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Told all she had seen, and all she hoped, and all
That happy love could augur or recall;
Sprung forth again, with Torquil following free
His bounding nereid over the broad sea;

Swam round the rock, to where a shallow cleft
Hid the canoe that Neuha there had left
Drifting along the tide, without an oar,
That eve the strangers chased them from the
shore ;

But when these vanish'd, she pursued her prow,
Regain'd, and urged to where they found it now:
Nor ever did more love and joy embark,
Than now were wafted in that slender ark.

XV.

Again their own shore rises on the view, No more polluted with a hostile hue;

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

MANFRED.

CHAMOIS HUNTER.

ABBOT OF ST. MAURICE.

MANUEL.

HERMAN.

WITCH OF THE ALPS. ARIMANES.

NEMESIS.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

THE DESTINIES. SPIRITS, &C.

A DRAMATIC POEM. 2

Manfred:

The scene of the Drama is amongst the Higher Alps partly in the Castle of Manfred, and partly in the Mountains.

[Byron the sorcerer! He can do with me according to his will. If it is to throw me headlong upon a desert Island; if it is to place me on the summit of a dizzy cliffhis power is the same. I wish he had a friend or a servant, appointed to the office of the slave, who was to knock every morning at the chamber-door of

mind him he was mortal. - DR Philip of Macedon, and re

No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam,
A floating dungeon:—all was hope and home!
A thousand proas darted o'er the bay,
With sounding shells, and heralded their way;
The chiefs came down, around the people pour'd,
And welcomed Torquil as a son restored;
The women throng'd, embracing and embraced
By Neuha, asking where they had been chased,
And how escaped! The tale was told; and then
One acclamation rent the sky again;
And from that hour a new tradition gave
Their sanctuary the name of "Neuha's Cave."
A hundred fires, far flickering from the height,
Blazed o'er the general revel of the night,
The feast in honour of the guest, return'd
To peace and pleasure, perilously earn'd;
A night succeeded by such happy days
As only the yet infant world displays. 1

[The following extracts from Lord Byron's letters to Mr. Murray, are all we have to offer respecting the history of the composition of Manfred:

Venice, Feb. 15. 1817.-"I forgot to mention to you, that a kind of Poern in dialogue (in blank verse) or Drama, from which the Incantation is an extract, begun last summer in Switzerland, is finished; it is in three acts, but of a very wild, metaphysical, and inexplicable kind. Almost all the persons -but two or three are Spirits of the earth and air, or the waters, the scene is in the Alps; the hero a kind of magician, Who is tormented by a species of remorse, the cause of which is left half unexplained. He wanders about invoking these

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Spirits, which appear to him, and are of no use; he at last goes to the very abode of the Evil Principle, in propria persona, to evocate a ghost, which appears, and gives him an ambiguous and disagreeable answer; and, in the third Act, he is found by his attendants dying in a tower where he had studied his art. You may perceive, by this outline, that I have no great opinion of this piece of fantasy; but I have at least rendered it quite impossible for the stage, for which my intercourse with Drury Lane has given me the greatest contempt. I have not even copied it off, and feel too lazy at present to attempt the whole; but when I have, I will send it you, and you may either throw it into the fire or not."

March 3." I sent you the other day, in two covers, the first act of Manfred,' a drama as mad as Nat Lee's Bedlam tragedy, which was in twenty-five acts and some odd scenes: mine is but in three acts."

