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218

And trust not to each other. Hark! the
note,

[The Shepherd's pipe in

the distance is heard,
The natural music of the mountain

reed-
For here the patriarchal days are not
A pastoral fable--pipes in the liberal air,
Mix'd with the sweet bells of the saun.

tering berd;
My soul would drink those echoes. Oh,

that I were
The viewless spirit of a lovely sound,
A living voice, a breathing harmony,
A bodiless enjoyment-born and dying
With the blest tone which made me !

scarce

It is not of my search. My mother

Earth!
And thou fresh breaking Day, and you,

ye Mountains,
Why are ye beautifui? I cannot love ye.
And thou, the br ght eye of the universe,
That openest over all, and unto all
Art a delight-thou shin'st not on my

heart.
And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme

edge I stand, and on the torrent's brink be

neath Behold the tall pines dwindled as to

shrubs
In dizziness of distance ; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breathi, would

bring
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest for ever-wherefore do I pause?
I feel the impulse---yet I do not plunige;
I see the peril-yet do not recede ;
And my brain reels-and yet my foot is

firm :
There is a power upon me which with-

holds, And makes it my fatality to live, if it be life to wear within myself This barrenness of spirit, and to be My own soul's sepulchre, for I have

ceased To justify my deeds unto myselfThe last infirmity of evil., Ay, Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,

[An eagle passes. Whose happy flight is highest into

heaven, Well may‘st thou swoop so near me--I

should be Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou

art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but

thine
Yet pierces downwarı, onward,or above,
With a pervading vision.--Beautiful!
How beautiful is all this visible world !
How glorious in its action and itself !
But we, who name ourselves its sover-

eigos, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar, with our mix'd essence

make
A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty

will,
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are--what they name not to

themselves,

Enter from below a CHAMOIS HUNTER.
Chamois Hunter.

Even so
This way the chamois leapt : her nimble

feet Have baffled me ; my gains to-day will Repay my break-neck travail.-What is

here? Who seems not of my trade, and yet

hath reach'd A height which none even of our moun

taineers, Save our best hunters, may attain : his

garb Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air Proud as a free-born peasant's, at this

distance : I will approach him nearer. Man. (not perceiving the other). To be

thusGray-hair'd with anguish, like these

blasted pines,
Wrecks of a single winter, barkless,

branchless,
A blighted trunk upon a cursed root,
Which but supplies a feeling to decay-
And to be thus, eternally but thus,
Having been otherwise ! now furrow'd

o'er
With wrinkles, plough'd by moments,--

not by years, And hours, all tortured into ages

hours Which I outlive !-Ye toppling crags of

ice! Ye avalanches, wliom a breath draws

down In mountainous o'erwhelming, come and

crush me! I hear ye moiently above, beneath, Crash with a frequent conflict; but ye

pass,

9

seizes and retains him with a sud

den grasp.

And only fall on things that still would

live; On the young flourishing forest, or the

hut And hamlet of the harmless villager. C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from

up the valley ; I'll warn him to descend, or he may

chance To lose at once his way and life together. Man. The mists boil up around the

glaciers; clouds Rise curling fast beneath me, white and

sulphury, Like foam from the roused ocean of deep

Hell, Whose every wave breaks on a living

shore, Heap'd with the damn 'd like pebbles.

I am giddy. C. Hun. I must approach him cau

tiously ; if near, A sudden step will startle him, and he Seems tottering already. Man.

Mountains have fallen, Leaving a gap in the clouds, and with

the shock Rocking their alpine brethren ; filling

up The ripe green valleys with destruction's

splinters; Damming the rivers with a sudden dash, Which crush'd the waters into mist and

made Their fountains find another channel

thus, Thus, in its old age, did Mount Rosen

bergWhy stood I not beneath it ? C. Hiin.

Friend ! have a care, Your next step may be fatal !-for the

love Of him who made you, stand not on that

brink ! Man. (not hearing him). Such would

have been for me a fitting tomb ; My bones had then been quiet in their

depth ; They had not then been strewn upon the

rocks For the wind's pastime--as thus-thus

they shall beIn this one plunge.--Farewell, ye open

ing heavens ! Look not upon me thus reproachfully-You were not meant for me-Earth!

take these atoms ! (A: MANFRED is in act to spring from

the cliff, the CHAMOIS HUNTER

C. Hun. Hold, madman !-though

aweary of thy life, Stain not our pure vales with thy guilty

blood : Away with me-- --I will not quit my

hold. Man. I am most sick at heart--nay,

grasp me notI am all feebleness—the mountains

whirl Spinning around me -I grow blind

What art thou ? C. Hun. I'll answer that anon. Away

with me The clouds grow thicker--there-now

lean on me Place your foot here--here, take this

staff, and cling A moment to that shrub—now give me

your hand, And hold fast by my girdle--softly

wellThe Chalet will be gain'd within an hour: Come on, we'll quickly find a surer foot

ing, And something like a pathway, which

the torrent Hath wash'd since winter.-Come, 't is

bravely done You should have been a hunter.-Follow

me.
(As they descend the rocks with

difficulty, the scene closes.
ACT II

SCENE I. --A Cottage amongst the Ber.

nese Alps. MANFRED and the CHAMOIS HUNTER. C. Hun. No, no-yet pause--thou

must not yet go forth: Thy mind and body are alike unfit To trust each other, for some hours, at

least; When thou art better, I will be thy

guideBut whither?

