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I sunk before my vain despair, and knelt
To my own desolation.

Fifth Spirit.
Dost thou dare
Refuse to Arimanes on his throne
What the whole earth accords, beholding not
The terror of his Glory?— Crouch! I say.

Man. Bid him bow down to that which is above
The overruling Infinite-the Maker
Who made him not for worship-let him kneel,
And we will kneel together.

The Spirits.

Crush the worm!

Tear him in pieces!

First Des.

Hence! Avaunt!-he's mine.
Prince of the Powers invisible ! This man
Is of no common order, as his port

And presence here denote; his sufferings
Have been of an immortal nature, like

Our own; his knowledge and his powers and will,
As far as is compatible with clay,
Which clogs the ethereal essence, have been such
As clay hath seldom borne; his aspirations
Have been beyond the dwellers of the earth,
And they have only taught him what we know—
That knowledge is not happiness, and science
But an exchange of ignorance for that
Which is another kind of ignorance.

This is not all the passions, attributes

Of earth and heaven, from which no power, nor


Nor breath from the worm upwards is exempt,
Have pierced his heart; and in their consequence
Made him a thing, which I, who pity not,
Yet pardon those who pity. He is mine,
And thine, it may be. -be it so, or not,
No other Spirit in this region hath

A soul like his or power upon his soul.
Nem. What doth he here then?
First Des.
Let him answer that.
Man. Ye know what I have known; and without


I could not be amongst ye: but there are
Powers deeper still beyond-I come in quest
Of such, to answer unto what I seck.
Nem. What would'st thou ?
Thou canst not reply to me.
Call up the dead-my question is for them.

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The heart and the form, And the aspect thou worest Redeem from the worm. Appear!- Appear!— Appear! Who sent thee there requires thee here! [The Phantom of ASTARTE rises und stands in the midst.

Man. Can this be death? there's bloom upon her cheek;

But now I see it is no living hue

But a strange hectic-like the unnatural red
Which Autumn plants upon the perish'd leaf.
It is the same! Oh, God! that I should dread
To look upon the same-Astarte ! - No,
I cannot speak to her- but bid her speak-
Forgive me or condemn me.


By the power which hath broken
The grave which enthrall'd thee,
Speak to him who hath spoken,
Or those who have call'd thee!

I know not what I ask,
I feel but what thou art-

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She is not of our order, but belongs
To the other powers. Mortal thy quest is vain,

And we are baffled also.

Hear me, hear me -
Astarte my beloved! speak to me:

I have so much endured-so much endure-
Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me
Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made
To torture thus each other, though it were
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved.
Say that thou loath'st me not- that I do bear
This punishment for both-that thou wilt be
One of the blessed and that I shall die;
For hitherto all hateful things conspire
To bind me in existence in a life
Which makes me shrink from immortality-
A future like the past. I cannot rest.

nor what I seek:

and what I am;

And I would hear yet once before I perish
The voice which was my music-Speak to me !
For I have call'd on thee in the still night,
Startled the slumbering birds from the hush'd

And woke the mountain wolves, and made the caves
Acquainted with thy vainly echoed name,
Which answer'd me-many things answer'd me—
Spirits and men- but thou wert silent all.
Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
And gazed o'er heaven in vain in search of thee.
Speak to me! I have wander'd o'er the earth,
And never found thy likeness - Speak to me !
Look on the fiends around-they feel for me:
I fear them not, and feel for thee alone -
Speak to me! though it be in wrath; - but say
I reck not what-but let me hear thee once-
This once-once more!

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(Scene closes.)

[Over this fine drama, a moral feeling hangs like a sombrous thunder cloud. No other guilt but that so darkly shadowed out could have furnished so dreadful an illustration of the hideous aberrations of human nature, however noble and majestic, when left a prey to its desires, its passions, and its imagination. The beauty, at one time so innocently adored, is at last soiled, profaned, and violated. Affection, love, guilt, horror, remorse, and death, come in terrible succession, yet all darkly linked together. We think of Astarte as young, beautiful, innocent guilty-lost-murdered — buried judged pardoned; but still, in her permitted visit to earth, speaking in a voice of sorrow, and with a countenance yet pale with mortal trouble. We had but a glimpse of her in her beauty and innocence; but, at last, she rises up before us in all the mortal silence of a ghost, with fixed, glazed, and passionless eyes, revealing death, judgment, and eternity. The moral breathes and burns in every word, in sadness, misery, insanity, desolation, and death. The work is "instinct with spirit," and in the agony and distraction, and all its dimly imagined causes, we behold, though broken up, confused, and settered, the elements of a purer existence. WILSON.]

