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Which having leapt from its more dazzling height,
Even in the foaming strength of its abyss,
(Which casts up misty columns that become
Clouds raining from the re-ascended skies,)
Lies low but mighty still.—But this is past,
My thoughts mistook themselves.
And wherefore so ?
Man. I could not tame my nature down; for he
Must serve who fain would sway—and soothe—and sue-
And watch all time—and pry into all place-
And be a living lie—who would become
A mighty thing amongst the mean, and such
The mass are; I disdain'd to mingle with
A herd, though to be leader—and of wolves.
The lion is alone, and so am I.
Abbot. And why not live and act with other men ?
Man. Because my nature was averse from life;
And yet not cruel; for I would not make,
But find a desolation :-like the wind,
The red-hot breath of the most lone Simoom,
Which dwells but in the desert, and sweeps o'er
The barren sands which bear no shrubs to blast,
And revels o'er their wild and arid waves,
And seeketh not, so that it is not sought,
But being met-is deadly; such hath been
The course of my existence; but there came
Things in my path which are no more.
I’gin to fear that thou art past all aid
From me and from my calling; yet so young,
I still would
Look on me! there is an order Of mortals on the earth, who do become Old in their youth, and die ere middle age, Without the violence of warlike death; Some perishing of pleasure—some of studySome worn with toil—some of mere wearinessSome of disease—and some insanityAnd some of wither'd, or of broken hearts; For this last is a malady which slays More than are number'd in the lists of Fate, Taking all shapes, and bearing many names. Look upon me! for even of all these things Have I partaken; and of all these things, One were enough; then wonder not that I Am what I am, but that I ever was, Or having been, that I am still on earth.
ABBOT. Yet, hear me still.
Old man! I do respect Thine order, and revere thine years ;
Thy purpose plous, but it is in vain :
Think me not churlish; I would spare thyself,
Far more than me, in shunning at this time
All further colloquy-and so-farewell.
ABBOT. This should have been a noble creature: he
Hath all the energy which would have made
A goodly frame of glorious elements,
Had they been wisely mingled ; as it is,
It is an awful chaos—light and darkness
And mind and dust-and passions and pure thoughts,
Mix'd, and contending without end or order,
All dormant or destructive: he will perish,
And yet he must not; I will try once more,
For such are worth redemption; and my duty
Is to dare all things for a righteous end.
I'll follow him—but cautiously, though surely.
HER. My Lord, you bade me wait on you at sunset: He sinks behind the mountain.
I will look on him.
[MANFRED advances to the Window of the Hall.
Glorious Orb! the idol
Of early nature, and the vigorous race
Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons (1)
Of the embrace of angels, with a sex
More beautiful than they, which did draw down
The erring spirits who can ne'er return.-
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, ere
The mystery of thy making was reveald !
Thou earliest minister of the Almighty,
Which gladden'd, on their mountain tops, the hearts
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they pour'd
Themselves in orisons ! Thou material God!
And representative of the Unknown-
Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star!
Centre of many stars! which mak’st our earth
Endurable, and temperest the hues
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays !
Sire of the seasons ! Monarch of the climes,
And those who dwell in them! for near or far,
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects ;--thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well !
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance
Of love and wonder was for thee, then take
My latest look : thou wilt not beam on one
To whom the gifts of life and warmth have been
Of a more fatal nature.