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the death of the only being he had ever loved, the beauteous Spirit breaks in with her superhuman pride.
“And for this
Man. Daughter of Air! I tell thee, since that hour-
And fatal things pass d harmless."-p. 36, 37, The third scene is the boldest in the exhibition of supernatural persons. The three Destinies and Nemesis meet, at midnight, on the top of the Alps, on their way to the hall of Arimanes, and sing strange ditties to the moon, of their mischiefs wrought among men. Nemesis being rather late, thus apologises for keeping them waiting “ I was detain'd repairing shattered thrones,
Marrying fools, restoring dynasties,
We have outstaid the hour mount we our clouds!" – p. 44. This we think is out of place at least, if we must not say out of character; and though the author may tell us that human calamities are naturally subjects of derision to the Ministers of Vengeance, yet we cannot be persuaded that satirical and political allusions are at all compatible with the feelings and impressions which it was here his business to maintain. When the Fatal
HIS PROUD BEARING AMONG THE IMMORTALS.
Sisters are again assembled before the throne of Ari-
Is of no common order, as his port
be be it so, or not,
or power upon his soul." —p. 47, 48. At his desire, the ghost of his beloved Astarte is then called up, and appears — but refuses to speak at the command of the Powers who have raised her, till Manfred breaks out into this passionate and agonizing address.
* 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. I know not what I ask, nor what I seek :
I feel but what thou art and what I am ;
many things answered me
once more !
Say on, say on-
Phan. Manfred! To-morrow ends thine earthly ills.
Мап. . Yet one word more am I forgiven?
Say, shall we meet again?
The Spirit of ASTARTE disappears. Nem. She's gone, and will not be recalled.”—p. 50 — 52. The last act, though in many passages very beautifully written, seems to us less powerful. It passes altogether in Manfred's castle, and is chiefly occupied in two long conversations between him and a holy abbot, who comes to exhort and absolve him, and whose counsel he repels with the most reverent gentleness, and but few bursts of dignity and pride. The following passages are full of poetry and feeling: “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),
Abbot. And why not live and act with other men ?
Man. Because my nature was averse from life ;
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er With silent worship of the great of old !"-p. 68, 69. In his dying hour he is beset with Demons, who pretend to claim him as their forfeit; — but he indignantly and victoriously disputes their claim, and asserts his freedom from their thraldom. "Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, And greater criminals ? — Back to thy hell! Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel ; Thou never shalt possess me, that I know: What I have done is done; I bear within A torture which could nothing gain from thine : The mind which is immortal makes itself Requital for its good or ill — derives No colour from the fleeting things without ; But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy, Born from the knowledge of its own desert. Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt me. I have noť been thy dupe, nor am thy prey — But was my own destroyer, and will be My own hereafter. — Back, ye baffled fiends! The hand of death is on me — but not yours !
[The Demons disappear.” — p. 74, 75. There are great faults, it must be admitted, in this poem ; — but it is undoubtedly a work of genius and originality. Its worst fault, perhaps, is, that it fatigues and overawes us by the uniformity of its terror and solemnity. Another is the painful and offensive nature of the circumstance on which its distress is ultimately founded. It all springs from the disappointment or fatal issue of an incestuous passion ; and incest, according to our modern ideas — for it was otherwise in antiquity — is not a thing to be at all brought before the imagination. The lyrical songs of the Spirits are too long; and not all excellent. There is something of pedantry in them now and then ; and even Manfred deals in classical allusions a little too much. If we were to consider it as a proper drama, or even as a finished poem, we should be obliged to add, that it is far too indistinct and unsatisfactory. But this we take to be according to the design and conception of the author. He contemplated but a dim and magnificent sketch of a subject which did not admit of more accurate drawing,