2 [The third Act, as originally written, being shown to Mr. Gifford, he expressed his unfavourable opinion of it very distinctly; and Mr. Murray transmitted this opinion to Lord Byron. The result is told in the following extracts from his letters:

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Her. All, my lord, are ready: Here is the key and casket. Man.

It is well:

Thou may'st retire.
Man. (alone).
There is a calm upon me-
Inexplicable stillness! which till now
Did not belong to what I knew of life.
If that I did not know philosophy

To be of all our vanities the motliest,
The merest word that ever fool'd the ear
From out the schoolman's jargon, I should deem
The golden secret, the sought "Kalon," found,
And seated in my soul. It will not last,

But it is well to have known it, though but once:
It hath enlarged my thoughts with a new sense,
And I within my tablets would note down
That there is such a feeling. Who is there?

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"Venice, April 14. 1817. The third Act is certainly d-d bad, and, like the Archbishop of Grenada's homily, (which savoured of the palsy,) has the dregs of my fever, during which it was written. It must on no account be published in its present state. I will try and reform it, or re-write it altogether; but the impulse is gone, and I have no chance of making any thing out of it. The speech of Manfred to the Sun is the only part of this Act I thought good myself; the rest is certainly as bad as bad can be, and I wonder what the devil possessed me. I am very glad indeed that you sent me Mr. Gifford's opinion without deduction. Do you suppose me such a booby as not, to be very much obliged to him? or that I was not, and am not, convinced and convicted in my conscience of this same overt act of nonsense? I shall try at it again; in the mean time, lay it upon the shelf-the whole Drama I mean. Recollect not to publish, upon pain of I know not what, until I have tried again at the third act. I am not sure that I shall try, and still less that I shall succeed if I do."

"Rome, May 5.I have re-written the greater part, and returned what is not altered in the proof you sent me. The Abbot is become a good man, and the Spirits are brought in at the death. You will find, I think, some good poetry in this new Act, here and there; and if so, print it, without sending me farther proofs, under Mr. Gifford's correction, if he will have the goodness to overlook it."]

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May also be my herald. Rumours strange,
And of unholy nature, are abroad,
And busy with thy name; a noble name
For centuries: may he who bears it now
Transmit it unimpair'd!


Proceed, I listen. Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the things

Man. I hear thee. This is my reply: whate'er
I may have been, or am, doth rest between
Heaven and myself. -I shall not choose a mortal
To be my mediator. Have I sinn'd
Against your ordinances? prove and punish!!

Abbot. My son! I did not speak of punishment,
But penitence and pardon; — with thyself

[Thus far the text stands as originally penned: we subjoin the sequel of the scene as given in the first MS.:

"Abbot. Then, hear and tremble! For the headstrong Who in the mail of innate hardihood [wretch

Would shield himself, and battle for his sins,

Which are forbidden to the search of man ;
That with the dwellers of the dark abodes,
The many evil and unheavenly spirits
Which walk the valley of the shade of death,
Thou communest. I know that with mankind,
Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely
Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy solitude
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.

Man. And what are they who do avouch these

Abbot. My pious brethren-the scared peasantry-
Even thy own vassals-who do look on thee
With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril.

Man. Take it.

All this is well;
For this will pass away, and be succeeded
I come to save, and not destroy- By an auspicious hope, which shall look up
I would not pry into thy secret soul;
With calm assurance to that blessed place,
But if these things be sooth, there still is time
Which all who seek may win, whatever be
For penitence and pity: reconcile thee [heaven. Their earthly errors, so they be atoned:
With the true church, and through the church to And the commencement of atonement is
The sense of its necessity. Say on-
And all our church can teach thee shall be taught;
And all we can absolve thee shall be pardon'd.

Man. When Rome's sixth emperor 2 was near his

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[MANFRED opens the casket, strikes a light, and
burns some incense.

Ho! Ashtaroth!

