« ForrigeFortsett »
And make their subterranean world serene. , The waves without sang round their couch, She had foreseen,since first the stranger's sail
their roar Drew to their isle, that force or flight As much unheeded as if life were o'er :
might fail, Within, their hearts made all their harmony, And formd a refuge of the rocky den Love's broken murmur and more broken sigh. For Torquil's safety from his countrymen. Each dawn had wafted there her light canoe, Laden with all the golden fruits that grew;
And they, the cause and sharers of the shock Each eve had seen her gliding through the Which left them exiles of the hollow rock,
Where were they? O'er the sea for life With all could cheer or deck their sparry To geek from Heaven the shelter men denied.
they plied, bower; And now she spread her little store with Another course had been their choice-but
where? smiles, The happiest daughter of the loving isles. The wave which bore them still, their foes
Who, disappointed of their former chase, She, as he gazed with grateful wonder, In search of Christian now renew'd their race.
Eager with anger, their strong arms made Her shelter'd love to her impassion'd breast; Like vultures baffled of their previous prey.
way, And, suited to her soft caresses, told An elden tale of Love,--for Love is old,
They gain'd upon them, all whose safety lay Old as Eternity, but not outworn
In some bleak crag or deeply-hidden bay: With each new being born or to be born: No further chance or choice remaind; and How a young Chief, a thousand moons ago, For the first further rock which met their
right Diving for turtle in the depths below, Had risen, in tracking fast his ocean-prey. They steer’d, to take their latest view of land,
sight Into the cave which round and o'er them lay; And yield as victims, or die sword in hand; How, in some desperate feud of after-time, He shelter'd there a daughter of the clime, Would still have battled for that scanty
Dismiss’d the natives and their shallop, who A foe beloved, and offspring of a foe, Saved by his tribe but for a captive's woe; But Christian bade them seek their shore
crew; How, when the storm of war was stillid, he led
again, His island-clan to where the waters spread For what were simple bow and savage spear
Nor add a sacrifice which were in vain; Their deep green shadow o'er the rocky door, Then dived— it seem'd as if to rise no more? Against the arms which must be wielded
here? His wondering mates, amazed within their
bark, Or deem'd him mad,or prey to the blueshark, They landed on a wild but narrow scene, Row'd round in sorrow the sea-girded rock, Where few but Nature's footsteps yet had Then paused upon their paddles from the
Prepared their arms, and with that gloomy When, fresh and springing from the deep,
eye, they saw Stern and sustain'd, of man's extremity, A Goddess rise-so deem'd they in their awe; When Hope is gone, nor Glory's self remains And their companion, glorious by her side, To cheer resistance against death or chains, Proud and exulting in his Mermaid-bride; They stood, the three, as the three hundred And how, when undeceived, the pair they
Who dyed Thermopylæ with holy blood. With sounding conchs and joyous shouts But, ah! how different! 'tis the cause makes
to shore; How they had gladly loved and calmly died, Degrades or hallows courage in its fall. And why not also Torquil and his bride? O'er them no fame, eternal and intense, Not mine to tell the rapturous caress Blazed through the clouds of death and Which follow'd wildly in that wild recess
beckon'd hence; This tale; enough that all within that cave No grateful country, smiling through her Was Love, though buried strong as in the
Begun the praises of a thousand years ; Where Abelard, through twenty years of No nation's eyes would on their tomb be bent,
No heroes envy them their monument; When Eloisa's form was lower'd beneath However boldly their warm blood was spilt, Their nuptial vault, his arms outstretch'd, | Their life was shame, their epitaph was
guilt. The kindling ashes to his kindled breast. And this they knew and felt, at least the one,
The leader of the band he had andone ; But by a thread, like sharks who have Who,born perchance for better things, had set
gorged the bait; His life upon a cast which linger'd yet: Yet to the very last they battled well, But now the die was to be thrown, and all And not a groan inform’d their foes who fell. The chances were in favour of his fall: Christian died last-twice wounded; and And such a fall! But still he faced the shock, Obdurate as a portion of the rock
Mercy was offer'd when they saw his gore; Whereon he stood,and fix'd his levell’d gun, Too late for life, but not too late to die, Dark as a sullen cloud before the sun. With though a hostile hand to close his eye.