March 9." In remitting the third act of the sort of dramatic poem of which you will by this time have received the two first, I have little to observe, except that you must

But grief should be the instructor of the wise;
Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
Philosophy and science, and the springs
Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world,
I have essay'd, and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself-
But they avail not: I have done men good,
And I have met with good even among men—
But this avail'd not: I have had my foes,
And none have baffled, many fallen before me-
But this avail'd not:-Good, or evil, life,
Powers, passions, all I see in other beings,

not publish it (if it ever is published) without giving me previous notice. I have really and truly no notion whether it is good or bad; and as this was not the case with the principal of my former publications, I am, therefore, inclined to rank it very humbly. You will submit it to Mr. Gifford, and to whomsoever you please besides. The thing, you will see at a glimpse, could never be attempted or thought of for the stage; I much doubt if for publication even. It is too much in my old style; but I composed it actually with a horror of the stage, and with a view to render the thought of it impracticable, knowing the zeal of my friends that I should try that for which I have an invincible repugnance, viz. a representation. I certainly am a devil of a mannerist, and must leave off; but what could I do? Without exertion of some kind, I should have sunk under my imagination and reality."

March 25." With regard to the Witch Drama,' I repeat, that I have not an idea if it is good or bad. If bad, it must, on no account, be risked in publication; if good, it is at your service. I value it at three hundred guineas, or less, if you like it. Perhaps, if published, the best way will be to add it to your winter volume, and not publish separately. The price will show you I don't pique myself upon it; so speak out. You may put it into the tire, if you like, and Gifford don't like."

April 9. As for Manfred,' the two first acts are the best; the third so so; but I was blown with the first and second heats. You may call it a Poem,' for it is no Drama, and I do not choose to have it called by so d-d a name -a Poem in dialogue,' or- Pantomime, if you will; any thing but a green-room synonyme; and this is your motto

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'"

The Third Act was re-written before publication; as to the particulars of which, the reader is referred to a subsequent note. To avoid overloading the margin, we may give here the most important paragraphs of the two ablest critiques that immediately followed the appearance of Manfred : —

"In Manfred, we recognise at once the gloom and potency of that soul which burned and blasted and fed upon itself, in Harold, and Conrad, and Lara- and which comes again in this piece, more in sorrow than in anger more proud, perhaps, and more awful than ever but with the fiercer traits of its misanthropy subdued, as it were, and quenched in the "gloom of a deeper despondency. Manfred does not, like Conrad and Lara, wreak the anguish of his burning heart in the dangers and daring of desperate and predatory war- nor seek to drown bitter thoughts in the tumult of perpetual contention; nor yet, like Harold, does he sweep over the peopled scenes of the earth with high disdain and aversion, and make his survey of the business, and pleasures, and studies of man an occasion for taunts and sarcasms, and the food of an unmeasurable spleen. He is fixed-by the genius of the poet in the majestic solitudes of the central Alps - where, from his youth up, he has lived in proud but calin seclusion from the ways of men, conversing only with the magnificent forms and aspects of nature by which he is surrounded, and with the Spirits of the Elements over whom he has acquired dominion, by the secret and unhallowed studies of sorcery and magic. He is averse, indeed, from mankind, and scorns the low and frivolous nature to which he belongs; but he cherishes no animosity or hostility to that feeble race. Their concerns excite no interest-their pursuits no sympathy-their joys no envy. It is irksome and vexatious for him to be crossed by them in his melancholy musings, but he treats them with gentleness and pity; and, except when stung to impatience by too importunate an intrusion, is kind and considerate to the comforts of all around him. This piece is properly entitled a dramatic poem for it is merely poetical, and is not at all a drama or play in the modern acceptation of the term. It has no action, no plot, and no characters; Manfred merely