The DEMON ASHTAROTH appears, singing as follows:
The raven sits

On the raven-stone,

And his black wing flits

O'er the milk.white bone;

To and fro, as the night-winds blow,
The carcass of the assassin swings;
And there alone, on the raven-stone,
The raven flaps his dusky wings.
The fetters creak - and his ebon beak

Croaks to the close of the hollow sound;

And this is the tune, by the light of the moon,
To which the witches dance their round —
Merrily, merrily, cheerily, cheerily,

Merrily, speeds the ball:

The dead in their shrouds, and the demons in clouds,
Flock to the witches' carnival.

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"Raven-stone (Rabenstein), a translation of the German word for the gibbet, which in Germany and Switzerland is permanent, and made of stone."

The choice of such remains-and for the last,
Our institutions and our strong belief

Have given me power to smooth the path from sin
To higher hope and better thoughts; the first
I leave to heaven, - -" Vengeance is mine alone!'
So saith the Lord, and with all humbleness
His servant echoes back the awful word.

Man. Old man! there is no power in holy men,
Nor charm in prayer-nor purifying form
Of penitence- -nor outward look-nor fast-
Nor agony-nor, greater than all these,
The innate tortures of that deep despair,
Which is remorse without the fear of hell,
But all in all sufficient to itself

Would make a hell of heaven-can exorcise
From out the unbounded spirit, the quick sense
Of its own sins, wrongs, sufferance, and revenge
Upon itself; there is no future pang

Can deal that justice on the self-condemn'd
He deals on his own soul.

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The victim of a self-inflicted wound,
To shun the torments of a public death 9



Abbot. I fear thee not-hence
Avaunt thee, evil one! - help, ho! without there!
Man. Convey this man to the Shreckhorn to its peak -
To its extremest peak-watch with him there
From now till sunrise; let him gaze, and know
He ne'er again will be so near to heaven.

But harm him not; and, when the morrow breaks,
Set him down safe in his cell-away with him!
Ash. Had I not better bring his brethren too,
Convent and all, to bear him company?

Man. No, this will serve for the present.
Take him up.
Ash. Come, friar! now an exorcism or two,
And we shall fly the lighter.

ASHTAROTH disappears with the ABBOT, singing as follows:

A prodigal son, and a maid undone,

And a widow re-wedded within the year;
And a worldly monk, and a pregnant nun,
Are things which every day appear.

MANFRED alone.

Man. Why would this fool break in on me, and force
My art to pranks fantastical ?- no matter,

It was not of my seeking. My heart sickens,
And weighs a fix'd foreboding on my soul :
But it is calm calm as a sullen sea
After the hurricane; the winds are still.
But the cold waves swell high and heavily,
And there is danger in them. Such a rest
Is no repose. My life hath been a combat,
And every thought a wound, till I am scarr'd
In the immortal part of me. What now?"]

"Sit Cato, dum vivit, sane vel Cæsare major, Dum moritur, numquíd major Othone fuit ?" not loss of life, bu: ? the torments of a Choose between them."— - MS.]

3 [“To shun {

public death.

2 Otho, being defeated in a general engagement near Brixellum, stabbed himself. Plutarch says, that, though he lived full as badly as Nero, his last moments were those of a philosopher. He comforted his soldiers who lamented his fortune, and expressed his concern for their safety, when they solicited to pay him the last friendly offices. Martial says:

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It never can be so,
To reconcile thyself with thy own soul,
And thy own soul with heaven. Hast thou no hope?
'Tis strange-even those who do despair above,
Yet shape themselves some fantasy on earth,
To which frail twig they cling, like drowning men.
Man. Ay-father! I have had those earthly visions
And noble aspirations in my youth,
To make my own the mind of other men,
The enlightener of nations; and to rise

I knew not whither-it might be to fall;
But fall, even as the mountain-cataract,
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


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,

[This speech has been quoted in more than one of the sketches of the Poet's own life. Much earlier, when only twenty-three years of age, he had thus prophesied :-" It seems as if I were to experience in my youth the greatest misery of old age. My friends fall around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree before I am withered. Other men can always take refuge in their families- I have no resource but my own reflections, and they present no prospect, here or hereafter, except the selfish satisfaction of surviving my betters. I am, indeed, very wretched. My days are listless, and my nights restless. I have very seldom any society; and when I have, I run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity."— Byron Letters, 1811.]