A limb was broken, and he droop'd along
The crag, as doth a falcon reft of young. The boat drew nigh, well arm’d, and firm The sound revived him, or appear’d to wake
Some passion which a weakly gesture spake; To act whatever Duty bade them do; He beckon'd to the foremost who drew nigh, Careless of danger, as the onward Wind But, as they near'd, he rear'd his weapon Is of the leaves it strews, nor looks behind :
highAnd yet perhaps they rather wish'd to go His last ball had been aim'd, but from his Against a nation's than a native foe,
breast And felt that this poor victim of self-will, He tore the topmost button of his vest, Briton no more, had once been Britain's still. Down the tube dash'd it, levelled, fired, They hail'd him to surrender-no reply;
and smiled Their arms were poised , and glittered in As his foe fell; then, like a serpent, coil'a
His wounded, weary form, to where the steep They hail'd again - no answer; yet once more Look'd desperate as himself along the deep; They offered quarter louder than before. Cast one glance back, and clench'd his The echoes only, from the rock's rebound,
hand, and shook Took their last farewell of the dying sound. His last rage 'gainst the earth which he Then flashed the flint, and blazed the vol
forsook; leying flame, Then plunged: the rock below received And the smoke rose between them and their
like glass aim,
His body crush'd into one gory mass, While the rock rattled with the ballets' With scarce a shred to tell of human form,
Or fragment for the sea-bird or the worin; Which peal'd in vain, and flatten'd as they A fair-hair'd scalp, besmear'd with blood
and weeds, Then flew the only answer to be given Yet reek'd, the remnant of himself and deeds; By those who had lost all hope in earth or Some splinters of his weapons (to the last,
As long as hand could hold, he held them fast) After the first fierce peal, as they pull'a Yet glitter'd, but at distance-hurld away
To rust beneath the dew and dashing spray. They heard the voice of Christian shout, The rest was nothing --save a life mis-spent,
"Now fire!" And soul but who shall answer where it And ere the word upon the echo died,
went? Two fell; the rest assail'd the rock’s rough "Tis ours to bear, not judge the dead; and
they And, furious at the madness of their foes, Who doom to hell,themselves are on the way, Disdain'd all further efforts, save to close. Unless these bullies of eternal pains But steep the crag, and all without a path, Are pardon'd their bad hearts for their Each step opposed a bastion to their wrath;
worse brains. While, placed 'midst clefts the least acces
sible, Which Christian's eye was train’d to mark The deed was over! All were gone or ta'en,
full well, The fugitive, the captive, or the slain. The three maintain'd a strife which must Chain'd on the deck, where once, a gallant not yield,
crew, In spots where eagles might have chosen They stood with honour, were the wretched to build.
few Their every shot told;while the assailant fell, Survivors of the skirmish on the isle; Dash'd on the shingles like the limpet shell; But the last rock left no surviving spoil. But still enough survived, and mounted still, Cold lay they where they fell, and welterScattering their numbers here and there,
While o'er them flapp'd the sea-birds’ dewy Surrounded and commanded, though not nigh
wing, Enough for seizure, near enough to die, Now wheeling nearer from the 'neighThe desperate trio held aloof their fate
And screaming high their harsh and hungry | Swam round the rock , to where a shallow dirge:
cleft But calm and careless heaved the wave Hid the canoe that Neuha there had left
Drifting along the tide, without an oar, Eternal with unsympathetic flow; That eve the strangers chased them from Far o'er its face the dolphins sported on,
the shore; And sprung the flying-fish against the sun, But when these vanish'd, she pursued her Till its dried wing relapsed from its brief
Regain’d, and urged to where they found To gather moisture for another flight.
it now: Nor ever did more Love and Joy embark,
Than now was wafted in that slender ark. 'Twas morn; and Neuha, who by dawn
of day Swam smoothly forth to catch the rising ray, Again their own shore rises on the view, And watch if aught approach'd the amphi- No more polluted with a hostile hue;
bious lair No sullen ship lay bristling o'er the foam, Where lay her lover, saw a sail in air: A floating dungeon: all was Hope and Honne! It flapp'd, it fill'd, and to the growing gale A thousand proas darted o'er the bay, Bent its broad arch: her breath began to fail With sounding shells, and heralded their With fluttering fear, her heart beat thick
way; and high, The Chiefs came down, around the people While yet a doubt sprung where its course
pour'd, might lie: And welcomed Torquil as a son restored ; But no! it came not; fast and far away The women throng'd, embracing and emThe shadow lessen'd as it cleard the bay.
braced She gazed, and flung the sea-foam from By Neuha, asking where they had been
chased, To watch as for a rainbow in the skies. And how escaped ? The tale was told; and On the horizon verged the distant deck,
then Diminish’d, dwindled to a very speck- One acclamation rent the sky again; Then vanish'd. All was ocean, all was joy! And from that hour a new tradition gave Down planged she through the cave to Their sanctuary the name of “Neuha'sCave."
rouse her boy; An hundred fires, far flickering from the Told all she had seen, and all she hoped,
height, and all
Blazed o'er the general revel of the night, That happy Love could augur or recal ; The feast in honour of the guest, return’d Sprung forth again, with Torquil following To Peace and Pleasure, perilously earn'd;
A night succeeded by such happy days His bounding Nereid over the broad sen ; As only the yet infant world displays.
Whom I have sought in darkness and in
lightSCENE 1.—MANFRED alone.Scene, a Gothic Ye, who do compass earth about, and dwell Gallery.-Time, Midnight.
