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[MANFRED advances to the window of the hall.
Of early nature, and the vigorous race
Who chose thee for his shadow! thou chief star!
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays!
[Exit MANFRED. SCENE II.-The Mountains-The Castle of Manfred at some distance-A Terrace before a Tower.-Time, Trilight.
HERMAN, MANUEL, and other Dependants of MANFRED. Her. 'Tis strange enough; night after night, for years,
He hath pursued long vigils in this tower,
To draw conclusions absolute of aught
His studies tend to. To be sure, there is
One chamber where none enter; I would give
"T were dangerous:
Content thyself with what thou know'st already. Her. Ah! Manuel! thou art elderly and wise,
Manuel. These walis Must change their chieftain first. Oh! I have seen Some strange things in these few years.t Her. Come, be friendly Relate me some, to while away our watch: I've heard thee darkly speak of an event Which happen'd hereabouts, by this same tower. Manuel. That was a night indeed! I do remember "T was twilight, as it may be now, and such Another evening;-yon red cloud, which rests On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then,So like it that it might be the same; the wind Was faint and gusty, and the mountain snows Began to glitter with the climbing moon; Count Manfred was, as now, within his tower,How occupied, we knew not, but with him The sole companion of his wanderings And watchings-her, whom of all earthly things That lived, the only thing he seem'd to love, As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do, The Lady Astarte, his
Look-look-the towerThe tower's on fire. Oh, heavens and earth! what sound,
What dreadful sound is that? [A crash like thunder Manuel. Help, help, there!-to the rescue of the Count
The Count's in danger,-what ho! there! approach!
If there be any of you who have heart
And couldst say much; thou hast dwelt within the He's dead. castle
'Tis all in vain-
Her. (within.) Not so-even now mcthought he moved: But it is dark--so bear him gently outSoftly-how cold he is! take care of his temples In winding down the staircase.
Re-enter MANUEL and HERMAN, bearing MANFRED in their arms.
Manuel. Hie to the castle, some of ye, and bring What aid you can. Saddle the barb, and speed For the leech to the city-quick! some water there! Her. His cheek is black-but there is a faint beat Still lingering about the heart. Some water.
[They sprinkle MANFRED with water; after a pause he gives some signs of life. Manuel. He seems to strive to speak-come-cheerly, Count!
He moves his lips-canst hear him? I am old
Manuel. Oh! what a death is this! that I should live To shake my gray hairs over the last chief Of the house of Sigismund-And such a death! Alone-we know not how-unshrived-untendedWith strange accompaniments and fearful signsI shudder at the sight-but must not leave him. Manfred. (speaking faintly and slowly.) Old man! "Tis not so difficult to die.
[MANFRED, having said this, expires. Her. His eyes are fix'd and lifeless.-He is gone. Manuel. Close them.-My old hand quivers.-He departs
Whither? I dread to think-But he is gone!
TO MY DEAR MARY ANNE.
THE FOLLOWING LINES ARE THE EARLIEST WRITTEN BY LORD BYRON. THEY WERE ADDRESSED TO MISS CHAWORTH, AFTERWARDS MRS. MUSTERS, IN 1804, ABOUT A YEAR BEFORE HER MARRIAGE.]
ADIEU to sweet Mary for ever!
From her I must quickly depart:
The flame that within my heart burns
The love which for Mary I feel
Is far purer than Cupid bestows.
I wish not your peace to disturb,
HILLS of Annesley, bleak and barren,
Now no more, the hours beguiling, Former favourite haunts I see; Now no more my Mary smiling Makes ye seem a heaven to me.
THE PRAYER OF NATURE. FATHER of Light! great God of Heaven! Hear'st thou the accents of despair? Can guilt like man's be e'er forgiven? Can vice atone for crimes by prayer? Father of Light, on thee I call!
Thou see'st my soul is dark within;
Spare, yet amend, the faults of youth.
