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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 Rosenberg-
Why stood I not beneath it?

C. Hun.

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

be

In this one plunge.- Farewell, ye opening heavens! Look not upon me thus reproachfully

Ye were not meant for me - Earth! take these atoms! [AS MANFRED is in act to spring from the

cliff, the CHAMOIS HUNTER seizes and retains him with a sudden grasp.

C. Hun. Hold, madman!—though aweary of thy

life,

Stain not our pure vales with thy guilty blood—
I will not quit my

Away with me

Man. I am most

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hold.

sick at heart-nay, grasp me

I am all feebleness-the mountains whirl

Spinning around me I grow blind.

[thou?

What art

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Place your foot here-here, take this staff, and cling A moment to that shrub.

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now give me your hand, And hold fast by my girdle-softly—wellThe Chalet will be gain'd within an hourCome on, we'll quickly find a surer footing, And something like a pathway, which the torrent Hath wash'd since winter.-Come, 'tis bravely doneYou 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 Bernese 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 guide-
But whither?

Man.

It imports not: I do know

My route full well, and need no further guidance. C. Hun. Thy garb and gait bespeak thee of high

One of the many chiefs, whose castled crags
Look o'er the lower valleys-which of these
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 thawed my veins among our glaciers, now Let it do thus for thine-Come, pledge me fairly. Man. Away, away! there's blood upon the brim! Will 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,

Colouring 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 halfmaddening sin,

Which makes thee people vacancy, whate'er
Thy dread and sufferance be, there's comfort yet-
The aid of holy men, 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 imperishable,
Endless, and all alike, as sands on the shore,
Innumerable atoms; 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 bitterness.

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 AlpsThy humble virtues, hospitable home,

And spirit patient, pious, proud, and free;

Thy self-respect, grafted on innocent thoughts;
Thy 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 epitaph;
This do I see-and then I look within-

It matters not-my soul was scorch'd already!
C. Hun. And would'st thou then exchange thy
lot for mine?

Man. No, friend! I would not wrong thee, nor exchange

My lot with living being: I can bear

However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear—

In life what others could not brook to dream,
But perish in their slumber.

C. Hun.

And with this

This cautious feeling for another's pain,

Canst thou be black with evil?—say not so.

Can one of gentle thoughts have wreak'd revenge Upon his enemies?

Man.

Oh! no, no, no!

My injuries came down on those who loved me-
On those whom I best loved: I never quell'd

An enemy, save in my just defence—

But my embrace was fatal.

C. Hun.

Heaven give thee rest!

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