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On the bare ground, have I bow'd down my face, And strew'd my head with ashes; I have known The fulness of humiliation, for

I sunk before my vain despair, and knelt

Το my own desolation.

Fifth Spirit.

Dost thou dare

Refuse to Arimanes on his throne

What the whole earth accords, beholding not

The terror of his Glory?-Crouch! I say.

Man. Bid him bow down to that which is above


The overruling Infinite-the Maker

Who made him not for worship-let him kneel,

And we will kneel together.

The Spirits.

Crush the worm!

Hence! Avaunt!-he's mine.

Tear him in pieces!—

First Des.

Prince of the Powers invisible ! This man

Is of no common order, as his port

And presence here denote; his sufferings
Have been of an immortal nature, like

Our own; his knowledge, and his

As far as is compatible with clay,


and will,

Which clogs the ethereal essence, have been such
As clay hath seldom borne; his aspirations
Have been beyond the dwellers of the earth,
And they have only taught him what we know-
That knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.

This is not all—the passions, attributes

Of earth and heaven, from which no power, nor being,

Nor breath from the worm upwards is exempt,
Have pierced his heart; and in their consequence
Made him a thing, which I, who pity not,
Yet pardon those who pity. He is mine,
And thine, it may be—be it so, or not,
No other Spirit in this region hath
A soul like his—or power upon his soul.
Nem. What doth he here then?

First Des.

Let him answer that.

Man. Ye know what I have known; and without


I could not be amongst ye: but there are
Powers deeper still beyond-I come in quest

Of such, to answer unto what I seek.

Nem. What would'st thou ?




Thou canst not reply to me.

the dead-my question is for them. Nem. Great Arimanes, doth thy will avouch The wishes of this mortal?

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Which return'd to the earth,
Re-appear to the day!
Bear what thou borest,

The heart and the form,

And the aspect thou worest
Redeem from the worm.
Appear! Appear! - Appear!

Who sent thee there requires thee here!
[The Phantom of ASTARTE rises and stands
in the midst.

Man. Can this be death? there's bloom upon her


But now I see it is no living hue,

But a strange hectic

like the unnatural red

Which Autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf.
It is the same! Oh, God! that I should dread
To look upon the same Astarte ! - No,

I cannot speak to her — but bid her speak —
Forgive me or condemn me.



By the power which hath broken
The grave which enthrall'd thee,
Speak to him who hath spoken,
Or those who have call'd thee!

She is silent,

And in that silence I am more than answer'd.

Nem. My power extends no further. Prince of air! It rests with thee alone command her voice.

- Ari. Spirit- obey this sceptre !


Silent still!

She is not of our order, but belongs

To the other powers. Mortal! thy quest is vain, And we are baffled also.

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Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me
Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made
To torture thus each other, though it were
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved.
Say that thou loath'st me not that I do bear
This punishment for both that thou wilt be
One of the blessed and that I shall die;
For hitherto all hateful things conspire
To bind me in existence - in a life


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Which makes me shrink from immortality-
A future like the past. I cannot rest.
I know not what I ask, nor what I seek:
I 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 me
Spirits and men but thou wert silent all.

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Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
And gazed o'er heaven in vain in search of thee.
Speak to me! I have wander'd o'er the earth,

And never found thy likeness

Speak to me!

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Look on the fiends around-they feel for me:
I fear them not, and feel for thee alone
Speak to me! though it be in wrath;

-but say

I reck not what - but let me hear thee once
This once once more!

Phantom of Astarte. Manfred!

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I live but in the sound—it is thy voice!
Phan. Manfred! To-morrow ends thine earthly

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Man. One word for mercy! Say, thou lovest me. Phan. Manfred!

[The Spirit of ASTARTE disappears. (1) She's gone, and will not be recall'd; Her words will be fulfill'd.


Return to the earth.

(1) [Over this fine drama, a moral feeling hangs like a sombrous thunder cloud. No other guilt but that so darkly shadowed out could have furnished so dreadful an illustration of the hideous aberrations of human nature, however noble and majestic, when left a prey to its desires, its passions, and its imagination. The beauty, at one time so innocently adored, is at last soiled, profaned, and violated. Affection, love, guilt, horror, remorse, and death, come in terrible succession, yet all darkly linked together. We think of Astarte as young, beautiful, innocent — guilty-lostmurdered buried — judged pardoned; but still, in her permitted visit to earth, speaking in a voice of sorrow, and with a countenance yet pale with mortal trouble. We had but a glimpse of her in her beauty and innocence; but, at last, she rises up before us in all the mortal silence of a ghost, with fixed, glazed, and passionless eyes, revealing death, judgment, and eternity. The moral breathes and burns in every word,-in sadness, misery, insanity, desolation, and death. The work is instinct with spirit,' and in the agony and distraction, and all its dimly imagined causes, we behold, though broken up, confused, and shattered, the elements of a purer existence. - PROFESSOR WILSON.]

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