Let superstition hail the pile,
Shall man confine his Maker's sway
To Gothic domes of mouldering stone? Thy, temple is the face of day;
Earth, ocean, heaven thy boundless throne Shall man condemn his race to hell
Unless they bend in pompous form Tell us that all, for one who fell,
Must perish in the mingling storm?
Or doctrines less severe inspire?
And live beyond the bounds of Time?
Thy laws in Nature's works appear;I own myself corrupt and weak, Yet will I pray, for thou wilt hear! Thou, who canst guide the wandering star Through trackless realms of ether's space Who calm'st the elemental war,
Whose hand from pole to pole I trace:
By thy command I rise or fall,
If, when this dust to dust restored
Round this unconcious schoolboys stray
From yonder studious mansion rings; But here whene'er my footsteps move, My silent tears too plainly prove "Friendship is Love without his wings!" 4.
Oh Love! before thy glowing shrine
My early vows were paid;
My hopes, my dreams, my heart was thine,
For thine are pinions like the wind,
Ye few! my soul, my life is yours,
From smooth deceit and terror sprung,
Fictions and dreams inspire the bard
To me no bays belong;
If laurell'd Fame but dwells with lies,
There must thou soon direct thy flight,
If errors are forgiven.
To bigots and to sects unknown,
Although his meanest care.
Father of Light! to thee I call,
My soul is dark within;
Thou, who canst mark the sparrow fall,
Thou, who canst guide the wandering star,
Whose mantle is yon boundless sky, My thoughts, my words, my crimes forgive; And, since I soon must cease to live, Instruct me how to die.
TO MRS. ***.
ON BEING ASKED MY REASON FOR QUITTING ENGLAND
WHEN man, expell'd from Eden's bowers,
And I must view thy charms no more;
In flight I shall be surely wise,
I cannot view my paradise
Without the wish of dwelling there.
REMIND me not, remind me not,
Dec. 2, 1808
Of those beloved, those vanish'd hours
Can I forget-canst thou forget,
Oh, by my soul, I see thee yet,
With eyes so languid, breast so fair,
And lips, though silent, breathing love.
And then those pensive eyes would close
While their long lashes' darkening gloss
I dreamt last night our love return'd,
For eyes that ne'er like thine could beam
Then tell me not, remind me not,
Of hours which, though for ever gone, Can still a pleasing dream restore, Till thou and I shal! be forgot,
And senseless as the mouldering stone Which tells that we shall be no more.
THERE was a time, I need not name,
But transient in thy breast alone.
Though thou wilt never love again, To me 't is doubly sweet to find Remembrance of that love remain. Yes! 't is a glorious thought to me, Nor longer shall my soul repine, Whate'er thou art or e'er shalt be, Thou hast been dearly, solely mine!
AND wilt thou weep when I am low?
I would not give that bosom pain.
My neart is sad, my hopes are gone,
Wilt sigh above my place of rest.
And yet methinks, a gleam of peace
To know thy heart hath felt for mine.
Oh lady! blessed be that tear
It falls for one who cannot weep:
Suen precious drops are doubly dear
To those whose eyes no tear can steep.
Sweet lady! once my heart was warm
Yet wilt thou weep when I am low?
FILL the goblet again, for I never before
Let us drink-who would not ?-since, through life. varied round,
In the goblet alone no deception is found.
I have tried in its turn all that life can supply;
I have bask'd in the beam of a dark-rolling eye;
I have loved!-who has not?-but what heart can declare
That pleasure existed while passion was there?
In the days of my youth, when the heart's in its spring,
And dreams that affection can never take wing, I had friends!-who has not ?-but what tongue will avow?
That friends, rosy wine! are so faithful as thou? The heart of a mistress some boy may estrange, Friendship shifts with the sunbeam-thou never canst change:
Thou grow'st old-who does not ?-but on earth what
Whose virtues, like thine, still increase with its years?
For the more that enjoy thee, the more we enjoy.