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And with the Spirit of the place divide The homage of these waters.— I will call her. (MANFRED takes some of the water into the palm of his hand, and
flings it in the air, muttering the adjuration. After a pause, the WITCH OF THE ALPs rises beneath the arch of the sunbeam of
Man. Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair of light,
And dazzling eyes of glory, in whose form
The charms of Earth's least-mortal daughters grow
To an unearthly stature, in an essence
Of purer elements; while the hues of youth,
Carnation'd like a sleeping infant's cheek,
Rock'd by the beating of her mother's heart,
Or the rose tints, which summer's twilight-leaves
Upon the lofty glacier's virgin snow,
The blush of earth embracing with her heaven,-
Tinge thy celestial aspect, and make tame
The beauties of the sunbow which bends o'er thee.
Beautiful Spirit! in thy calm clear brow,
Wherein is glass'd serenity of soul,
Which of itself shows immortality,
I read that thou wilt pardon to a Son
Of Earth, whom the abstruser powers permit
At times to commune with them if that he
Avail him of his spells—to call thee thus,
And gaze on thee a moment.
Son of Earth!
I know thee, and the powers which give thee power;
I know thee for a man of many thoughts,
And deeds of good and ill, extreme in both,
Fatal and fated in thy sufferings.
I have expected this what wouldst thou with me?
Man. To look upon thy beauty-nothing further. The face of the earth hath madden'd me, and I Take refuge in her mysteries, and pierce To the abodes of those who govern herBut they can nothing aid me.
I have sought
From them what they could not bestow, and now
I search no further.
Witch. What could be the quest
Which is not in the power of the most powerful,
The rulers of the invisible?
But why should I repeat it? 'twere in vain.
Witch. I know not that; let thy lips utter it.
Man. Well, though it torture me, 'tis but the same;
My pang shall find a voice. From my youth upwards
My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men,
Nor look'd upon the earth with human eyes ;
The thirst of their ambition was not mine,
The aim of their existence was not mine;
My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers,
Made me a stranger; though I wore the form,
I had no sympathy with breathing flesh,
Nor midst the creatures of clay that girded me
Was there but one who- -but of her anon.
I said, with men, and with the thoughts of men,
I held but slight communion; but instead,
My joy was in the Wilderness, to breathe
The difficult air of the iced mountain's top,
Where the birds dare not build, nor insect's wing
Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plunge
Into the torrent, and to roll along
On the swift whirl of the new breaking wave
Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow.
In these my early strength exulted; or
To follow through the night the moving moon,
The stars and their developement; or catch
The dazzling lightnings till my eyes grew dim;
Or to look, listning, on the scatter'd leaves,
While Autumn winds were at their evening song.
These were my pastimes, and to be alone;
For if the beings, of whom I was one, -
Hating to be so,-cross'd me in my path,
I felt myself degraded back to them,
And was all clay again. And then I dived,
In my lone wanderings, to the caves of death,
Searching its cause in its effect; and drew
From wither'd bones, and skulls, and heap'd up dust,
Conclusions most forbidden. Then I pass'd
The nights of years in sciences untaught,
Save in the old-time; and with time and toil,
And terrible ordeal, and such penance
As in itself hath power upon the air,
And spirits that do compass air and earth,
Space, and the peopled infinite, I made
Mine eyes familiar with Eternity,
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and
He who from out their fountain dwellings raised
Eros and Anteros, (2) at Gadara,
As I do thee ;-and with my knowledge grew
The thirst of knowledge, and the power and joy Of this most bright intelligence, until
Man. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my words,
Boasting these idle attributes, because
As I approach the core of my heart's grief-
But to my task. I have not named to thee
Father or mother, mistress, friend, or being, • With whom I wore the chain of human ties;
If I had such, they seem'd not such to me-
Yet there was one-
Witch. Spare not thyself-proceed.
Man. She was like me in lineaments-her eyes, Her hair, her features, all, to the very tone Even of her voice, they said were like to mine; But soften'd all, and temper'd into beauty; She had the same lone thoughts and wanderings, The quest of hidden knowledge, and a mind To comprehend the universe: nor these Alone, but with them gentler powers than mine, Pity, and smiles, and tears—which I had not ; And tenderness - but that I had for her ; Humility—and that I never had.