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MAN. Oblivion, self-oblivion

Can ye not wring from out the hidden realms
Ye offer so profusely what I ask?

SPIRIT. It is not in our essence, in our skill;

But-thou mayst die.

MAN. Will death bestow it on me?

SPIRIT. We are immortal, and do not forget; We are eternal; and to us the past

Is, as the future, present. Art thou answered?

MAN. Ye mock me-but the power which brought

ye here

Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will! The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark,

The lightning of my being, is as bright,

Pervading, and far-darting as your own,

And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in clay!

Answer, or I will teach ye what I am.

SPIRIT. We answer as we answered; our reply

Is even in thine own words.

VOL. VI.

G

ΜΑΝ.

Why say ye so?

SPIRIT. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be as ours,

We have replied in telling thee, the thing

Mortals call death hath nought to do with us.

MAN. I then have call'd ye from your realms in

vain;

Ye cannot, or ye will not, aid me.

SPIRIT.

Say;

What we possess we offer; it is thine:

Bethink ere thou dismiss us, ask again—

Kingdom, and sway, and strength, and length of days

MAN. Accursed! what have I to do with days?

They are too long already.-Hence-begone!

SPIRIT. Yet pause: being here, our will would do thee service;

Bethink thee, is there then no other gift

Which we can make not worthless in thine

eyes?

MAN. No, none: yet stay-one moment, ere we

part

I would behold ye face to face. I hear
Your voices, sweet and melancholy sounds,
As music on the waters; and I see
The steady aspect of a clear large star;
But nothing more. Approach me as ye are,
Or one, or all, in your accustom❜d forms.

SPIRIT. We have no forms beyond the elements Of which we are the mind and principle:

But choose a form-in that we will appear.

MAN. I have no choice; there is no form on earth Hideous or beautiful to me. Let him,

Who is most powerful of ye, take such aspect
As unto him may seem most fitting.-Come!
SEVENTH SPIRIT. (Appearing in the shape of a
beautiful female figure.) Behold!

MAN. Oh God! if it be thus, and thou

Art not a madness and a mockery,

I yet might be most happy.—I will clasp thee,

And we again will be

[The figure vanishes.

My heart is crush'd!

[MANFRED falls senseless.

(A voice is heard in the Incantation which follows.)

When the moon is on the wave,

And the glow-worm in the grass,

And the meteor on the grave,

And the wisp on the morass;
When the falling stars are shooting,
And the answer'd owls are hooting,
And the silent leaves are still

In the shadow of the hill,

Shall my soul be upon thine,

With a power and with a sign.

Though thy slumber may be deep,

Yet thy spirit shall not sleep,

There are shades which will not vanish,

There are thoughts thou canst not banish;

By a power to thee unknown,

Thou canst never be alone;

Thou art wrapt as with a shroud,

Thou art gathered in a cloud;

And for ever shalt thou dwell
In the spirit of this spell.

Though thou seest me not pass by,
Thou shalt feel me with thine eye
As a thing that, though unseen,
Must be near thee, and hath been;
And when in that secret dread

Thou hast turn'd around thy head,

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