|Manfred Monologue by Lord Byron|
- MANFRED: Thou false fiend, thou liest!
- My life is in its last hourthat I know,
- Nor would redeem a moment of that hour;
- I do not combat against Death, but thee
- And thy surrounding angels; my past power
- Was purchased by no compact with thy crew,
- But by superior sciencepenance, daring,
- And length of watching, strength of mind, and skill
- In knowledge of our Fatherswhen the earth
- Saw men and spirits walking side by side,
- And gave ye no supremacy: I stand
- Upon my strengthI do defydeny
- Spurn back, and scorn ye!
- What are my crimes to such as thee?
- Must crimes be punished but by other crimes,
- And greater criminals?Back to thy hell!
- Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel;
- Thou never shalt possess me, that I know:
- What I have done is done; I bear within
- A torture which could nothing gain from thine:
- The Mind which is immortal makes itself
- Requital for its good or evil thoughts
- Is its own origin of ill and end
- And its own place and time: its innate sense,
- When stripped of this mortality, derives
- No colour from the fleeting things without,
- But is absorbed in sufferance or in joy,
- Born from the knowledge of its own desert.
- Thou didst not tempt me, and thou couldst not tempt me;
- I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey
- But was my own destroyer, and will be
- My own hereafter.Back, ye baffled fiends!
- The hand of Death is on mebut not yours!
Credits: Reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.