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My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest for ever-wherefore do I pause

?
I feel the impulse—yet I do not plunge;
I see the peril—yet do not recede;
And

my brain reels--and yet my foot is firm:
There is a power upon me which withholds,
And makes it my fatality to live;
If it be life to wear within myself
This barrenness of spirit, and to be
My own soul's sepulchre, for I have ceased
To justify my deeds unto myself
The last infirmity of evil. Ay,
Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,

[An eagle passes.
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well may’st thou swoop so near me--I should be
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above
With a pervading vision.-Beautiful!
How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
To sink or soar,

with our mix'd essence make A conflict of its elements, and breathe

The breath of degradation and of pride,
Contending with low wants and lofty will
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are—what they name not to themselves,
And trust not to each other. Hark! the note,

[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance is heard,
The natural music of the mountain reed
For here the patriarchal days are not
A pastoral fable-pipes in the liberal air,
Mix'd with the sweet bells of the sauntering herd;
My soul would drink those echoes.-Oh, that I were
The viewless spirit of a lovely sound,
A living voice, a breathing harmony,
A bodiless enjoyment-born and dying
With the blest tone which made me !

Enter from below a Chamois HUNTER.
CHAMOIS HUNTER.

Even so
This

way the chamois leapt: her nimble feet
Have baffled me; my gains to-day will scarce
Repay my break-neck travail. What is here?
Who seems not of my trade, and yet hath reach'd
A height which none even of our mountaineers,
Save our best hunters, may attain : his garb
Is goodly, his mien manly, and his air

c 2.

Proud as a free-born peasant's, at this distance.-
I will approach him nearer.

Man. (not perceiving the other.) To be thus-
Gray-hair'd with anguish, like these blasted pines,
Wrecks of a single winter, barkless, branchless,
A blighted trunk upon a cursed root,
Which but supplies a feeling to decay-
And to be thus, eternally but thus,
Having been otherwise! Now furrow'd o'er
With wrinkles, plough'd by moments, not by years;
And hours-all tortured into ages-hours
Which I outlive!_Ye toppling crags of ice!
Ye avalanches, whom a breath draws down
In mountainous o’erwhelming, come and crush me!
I hear ye momently above, beneath,
Crash with a frequent conflict; but ye pass,
And only fall on things that still would live;
On the young flourishing forest, or the hut
And hamlet of the harmless villager.

C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from up the valley;
I'll warn him to descend, or he may

chance To lose at once his way and life together.

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,

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Whose every wave breaks on a living shore,
Heap'd with the damn'd like pebbles.- I am giddy.

C. Hun. I must approach him cautiously; if near,
A sudden step will startle him, and he
Seems tottering already.
Man.

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? C. Hun.

Friend! have a care, Your next step may be fatal !—for the love Of him who made you, stand not on that brink! Man. (not hearing him.) Such would have been for

me a fitting tomb; My bones had then been quiet in their depth; They had not then been strewn upon the rocks For the wind's pastime-as thus—thus they shall be In this one plunge.-Farewell, ye opening heavens ! Look not upon me thus reproachfullyYe were not meant for me- -Earth! take these atoms !

(A8 MANFRED is in act to spring from the cliff,

the CHAMOIS HUNTER seizes and retains him

with a sudden grasp.) C. Hun. Hold, madman!—though aweary of thy life, Stain not our pure vales with thy guilty blood.Away with me -I will not quit my

hold. Man. I am most sick at heart—nay, grasp me notI am all feebleness—the mountains whirl Spinning around me--I grow blind—What art thou?

C. Hun. I'll answer that anon.—Away with meThe clouds grow thicker-there—now lean on me Place your foot here--here, take this staff, and cling A moment to that shrub—now give me your hand, And hold fast by my girdle-softly-wellThe Chalet will be gain'd within an hour~Come on, we'll quickly find a surer footing, And something like a pathway, which the torrent Hath wash'd since winter.—Come, 'tis bravely done You should have been a hunter.-Follow me. (As they descend the rocks with difficulty,

the scene closes)

END OF ACT THE FIRST.

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