by Lord Byron
"Old Man! 'tis not so difficult to die!"
Manfred is near the moment of his death
in his castle high in the remote Swiss Alps.
MANFRED Arguing with a SPIRIT.
What are they to such as thee?
[The demons dissapear]
Must crimes be punish'd 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 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 stripp'd of this immortality, derives
No colour from the fleeting things without,
But is abosrb'd in sufferance or in joy,
Born from the knowledge of its own desert.
Thou didst not tempt me, 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 me - but not yours!