Man. It imports not: I do knoir My route full well, and need no further

guidance C. Hun. Thy garb and gait bespeak thee

of high lineageOne of the many chiefs, whose castled

crags Look o'er the lower valleys—which of

these

220

May call thee lord? I only know their

portals; My way of life leads me but rarely down To bask by the huge hearths of those old

halls, Carousing with the vassals; but the paths, Which step from out our mountains to

their doors, I know from childhood—which of these

is thine ? Man. No matter. C. Hun. Well, sir, pardon me the

question, And be of better cheer. Come, taste my

wine; 'Tis of an ancient vintage ; many a day "T has thaw'd my veins among our

glaciers Let it do thus for thineCome, pledge

me fairly. Man. Away, away ! there's blood upon

the brim ! Vill it then never-never sink in the

earth? C. Hun. What dost thou mean ? thy

senses wander from thee. Man. I say 'tis blood-my blood ! the

pure warm stream Which ran in the veins of my fathers,

and in ours When we were in our youth, and had

one heart, And loved each other as we should not

love, And this was shed : but still it rises up, Coloring the clouds, that shut me out

from heaven, Where thou art not-and I shall never be. C. Hun. Man of strange words, and

some half-maddening sin, Which makes thee people vacancy,

whate'er Thy dread and sufferance be, there's

comfort yetThe aid of holy mon, and heavenly

patience-
Man.

Patience and patience!
Hence that word was made
For brutes of burthen, not for birds of

prey ;
Preach it to mortals of a dust like

thine,
I am not of thine order.
C. Hun.

Thanks to heaven !
I would not be of thine for the free fame
Of William Tell ; but whatsoe'er thine

ill,
It must be borne, and these wild starts

are useless.

Man. Do I not bear it?—Look on me

I live.
C. Hun. This is convulsion, and no

healthful life.
Man. I tell thee, man! I have lived

many years,
Many long years, but they are nothing

now
To those which I must number: ages.-

ages-
Space and eternity-and consciousness,
With the fierce thirst of death-and still

unslaked ! C. Hun. Why, on thy brow the seal

of middle age Hath scarce been set; I am thine elder

far. Man. Think'st thou existence doth

depend on time? It doth ; but actions are our epochs : mine Have made my days and nights im

perishable, Endless, and all alike, as sands on the

shore, Innumerable atorns; and one desert, Barren and cold, on which the wild

waves break, But nothing rests, save carcasses and

wrecks, Rocks and the salt-surf weeds of bitter

ness.
C. Hun. Alas! he's mad—but yet

I must not leave him.
Man, I would I were-for then the

things I see
Would be but a distemper'd dream.
C. Hun.

What is it
That thou dost see, or think thou look'st

upon ?
Man. Myself, and thee-a peasant of

the Alps
Thy humble virtues, hospitable home,
And spirit patient, pious, proud, and
Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent

thoughts;
The days of health, and nights of sleep ;

thy toils, By danger dignified, yet guiltless ; hopes of cheerful old age and a quiet grave, With cross and garland over its green

turf, And thy grandchildren's love for epi

taph ; This do I see-and then I look withinIt matters not-my soul was scorch'd al

ready! C. Hun. And wouldst thou then ex

change thy lot for mine?

free ;

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Man. No, friend! I would not wrong (MANFRED takes some of the water thee, nor exchange

into the palm of his hand, and My lot with living being : I can bear

flings it into the air, muttering the However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear

adjuration. After a pause, the In life what others could not brook to

WITCH OF THE ALPS rises beneath dream,

the urch of the sunbow of the torBut perish in their slumber.

rent. C. Hun.

And with this- Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair of light, This cautious feeling for another's pain, And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose Canst thou be black with evil?--say not

form

The charms of earth's least mortal Can one of gentle thoughts have wreak'd daughters grow revenge

To an unearthly stature, in an essence Upon his enemies ?