["Of the immortality of the soul, it appears to me that there can be little doubt if we attend for a moment to the action of mind. It is in perpetual activity. I used to doubt it -but reflection has taught me better. How far our future state will be individual; or, rather, how far it will at all resemble our present existence, is another question; but that the mind is eternal seems as probable as that the body is not so."-Byron Diary, 1821. "I have no wish to reject Christianity without investigation, on the contrary, I am very desirous of believing; for I have no happiness in my present unsettled notions on religion."— Byron Conversations with Kennedy, 1823.]

3 [There are three only, even among the great poets of modern times, who have chosen to depict, in their full shape and vigour, those agonies to which great and meditative

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 study-
Some worn with toil —some of mere weariness—
Some of disease and some insanity-1
And 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; I deem
Thy purpose pious, 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. 2

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Abb. This should have been a noble creature 3: 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.
[Exit ABBOT.

intellects are, in the present progress of human history, exposed by the eternal recurrence of a deep and discontented scepticism. But there is only one who has dared to represent himself as the victim of those nameless and undefinable sufferings. Goethe chose for his doubts and his darkness the terrible disguise of the mysterious Faustus. Schiller, with still greater boldness, planted the same anguish in the restless, haughty, and heroic hosom of Wallenstein. But Byron has sought no external symbol in which to embody the inquietudes of his soul. He takes the world, and all that it inherit, for his arena and his spectators; and he displays himself before their gaze, wrestling unceasingly and ineffectually with the demon that torments him. At times, there is something mournful and depressing in his scepticism; but oftener it is of a high and solemn character, approaching to the very verge of a confiding faith. Whatever the poet may believe, we, his readers, always feel ourselves too much ennobled and elevated, even by his melancholy, not to be confirmed in our own belief by the very doubts so majestically conceived and uttered. His scepticism, if it ever approaches to a creed, carries with it its refutation in its grandeur. There is neither philosophy nor religion in those bitter and savage taunts which have been cruelly thrown out, from many quarters, against those moods of mind which are involuntary, and will not pass away; the shadows and spectres which still haunt his imagination may once have disturbed our own, through his gloom there are frequent flashes of illumination; and the sublime sadness which to him is breathed from the mysteries of mortal existence, is always joined with a longing after immortality, and expressed in language that is itself divine. - WILSON.]

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Another Chamber.


Her. My lord, you bade me wait on you at sunset: He sinks behind the mountain.


Doth he so ?

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 reveal'd!
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. 2
He is gone:
I follow.


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Or its contents, it were impossible

To draw conclusions absolute, of aught

His studies tend to. To be sure, there is
One chamber where none enter: I would give
The fee of what I have to come these three years,
To pore upon its mysteries.
"T were dangerous;
Content thyself with what thou know'st already.
Her. Ah! Manuel! thou art elderly and wise,
And couldst say much; thou hast dwelt within the

How many years is't? Manuel.

Ere Count Manfred's birth, I served his father, whom he nought resembles. Her. There be more sons in like predicament. But wherein do they differ?


I speak not Of features or of form, but mind and habits; Count Sigismund was proud, but gay and free,A warrior and a reveller; he dwelt not With books and solitude, nor made the night A gloomy vigil, but a festal time, Merrier than day; he did not walk the rocks And forests like a wolf, nor turn aside From men and their delights.


Beshrew the hour, But those were jocund times! I would that such Would visit the old walls again; they look

As if they had forgotten them.

These walls
Oh! I have seen

Must change their chieftain first.
Some strange things in them, Herman. 3
Con 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 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 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—————— 4

Hush! who comes here?

And love of human kind, and will to aid
Those in distress-pause not - but follow me—
The portal 's open, follow.
MANUEL goes in.
Come-Who follows?
What, none of ye?-ye recreants! shiver then
Without. I will not see old Manuel risk
His few remaining years unaided.

[HERMAN goes in.

Hark! -
No-all is silent-not a breath the flame
Which shot forth such a blaze is also gone:
What may this mean? Let's enter!


Faith, not I,Not that, if one, or two, or more, will join, I then will stay behind; but, for my part,

I do not see precisely to what end.

l'assal. Cease your vain prating-come. Manuel (speaking within).

He's dead.

'T is all in vain

Her. (within). Not so-even now methought he moved; But it is dark-so bear him gently out

Softly how cold he is! take care of his temples In winding down the staircase.

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