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Which I outlive!-Ye toppling crags of ice!
C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from up the valley;
Man. The mists boil up around the glaciers; clouds Rise curling fast beneath me, white and sulphury, Like foam from the roused ocean of deep Hell, Whose every wave breaks on a living shore, Heap'd with the damn'd like pebbles.—I am giddy, 3 C. Hun. I must approach him cautiously; if near, A sudden step will startle him, and he Seems tottering already.
Mountains have fallen, Leaving a gap in the clouds, and with the shock Rocking their Alpine brethren; filling up The ripe green valleys with destruction's splinters; Damming the rivers with a sudden dash, Which crush'd the waters into mist, and made Their fountains find another channel - thus, Thus, in its old age, did Mount RosenbergWhy stood I not beneath it?
Come on, we 'll quickly find a surer footing, And something like a pathway, which the torrent Hath wash'd since winter.-Come, 't is bravely doneYou should have been a hunter. - Follow me. [As they descend the rocks with difficulty, the scene closes.
A Cottage amongst the Bernese Alps.
MANFRED and the CHAMOIS HUNTER.
C. Hun. No, no-yet pause-thou must not yet go forth:
Thy mind and body are alike unfit
To trust each other, for some hours, at least;
It imports not: I do know
My route full well, and need no further guidance.
One of the many chiefs, whose castled crags
Friend! have a care, My way of life leads me but rarely down
Your next step may be fatal ! -for the love
["Ascended the Wengen mountain; left the horses, took off my coat, and went to the summit. On one side, our view comprised the Jungfrau, with all her glaciers; then the Dent d'Argent, shining like truth; then the Little Giant, and the Great Giant; and last, not least, the Wetterhorn. height of the Jungfrau is thirteen thousand feet above the sea, and eleven thousand above the valley. Heard the avalanches falling every five minutes nearly."- Swiss Journal.]
2 ["Like foam from the roused ocean of old Hell."— MS.]
To bask by the huge hearths of those old halls,
Man. No matter. C. Hun. Well, sir, pardon me the question, And be of better cheer. Come, taste my wine; "T is of an ancient vintage: many a day 'T has thaw'd my veins among our glaciers, now Let it do thus for thine- Come pledge me fairly. Man. Away, away! there's blood upon the brim ! Will it then never never sink in the earth? C. Hun. What dost thou mean? thy senses wander from thee.
Man. I say 'tis blood-my blood! the pure warm
3 [" The clouds rose from the opposite valley, curling up perpendicular precipices, like the foam of the occan of hell during a spring tide-it was white and sulphury, and immeasurably deep in appearance. The side we ascended was not of so precipitous a nature; but, on arriving at the summit, we looked down upon the other side upon a boiling sea of cloud, dashing against the crags on which we stood - these crags on one side quite perpendicular. In passing the masses of snow, I made a snowball and pelted Hobhouse with it.". Swiss Journal.]
I would not be of thine for the free fame
Man. Think'st thou existence doth depend on time? It doth; but actions are our epochs: mine Have made my days and nights imperishable, Endless, and all alike, as sands on the shore, Innumerable atoms; and one desert, Barren and cold, on which the wild waves break, But nothing rests, save carcasses and wrecks, Rocks, and the salt-surf weeds of bitterness.
C. Hun. Alas! he's mad- but yet I must not leave him.
Man. I would I were - for then the things I see Would be but a distemper'd dream.
What is it
That thou dost see, or think thou look'st upon?
Man. No, friend! I would not wrong thee, nor exchange
My lot with living being: I can bear
However wretchedly, 'tis still to bear
In life what others could not brook to dream,
But perish in their slumber.
[This scene is one of the most poetical and most sweetly written in the poem. There is a still and delicious witchery in the tranquillity and seclusion of the place, and the celestial beauty of the being who reveals herself in the midst of these visible enchantments. — JEFFREY.]
