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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?

80

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’dTo the Spirit of Ocean

Thy wishes unfold !

[blocks in formation]

The hurricane I left behind

Is yet with lightning warm ;
To speed to thee o'er shore and sea

I swept upon the blast;
The fleet I met sail'd well, and yet

'Twill sink ere night be past.

SIXTH SPIRIT.

My dwelling is the shadow of the night,
Why doth thy magic torture me with light ?

SEVENTH SPIRIT.

IIO

120

The star which rules thy destiny
Was ruled, ere earth began, by me:
It was a world as fresh and fair
As e'er revolved round sun in air;
Its course was free and regular,
Space bosom'd not a lovelier star.
The hour arrived—and it became
A wandering mass of shapeless flame,
A pathless comet, and a curse,
The menace of the universe;
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?

130

The SEVEN SPIRITS.

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 possess : Ask of us subjects, sovereignty, the power

140 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. Man. .

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 may'st die.
Man.

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

ye

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

160 Man.

Why say ye so?
Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ours,

150 170

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.
Spirit.

Say;
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 thee

service; 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 partI 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.

180
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-Conie!

Seventh Spirit (appearing in the shape of a beautiful female figure). Behold! Man.

O God! if it be thus, and thou Art not a madness and a mockery, I yet might be most happy. I will clasp thee,

190 And we again will be-

[The figure vanishes. My heart is crush'd.

[MANFRED falls senseless. A voice is heard in the Incantation which follows.

When the moon is on the wave,

And the glow-worm in the grass,
And the meteor on the grave,

And the wisp on the morass;
When the fallen 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.

200

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 forever shalt thou dwell
In the spirit of this spell.

210

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.

220

And a magic voice and verse
Hath baptized thee with a curse ;

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