Sidor som bilder

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

Upon itself; there is no future pang


Can deal that justice on the self-condemn'd

He deals on his own soul.


All this is well;

For this will pass away, and be succeeded
By an auspicious hope, which shall look up
With calm assurance to that blessed place,

Which all who seek may win, whatever be

Their earthly errors, so they be atoned:

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 was near his


The victim of a self-inflicted wound,

To shun the torments of a public death

From senates once his slaves, a certain soldier,
With show of loyal pity, would have staunch'd
The gushing throat with his officious robe;
The dying Roman thrust him back and said—
Some empire still in his expiring glance,

"It is too late-is this fidelity?"

ABBOT. And what of this?


"It is too late!"

I answer with the Roman


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 phantasy 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 disdained 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 desart, 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 study

Some worn with toil-some of mere weariness

Some of disease-and some insanity

And some of withered, or of broken hearts;

For this last is a malady which slays



« FöregåendeFortsätt »