Of purer elements; while the hues of Man. Oh! no, no, no!

youth, My injuries came down on those who Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's loved me-

cheek, On those whom I best loved : I never Rock'd by the beating of her mother's quelled

heart, An enemy, save in my just defence-- Or the rose tints, which summer's twi. But my embrace was fatal.

light leaves C. Hun. Heaven give thee rest! Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow, And penitence restore thee to thyself ; The blush of earth embracing with her My prayers shall be for thee.

heaven Man,

I need them nota Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make But can endure thy pity. I depart-

tame 'Tis time-farewell -Here's gold, and The beauties of the sunbow which bends thanks for thee

o'er thee. No words—it is thy due.-Follow me Beautiful Spirit! in thy calm clear brow, not

Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul, I know my path--the mountain peril's Which of itself shows immortality, past:

I read that thou wilt pardon to a Son And once again I charge thee, follow Of Earth, whom the abstruser powers not ! [Exit MANFRED.

permit

At times to commune with them-it SCENE II

that he

Avail him of his spells--to call thee A lower Valley in the Alps.-A Cataract. thus,

And gaze on thee a moment.
Enter MANFRED.

Witch.

Son of Earth!

I know thee, and the powers which give It is not noon-the sunbow's rays still

thee power ; arch

I know thee for a man of many thoughts The torrent with the many hues of And deeds of good and ill, extrene in heaven,

both, And roll the sheeted silver's waving Fatal and fated in thy sufferings. column

I have expected this-what wouldst thou O'er the crag's headlong perpendicular,

with me? And Aling its lines of foaining light along, Man. To look upon thy beauty-notlıAnd to and fro, like the pale courser's ing further. tail,

The face of the earth hath madden'd me, The Giant steed, to be bestrode by Death,

and I As told in the Apocalypse. No eyes Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce But mine now drink this sight of love. To the abodes of those who govern herliness ;

But they can nothing aid me. I have I should be sole in this sweet solitude,

sought And with the Spirit of the place divide From them what they could not bestow, The homage of these waters.--I will call and now her.

I search no further.

a

222

Witch. What could be the quest Which is not in the power of the most

powerful, The rulers of the invisible ? Мап.

A boon; But why should I repeat it? 'twere in

vain. Witch. I know not that ; let thy lips

utter it. Man. Well, though it torture me, 'tis

but the same; My pang shall find a voice. From my

youtlı upwards My spirit walk'd not with the souls of

men, Nor look'd upon the earth with human

eyes ; The thirst of their ambition was not

mine, The aim of their existence was not

mine; My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my

powers, Made me a stranger; though I wore the

form, I had no sympathy with breathing flesh, Nor inidst the creatures of clay that

girded me Was there but one who-but of her anon, I said with men, and with the thoughts of

men, I held but slight communion; but instead My joy was in the wilderness,-to

breathe The difficult air of the iced mountain's

top,
Where the birds dare not build, nor in-

sect's wing
Flito'er the herbless granite ; or to plunge
Into the torrent, and to roll along
On the swift whirl of the new breaking

wave
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.
In these my early strength exulted ; or
To follow through the night the moving

moon,
The stars and their development; or

catch The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew Or to look, list’ning, on the scattered

leaves,
While Autumn winds were at their even-

ing song.
These were my pastimes, and to be alone;
For if the beings, of whom I was one,-
Hating to be so,-cross'd me in my path,
I felt myself degraded back to them,
And was all clay again. And then I dived,

In my lone wanderings, to the caves of

death, Searching its cause in its effect; and

drew From wither'd bones, and skull, and

heap'd up dust, Conclusions most forbidden. Then I

pass'd
The nights of years in sciences untaught
Save in the old time; and with time and

toil,
And terrible ordeal, and such penance
As in itself hath power upon the air,
And spirits that do compass air and

earth,
Space, and the peopled infinite, I made
Mine eyes familiar with Eternity,
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and
He who from out their fountain dwell-

ings raised
Eros and Anteros, at Gadara,
As I do thee ;-and with my knowledge

grew The thirst of knowledge, and the power

and joy
Of this most bright intelligence, until -

Witch. Proceed.
Man. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my

words,
Boasting these idle attributes, because
As I approach the core of my heart's

grie?-But to my task, I have not named to thee Father or mother, mistress, friend, or

being, With whom I wore the chain of human

ties ;

If I had such, they seem'd not such to me;
Yet there was one-

Witch. Spare not thyself--proceed.
Mun. She was like me in lineaments;

her eyes,

dim;

Her hair, lier features, all, to the very

tone Even of her voice, they said were like

to mine ; But soften'd all, and temper'd into

beauty : She had the same lone thoughts and

wanderings, The quest of hidden knowledge, and a

mind
To comprehend the universe : nor these
Alone, but with them gentler powers

than mine,
Pity, and smiles, and tears--which I had
And tenderness---but that I had for her:
Humility--and that I never had.

not:

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