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My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
my brain reels--and yet my foot is firm:
[An eagle passes.
with our mix'd essence make A conflict of its elements, and breathe
The breath of degradation and of pride,
[The Shepherd's pipe in the distance is heard,
Enter from below a Chamois HUNTER.
way the chamois leapt: her nimble feet
Proud as a free-born peasant's, at this distance.-
Man. (not perceiving the other.) To be thus-
C. Hun. The mists begin to rise from up the valley;
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,
Whose every wave breaks on a living shore,
C. Hun. I must approach him cautiously; if near,
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.