A mighty thing amongst the mean, and
such 120 The mass are; I disdain'd 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
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 desert and sweeps o'er
The barren sands which bear no shrubs to
blast, 130 And revels o'er their wild and and 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.
A bbot. Alas I 'gin to fear that thou art past all aid From me and from my calling; yet so young, I still would --
Man. 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; 141 Some perishing of pleasure, some of study,
Some worn with toil, some of mere weari-ness,
Some of disease, and some insanity,
And some of wither'd or of broken hearts;
For this last is a malady which slays
More than are number'd in the lists of Fate,
Taking all shapes and bearing many names.
Look upon me! for even of all these things
Have I partaken; and of all these things, 150 One were enough; then wonder not that I
Am what I am, but that I ever was,
Or having been, that I am still on earth.
Abbot. Yet, hear me still --
Man. Old man! I do respect
Thine order, and revere thine years; I deem
Thy purpose pious, but it is in vain.
Think me not churlish; I would spare thy-self,
Far more than me, in shunning at this time All further colloquy; and so -- farewell.
Abbot. This should have been a noble
creature: he 160 Hath all the energy which would have made
A goodly frame of glorious elements,
Had they been wisely mingled; as it is,
It is an awful chaos -- light and darkness,
And mind and dust, and passions and pure thoughts,
Mix'd, and contending without end or order,
All dormant or destructive. He will perish,
And yet he must not; I will try once more,
For such are worth redemption; and my duty
Is to dare all things for a righteous end. 170 I'll follow him -- but cautiously, though surely. [Exit ABBOT.
MANFRED and HERMAN.
Her. My lord, you bade me wait on you
He sinks beyond the mountain.
Man. Doth he so? I will look on him.
[MANFRED advances to the Window of the Hall.
Glorious Orb! the idol
Of early nature, and the vigorous race
Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons
Of the embrace of angels with a sex
More beautiful than they, which did draw down
The erring spirits who can ne'er return; --
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship,
ere 180 The mystery of thy making was reveal'd!
Thou earliest minister of the Almighty,
Which gladden'd, on their mountain tops, the hearts
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they pour'd
Themselves in orisons! Thou material God!
And representative of the Unknown,
Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star!
Centre of many stars! which mak'st our earth
Endurable, and temperest the hues
And hearts of all who walk within thy
rays! 190 Sire of the seasons! Monarch of the climes,
And those who dwell in them! for near or far,
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects; -- thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well!
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance
Of love and wonder was for thee, then take