowned him long ago
On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds,

With a diadem of snow.
Around his 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, Where the wind is a stranger,

And the sea-snake hath life, Where the Mermaid is decking

Her green hair with shells ; Like the storm on the surface

Came the sound of thy spells ; O’er my calm Hall of Coral

The deep echo roll d— . To the Spirit of Ocean

Thy wishes unfold !

Fourth Spirit. Where the slumbering earthquake

Lies pillow'd on fire, And the lakes of bitumen

Rise boilingly higher; Where the roots of the Andes

Strike deep in the earth, As their summits to heaven

Shoot soaringly forth;

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