2 This iris is formed by the rays of the sun over the lower part of the Alpine torrents: it is exactly like a rainbow come down to pay a visit, and so close that you may walk into it: this effect lasts till noon. - [ Before ascending the mountain, went to the torrent; the sun upon it, forming a rainbow of the lower part of all colours, but principally purple and gold; the bow moving as you move: I never saw any thing like this; it is only in the sunshine."- Swiss Journal.]
3 [ Arrived at the foot of the Jungfrau; glaciers; torrents: one of these torrents nine hundred feet in height of visible descent; heard an avalanche fall, like thunder; glaciers enormous; storm came on-thunder, lightning, hail; all in perfection, and beautiful. The torrent is in shape curving over the rock, like the tail of a white horse streaming in the
Oh no, no, no!
My injuries came down on those who loved me -
Heaven give thee rest!
I need them not, But can endure thy pity. I depart 'Tis time-farewell!- Here's gold, and thanks for
A lower Valley in the Alps.-A Cataract.
It is not noon- the sunbow's rays still arch
But mine now drink this sight of loveliness;
Beautiful Spirit! with thy hair of light,
Of purer elements; while the hues of youth,
The blush of earth, embracing with her heaven,
Beautiful Spirit! in thy calm clear brow,
wind, such as it might be conceived would be that of the 'pale horse' on which Death is mounted in the Apocalypse. It is neither mist nor water, but a something between both; its immense height gives it a wave or curve, a spreading here or condensation there, wonderful and indescribable."- Swiss Journal.]
4 [In all Lord Byron's heroes we recognize, though with infinite modifications, the same great characteristics - a high and audacious conception of the power of the mind, an Intense sensibility of passion, an almost boundless capacity of tumultuous emotion, a haunting admiration of the grandeur of disordered power, and, above all, a soul-felt blood-felt delight in beauty. Parisina is full of it to overflowing; it breathes from every page of the Prisoner of Chillon; but it is in Manfred" that it riots and revels among the streams, and waterfalls, and groves, and mountains, and heavens. There is in the character of Manfred more of the self-might of Byron than in all his previous productions. He has therein brought, with wonderful power, metaphysical
I know thee, and the powers which give thee power;
I have expected this-what would'st thou with me?
Man. To look upon thy beauty-nothing further. I 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.
But why should I repeat it? 't were in vain.
Witch. I know not that; let thy lips utter it.
My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers,
On the swift whirl of the new breaking wave
conceptions into forms, and we know of no poem in which the aspect of external nature is throughout lighted up with an expression at once so beautiful, solemn, and majestic. It is the poem, next to" Childe Harold," which we should give to a foreigner to read, that he might know something of Byron. Shakspeare has given to those abstractions of human life and being, which are truth in the intellect, forms as full, clear, glowing, as the idealised forms of visible nature. The very words of Ariel picture to us his beautiful being. In" Manfred," we see glorious but immature manifestations of similar power. The poet there creates, with delight, thoughts and feelings and fancies into visible forms, that he may cling and cleave to them, and clasp them in his passion. The beautiful Witch of the Alps seems exhaled from the luminous spray of the cataract, as if the poet's eyes, unsated with the beauty of inanimate nature, gave spectral apparitions of loveliness to teed the pure passion of the poet's soul. - WILSON.]
[There is something exquisitely beautiful in all this passage; and both the apparition and the dialogue are so managed, that the sense of their improbability is swallowed up in that of their beauty; and, without actually believing that
Or to look, list'ning, on the scatter'd leaves,
I felt myself degraded back to them,
Such as, before me, did the Magi, and
He who from out their fountain dwellings raised
As I do thee; -and with my knowledge grew
Man. Oh! I but thus prolong'd my words, Boasting these idle attributes, because As I approach the core of my heart's griefBut 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 meYet there was one
Her faults were mine- her virtues were her own-
With thy hand?
Man. Not with my hand, but heart-which broke her heart
It gazed on mine, and wither'd. I have shed
such spirits exist or communicate themselves, we feel for the moment as if we stood in their presence. - JEFFREY.]