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muses and suffers from the beginning to the end. His distresses are the same at the opening of the scene and at its closing, and the temper in which they are borne is the same. A hunter and a priest, and some domestics, are indeed introduced, but they have no connection with the passions or sufferings on which the interest depends; and Manfred is substantially alone throughout the whole piece. He holds no communion but with the memory of the Being he had loved; and the immortal Spirits whom he evokes to reproach with his misery, and their inability to relieve it. These unearthly beings approach nearer to the character of persons of the drama- but still they are but choral accompaniments to the performance; and Manfred is, in reality, the only actor and sufferer on the scene. To delineate his character indeed to render conceivable his feelings-is plainly the whole scope and design of the poem; and the conception and execution are, in this respect, equally admirable. It is a grand and terrific vision of a being invested with superhuman attributes, in order that he may be capable of more than hu man sufferings, and be sustained under them by more than human force and pride. To object to the improbability of the fiction, is to mistake the end and aim of the author. Probabilities, we apprehend, did not enter at all into his consideration; his object was, to produce effect-to exalt and dilate the character through whom he was to interest or appal us and to raise our conception of it, by all the helps that could be derived from the majesty of nature, or the dread of superstition. It is enough, therefore, if the situation in which he has placed him is conceivable, and if the supposition of its reality enhances our emotions and kindles our imagination; - for it is Manfred only that we are required to fear, to pity, or admire. If we can once conceive of him as a real existence, and enter into the depth and the height of his pride and his sorrows, we may deal as we please with the means that have been used to furnish us with this impression, or to enable us to attain to this conception. We may regard them but as types, or metaphors, or allegories; but HE is the thing to be expressed, and the feeling and the intellect of which all these are but shadows." JEFFREY.

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"In this very extraordinary poem, Lord Byron has pursued the same course as in the third canto of Childe Harold, and put out his strength upon the same objects. The action is laid among the mountains of the Alps-the characters are all, more or less, formed and swayed the operations of the magnificent scenery around them, and every page of the poem teems with imagery and passion, though, at the same time, the mind of the poet is often overborne, as it were, by the strength and novelty of its own conceptions; and thus the composition, as a whole, is liable to many and fatal objections. But there is a still more novel exhibition of Lord Byron's powers in this remarkable drama. He has here burst into the world of spirits; and, in the wild delight with which the elements of nature seem to have inspired him, he has endeavoured to embody and call up before him their ministering agents, and to employ these wild personifications, as he formerly employed the feelings and passions of man. We are not prepared to say, that, in this daring attempt, he has completely succeeded. We are inclined to think, that the plan he has conceived, and the principal character which he has wished to delineate, would require a fuller developement than is here given to them; and, accordingly, a sense of imperfection, incompleteness, and confusion accompanies the mind throughout the perusal of the poem, owing either to some failure on the part of the poet, or to the inherent mystery of the subject. But though, on that account, it is dificult to comprehend distinctly the drift of the composition, it unquestionably exhibits many noble delineations of mountain sce nery, many impressive and terrible pictures of passion, and many wild and awful visions of imaginary horror." -PROFESSOR WILSON.]

["Eternal Agency! Ye spirits of the immortal Universe!". MS.] 2["Of inaccessible mountains are the haunts."- MS.]

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If it be so. — Spirits of earth and air,
Ye shall not thus elude me: by a power,
Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant-spell,
Which had its birthplace in a star condemn'd,
The burning wreck of a demolish'd world,
A wandering hell in the eternal space;
By the strong curse which is upon my soul,
The thought which is within me and around me,
I do compel ye to my will. Appear!

[A star is seen at the darker end of the gallery: it is stationary; and a voice is heard singing.

FIRST SPIRIT. Mortal to thy bidding bow'd, From my mansion in the cloud, Which the breath of twilight builds, And the summer's sunset gilds With the azure and vermilion, Which is mix'd for my pavilion; 1 Though thy quest may be forbidden, On a star-beam I have ridden; To thine adjuration bow'd, Mortal be thy wish avow'd!

Appear! [A pause.

Voice of the SECOND Spirit. Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains; They crown'd him long ago

On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds,

With a diadem of snow.

Around his waist are forests braced,

The Avalanche in his hand;
But ere it fall, that thundering ball
Must pause for my command.
The Glacier's cold and restless mass

Moves onward day by day; But I am he who bids it pass, Or with its ice delay. 2

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?

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'd— To the Spirit of Ocean Thy wishes unfold!

FOURTH SPIRIT.
Where the slumbering earthquake
Lies pillow'd on fire,

And the lakes of bitumen
Rise boilingly higher;

["Which is fit for my pavilion."- MS.]

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2

SIXTH SPIRIT.