In subtler essence-ye, to whom the tops
Of mountains inaccessible are hannts, Manfred. The lamp must be replenish’d, And earth’s and ocean's caves familiar but even then
thingsIt will not burn so long as I must watch : I call upon ye by the written charm, My slumbers—if I slumber, are not sleep, which gives une power upon you -- Rise ! But a continuance of enduring thought,
(A pause. Which then I can resist not: in my heart They come not yet. ---Now by the voice of him There is a vigil, and these eyes but close Who is the first among you - by this sign, To look within; and yet I live, and bear Which makes you tremble— by the claims The aspect and the form of breathing men.
of him But grief should be the instructor of the Who is undying,-Risel appear !-Appear! wise :
[A pause. Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the If it be so.—Spirits of earth and air, most
Ye shall not thus elude me : by a power, Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth; Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant-spell, The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life. Which had its birth-place in a starcondemn'd, Philosophy and science, and the springs The burning wreck of a demolish'd world, Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world, A wandering helt in the eternal space; I have essay'd, and in my mind there is By the strong curse which is upon my soul, A power to make these subject to itself- The thought which is within me and But they avail not: I have done men good,
around me, And I have met with good even among I do compel ye to
[1 star is seen at the darker end But this avail'd not: I have had my foes,
of the gallery: it is stationary; And none have baffled, many fallen before
and a voice is heard singing:] But this avail'd not:- Good, or evil, life,
And the summer's sun-set gilds
Though thy quest may be forbidden,
Voice of the Second Spirit. Space bosom'd not a lovelier star.
A wandering mass of shapeless flame,
The menace of the universe;
Still rolling on with innate force, The Avalanche in his hand ;
Without a sphere, without a course, But ere it fall, that thundering ball
A bright deformity on high. Must pause for my command.
The monster of the upper sky! The Glacier's cold and restless mass
And thou ! beneath its influence born Moyes onward day by day;
Thou worm! whom I obey and scorn But I am he who bids it pass,
Forced by a power (which is not thine, Or with its ice delay.
And lent thee but to make thee mine) I am the Spirit of the place,
For this brief moment to descend, Could make the monntain bow
Where these weak spirits round thee bend And quiver to his cavernd base
And parley with a thing like theeAnd what with me wouldst Thou?
What would'st thou, Child of Clay! with me! Voice of the Third Spirit.
The Seven Spirits. In the blue depth of the waters,
Earth, ocean, air, night, mountains, winds, Where the wave hath no strife,
thy star, Where the wind is a stranger,
Are at thy beck and bidding, Child of And the sea-snake hath life,
Clay! Where the Mermaid is decking
Before thee, at thy quest, their spirits areHer green hair with shells;
What would'st thou with us,son of mortals Like the storm on the surface Came the sound of thy spells;
Manf. Forgetfulness-O'er my calı Hall of Coral
First Spirit. Of what_of whom_and why? The deep echo rollid
Manf. Of that which is within me; read To the Spirit of Ocean
it there Thy wishes unfold !
Ye know it, and I cannot utter it.
Spirit. We can but give thee that which
we possess : Where the slambering earthquake Ask of us subjects, sovereignty, the power Lies pillow'd on fire,
O'er earth, the whole, or portion, or a sign And the lakes of bitunen
Which shall control the elements, whereof Rise boilingly higher;
We are the dominators, each and all, Where the roots of the Andes
These shall be thine. Strike deep in the earth,
Manf. Oblivion, self-oblivion As their summits to heaven
Can ye not wring from out the hidden realms Shout soaringly forth;
Ye offer so profusely what I ask ? I have quitted my birth-place,
Spirit. It is not in our essence in our skill; Thy bidding to bide —
But-thou may'st die. Thy spell hath subdued me,
Manf. Will death bestow it on me Thy will be my guide!
Spirit. We are immortal,and do not forget; Fifth Spirit.
We are eternal; and to us the past I'm the Rider of the wind,
Is, as the future,present. Art thou answered? The Stirrer of the storm;
Manf. Yemock me-
--but the power which The hurricane I left behind
brought ye here Is yet with lightning warm;
Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at To speed to thee, o’er shore and sea I swept upon the blast:
The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark, The fleet I met sail'd well, and yet
The lightning of my being, is as bright, 'Twill sink ere night be past.
Pervading, and far-darting as your own,
And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd Sixth Spirit.
in clay! My dwelling is the shadow of the night, Answer, or I will teach ye what I am. Why doth thy magic torture me with light? Spirit. We answer as we answerd; our
reply Seventh Spirit.
Is even in thine own words. The star which rules thy destiny,
Manf. Why say ye so? Was ruled, ere earth began, by me: Spirit. If, as thou say'st, thine essence be It was a world as fresh and fair
as ours, As e'er revolved round sun in air;
We have replied in telling thec, the thing Its course was free and regular,
Mortals call death hath nought to do with us.