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Still rolling on with innate force,
Without a sphere, without a course,
A bright deformity on high,

The monster of the upper sky!

And thou! beneath its influence born-
Thou worm! whom I obey and scorn-
Forced by a power (which is not thine,
And lent thee but to make thee mine)
For this brief moment to descend,

Where these weak spirits round thee bend
And parley with a thing like thee -

What wouldst thou, Child of Clay! with me?


Earth, ocean, air, night, mountains, winds, thy star, Are at thy beck and bidding, Child of Clay ! Before thee at thy quest their spirits are

What wouldst thou with us, son of mortals-say?

Man. Forgetfulness

First Spirit.

Of what. - of whom—and why?

Man. Of that which is within me; read it there Ye know it, and I cannot utter it.


Spirit. We can but give thee that which we pos

Ask of us subjects, sovereignty, the power
O'er earth, the whole, or portion, or a sign
Which shall control the elements, whereof
We are the dominators, each and all,

These shall be thine.


Oblivion, self-oblivion

Can ye not wring from out the hidden realms
Ye offer so profusely what I ask?

Spirit. It is not in our essence, in our skill; But-thou mayst die.


Will death bestow it on me? Spirit. We are immortal, and do not forget; We are eternal; and to us the past

Is, as the future, present. Art thou answer'd? Man. Ye mock me- but the power which brought ye here

Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will!
The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark,
The lightning of my being, is as bright,
Pervading, and far darting as your own,

And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in clay !
Answer, or I will teach you what I am.

Spirit. We answer as we answer'd; our reply Is even in thine own words.


Why say ye so?

Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ours, We have replied in telling thee, the thing

Mortals call death hath nought to do with us.
Man. I then have call'd ye from your realms in

vain ;

Ye cannot, or ye will not, aid me.


What we possess we offer; it is thine :

Bethink ere thou dismiss us, ask again—

Kingdom, and sway, and strength, and length of days

Man. Accursed! what have I to do with days? They are too long already.-Hence-begone! Spirit. Yet pause: being here, our will would do

Bethink thee, is there then no other gift

Which we can make not worthless in thine eyes? Man. No, none: yet stay-one moment, ere we


I 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.

Man. I have no choice; there is no form on earth Hideous or beautiful to me. Let him,

Who is most powerful of ye, take such aspect
As unto him may seem most fitting - Come!
Seventh Spirit. (Appearing in the shape of a beau-
tiful female figure.) Behold!

Man. Oh God! if it be thus, and thou

Art not a madness and a mockery,

I yet might be most happy.

And we again will be

I will clasp thee,

[The figure vanishes.

My heart is crush'd!

[MANFRED falls senseless.

(A Voice is heard in the Incantation which follows.) (1)

When the moon is on the wave,

And the glow-worm in the grass,


(1) [These verses were written in Switzerland, in 1816, and transmitted to England for publication, with the third canto of Childe Harold. they were written," says Mr. Moore, " immediately after the last fruitless

And the meteor on the grave,

And the wisp on the morass; (1)
When the falling stars are shooting,
And the answer'd owls are hooting,
And the silent leaves are still
In the shadow of the hill,
Shall my soul be upon thine,

With a power and with a sign.

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;

Thou 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.

attempt at reconciliation, it is needless to say who was in the poet's thoughts while he penned some of the opening stanzas.”— -E.]

(1) [" And the wisp on the morass."— Hearing, in February, 1818, of a menaced version of Manfred by some Italian, Lord Byron wrote to his friend Mr. Hoppner-" If you have any means of communicating with the man, would you permit me to convey to him the offer of any price he may obtain, or think to obtain, for his project, provided he will throw his translation into the fire, and promise not to undertake any other of that, or any other of my things? I will send him his money immediately, on this condition." A negotiation was accordingly set on foot, and the translator, on receiving two hundred francs, delivered up his manuscript, and engaged never to translate any other of the poet's works. Of his qualifications for the task some notion may be formed from the fact, that he had turned the word "wisp," in this line, into " a bundle of straw."— E.]

Though thou seest 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 thee to rejoice;
And to thee shall Night deny
All the quiet of her sky;
And the day shall have a sun,
Which shall make thee wish it done.

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.

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