Place – The observatory of Meroth's palace, overlooking the
(Meroth retires from the casement into the circle.)
Nile. Time – Midnight. Meroth solus.
Mer.–No breath of air. And smooth as Isia's cheek
The starlit river mocks the spangled sky,
Glowing with borrowed beauty. Calm as death
The waters sleep. No tinkling ripple wakes
With its light fall the ear, or mars the face
Of nature's mirror. Solemn is the scene.
’Tis Immortality embracing Time.
O for a cherub’s wings to soar aloft
To gain that glittering Crown ; or power to plunge
Into to azure depth of Nilus’ wave,
To seize such priceless and eternal spoil;
Lo! where the sparkling Serpent’s silver folds
Revolving glitter in the lucid stream,
Or where, reflected clear, th’ ecliptic’s arch
Studded with stars innumerable, girds
The vault of heaven, and in the zenith hung,
The shining Scorpion laves its brilliant scales.
Mine hour draws on. The heavenly charioteers
Approaching blend in one their rival orbs:
And their conjunction heralds forth my fate.”
ADDRESS TO THE SPIRITS OF EARTH.
Mer.–“Ye Genii of the Earth ! who reign beneath
Deep in the pond’rous centre. Unto whom
The caves of earth are haunts; whose subtle paths
Through this revolving mass are all unknown
To us – benighted beings. Ye, who watch
With ever-wakeful eyes the priceless’ gifts
Of earth, or spangle caves with diamonds
And purest stalactites, in fancy forms
Innumerable Ye, who know the veins.
And trace the rapid silver to its font.
Ye, who in earth’s dark womb work nature’s ends
And dwell, in sovereign state, on golden thrones
Shrined in your adamantine halls of light,
By peerless jewels sunned, Hear ye my words,
And by this offering be your wrath appeased.”
ADDRESS TO THE SPIRITS OF AIR.
The metals first, in order due,
In glitt’ring glory shine,
The sacred salt, the sulphur blue,
Fresh from the sparkling mine ;
The basalt rock, the limestone white,
The relics of the past,
Whose forms, in petrifactions bright,
The works of art outlast.
Nor be the dark ground newt forgot,
A subject to your sway,
The mole, who dwells where mortals rot,
And lives where men decay.
Let these appease your anger dire;
Be these the victims to you ire.
(Meroth burns a grain of myrrh.)
Mer.–“ Powers of Air ! Whose forms ethereal fill
The azure vault of heaven. More potent far
And subtler than the rulers of the earth.
Whether ye guide the planets as they roll,
Or hurl the shining meteor through the sky,
Affrighting matter with your aery play;
Or whether, far beyond our bounded ken,
Ye track the distant comet’s burning path,
Where the purged ether knows no stain of earth,
Beyond the bounds of thought. To you I call,
And by this charm your indignation shun.”
ADDRESS TO THE WATER SPIRITS.
This vapor was bound in a magic chain,
It mounts to its home thus freed by flame ;
By the genii of earth ’twas pent in a grain.
But, purged by fire, ’tis loose again.
The prison is broken,
The captive is free,
I charm by this token
Your anger from me.
In spiral wreaths, it rises fair,
Propitious be, ye powers of air.
Mer.–“ Ye Spirits of the Sea ! To whom the depths
Of ocean, with her myriads of strange forms,
Her shells of every hue and every shape,
Her monsters, and her mysteries are known.
Ye Spirits of the vasty deep – who dwell
In coral halls and amber palaces,
All rich inlaid with the bright stone which stains
The sparkling crest of the wild wave with blue ;
Where, on your thrones, with the sea-diamond decked,
With changeful opals and with pearls begemmed,
Ye sit and rule the dwellers in the deep.
Obey this amulet of pow’r divine.
ADDRESS TO THE SPIRITS OF FIRE.
See the gem which erst has shone
O’er the brow of Solomon:
This the place,—and this the hour,—
Mark—and tremble at its pow’r.
Mer.–“ Spirits of Fire ! sons of light and heat.
Ye have defied me, ye have mocked mine art ;
But ye this night I summon !—By my star,
Triumphing and triumphant—by this sign—
The sign of mighty Hermes !—by this charm
Which Endor’s seeress wrought in Ramah, when
She woke the prophet from his peaceful sleep.
Ye answer not.
Is It for this I’ve sacked the stores of eld ?
For this I’ve traversed wildernesses, rich
In nature’s ample stores ; her gardens wild,
Ere then unsoiled, unstained by human foot ?
For this I’ve paced our arid sands, beneath
That glowing sky where ghastly madness glints
From Afric’s burnished sunbeams ? Is’t for this
In foreign lands I’ve roamed a far to gain
The knowledge of their wise, nor feared to meet
The hot simoon’s all-blasting breath, on which
Death rides alone—triumphant ? By a spell
More potent far I’ll shake your glowing thrones.
Twice hast thou answered—be the bond fulfilled.
Moloch ! arise ! appear !—He calls thee, who
On Zion’s holy hill, by the usurped,
Passed through thine altar’s flames his first-born son ;
Thy presence I compel. Flesh of my flesh—
Blood of my blood—the living record lasts ;
And by that sacrifice I summon thee
Now to appear, and answer !