2 The philosopher Jamblicus. The story of the raising of Eros and Anteros may be found in his life by Eunapius. It is well told. It is reported of him," says Eunapius, "that while he and his scholars were bathing in the hot baths of Gadara in Syria, a dispute arising concerning the baths, he, smiling, ordered his disciples to ask the inhabitants by what names the two lesser springs, that were nearer and handsomer than the rest, were called. To which the inhabitants replied, that the one was called Eros, and the other Anteros, but for what reason they knew not.' Upon which Jamblicus, sitting by one of the springs, put his hand in the water, and muttering some few words to himself, called up a fair-complexioned boy, with gold-coloured locks dangling from his back and breast, so that he looked like one that was washing: and then, going to the other spring, and doing as he had done before, called up another Cupid, with darker and more dishevelled hair: upon which both the Cupids clung about Jamblicus; but he presently sent them back to their proper places. After this, his friends submitted their belief to him in every thing."]
A being of the race thou dost despise,
Man. Daughter of Air! I tell thee, since that hour-
But peopled with the Furies; -I have gnash'd
And fatal things pass'd harmless-the cold hand
The affluence of my soul—which one day was
1 The story of Pausanias, king of Sparta (who commanded the Greeks at the battle of Platea, and afterwards perished for an attempt to betray the Lacedæmonians), and Cleonice, is told in Plutarch's life of Cimon; and in the Laconics of Pausanias the sophist, in his description of Greece. [The following is the passage from Plutarch:-" It is related, that when Pausanias was at Byzantium, he cast his eyes upon a young virgin named Cleonice, of a noble family there, and insisted on having her for a mistress. The parents, intimidated by his power, were under the hard necessity of giving up their daughter. The young woman begged that the light might be taken out of his apartments, that she might go to his bed in secrecy and silence. When she entered he was asleep, and she unfortunately stumbled upon the candlestick and threw it down. The noise waked him suddenly, and he, in his confusion, thinking it was an enemy coming to assassinate him, unsheathed a dagger that lay by him, and plunged it into the virgin's heart. After this he could never rest. Her image
Steal on us and steal from us; yet we live,
In life there is no present, we can number
appeared to him every night, and with a menacing tone repeated this heroic verse,—
Go to the fate which pride and lust prepare!' The allies, highly incensed at this infamous action, joined Cimon to besiege him in Byzantium. But he found means to escape thence; and as he was still haunted by the spectre, he is said to have applied to a temple at Heraclea, where the manes of the dead were consulted. There he invoked the spirit of Cleonice, and entreated her pardon. She appeared, and told him he would soon be delivered from all his troubles, after his return to Sparta :' in which, it seems, his death was enigmatically foretold. These particulars we have from many historians." LANGHORNE's Plutarch, vol. iii. p. 279. "Thus we find," adds the translator, "that it was a custom in the Pagan as well as in the Hebrew theology, to conjure up the spirits of the dead; and that the witch of Endor was not the only witch in the world."]
["Came to a morass; Hobhouse dismounted to get over well; I tried to pass my horse over; the horse sunk up to the chin, and of course he and I were in the mud together; bemired, but not hurt; laughed and rode on. Arrived at the Grindenwold; mounted again, and rode to the higher glacier - like a frozen hurricane.” ― Swiss Journal.]
2 [This stanza we think is out of place, at least, if not out of character; and though the author may tell us that human
My sisters and thyself are slow to-night.
Nem. I was detain'd repairing shatter'd thrones, Marrying fools, restoring dynasties,
Avenging men upon their enemies,
And making them repent their own revenge;
The Hall of Arimanes — Arimanes on his Throne, a Globe of Fire, surrounded by the Spirits.
Hymn of the SPIRITS.
Hail to our Master!- Prince of Earth and Air! Who walks the clouds and waters-in his hand The sceptre of the elements, which tear
Themselves to chaos at his high command!
His shadow is the Pestilence; his path
To him War offers daily sacrifice;
To him Death pays his tribute; Life is his,
With all its infinite of agonies
And his the spirit of whatever is !