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

SEVENTH SPIRIT.

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,

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[" Or makes its icc delay."-MS.] N

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. 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.

Man.

Why say ye so?

Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ours, V have replied in telling thee, the thing Mortals call dea 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
part-

I would behold ye face to face. I hear
Your voices, sweet and melancholy sounds,
As music on the waters; and I see

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Slaves, scoff not at my

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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 beautiful female figure.) Behold!

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

I will clasp thee,

[The figure vanishes. My heart is crush'd! [MANFRED falls senseless.

[These verses were written in Switzerland, in 1816, and transmitted to England for publication, with the third canto of Childe Harold. "As they were written," says Mr. Moore, "immediately after the last fruitless attempt at reconciliation, it is needless to say who was in the poet's thoughts while he penned some of the opening stanzas."]

2 [" 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

(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 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.
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.

By thy cold breast and serpent smile,
By thy unfathom'd gulfs of guile,
By that most seeming virtuous eye,
By thy shut soul's hypocrisy ;

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."]

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Man. The spirits I have raised abandon me The spells which I have studied baffle meThe remedy I reck'd of tortured me;

I lean no more on superhuman aid,

It hath no power upon the past, and for

The future, till the past be gulf'd in darkness,
It is not of my search. - My mother Earth!
And thou fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains,
Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye.
And thou, the bright 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 beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, 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 plunge;
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 withholds,
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 myself —

1 ["I do adjure thee to this spell.” — MS.]

[The germs of this, and of several other passages in Manfred, may be found in the Journal of his Swiss tour, which i Lord Byron transmitted to his sister: e. g. "Sept. 19.Arrived at a lake in the very bosom of the mountains; left our quadrupeds, and ascended further; came to some snow in patches, upon which my forehead's perspiration fell like rain, making the same dents as in a sieve; the chill of the wind and the snow turned me giddy, but I scrambled on and upwards. Hobhouse went to the highest pinnacle. The whole of the mountains superb. A shepherd on a steep and very high cliff playing upon his pipe; very different from Arcadia. The music of the cows' bells (for their wealth, like the patriarchs', is cattle) in the pastures, which reach to a height far above any mountains in Britain, and the shepherds shouting to us from crag to crag, and playing on their reeds where the steeps appeared almost inaccessible, with the surrounding scenery, realised all that I have ever heard or imagined of a pastoral existence- much more so than Greece or Asia Minor; for there we are a little too much of the sabre and musket order, and if there is a crook in one hand, you are

Ay,

The last infirmity of evil.
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 downward, 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 sovereigns, 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,
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 sauntering herd; 2
My soul would drink those echoes.-Ob, 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!

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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 scarce
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 mountaineers,
Save our best hunters, may attain; his garb
Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air
Proud as a freeborn peasant's, at this distance
I will approach him nearer.

Man. (not perceiving the other). To be thus-
Grey-hair'd with anguish 3, 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

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sure to see a gun in the other: but this was pure and unmixed-solitary, savage, and patriarchal. As we went, they played the Ranz des Vaches' and other airs, by way of fare. well. I have lately repeopled my mind with nature."]

3 [See the opening lines to the "Prisoner of Chillon," antè, p. 138. Speaking of Marie Antoinette," I was struck," says Madame Campan," with the astonishing change inisfortune had wrought upon her features: her whole head of hair had turned almost white, during her transit from Varennes to Paris." The same thing occurred to the unfortunate Queen Mary "With calm but undaunted fortitude," says her hictorian," she laid her neck upon the block; and while one executioner held her hands, the other, at the second stroke, cut off her head, which, falling out of its attire, discovered her hair, already grown quite grey with cares and sorrows." The hair of Mary's grandson. Charles I, turned quite grey, in like manner, during his stay at Carisbrooke.]

4 [“ Passed whole woods of withered pines, all withered, -trunks stripped and barkless, branches lifeless, done by a single winter: their appearance reminded me of me and iny family."-Swiss Journal.]

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