P. 1


|Views: 61|Likes:

More info:

Published by: Leandro Santos da Siva on Feb 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as DOCX, PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





CAIN:A MYSTERY Now the Serpent was morn subtil than any beast of the field which the

Lord God had made. -Genesis,Chapter 3rd, verse I. PREFACE. The following scenes are entitled "A Mystery" in conformity with the ancient title annexed to dramas upon similar subjects, which were styled "Mysteries, or Moralities." The author has by no means taken the same liberties with his subject which were common formerly, as may be seen by any reader curious enough to refer to those very profane productions, whether in English, French, Italian, or Spanish. The author has endeavored to preserve the language adapted to his characters; and where it is (and this is b ut rarely) taken from actual Scripture, he has made as little alteration, even of words, as the rhythm would permit. The reader will recollect that the book of Genesis does not state that Eve was tempted by a demon, but by "The Serpent" and that only becau se he was "the most subtil of all the beasts of the field." Whatever interpretation the Rabbins and the Fathers may have put upon this, I take the words as I find them, and reply, with Bishop Watson[1] upon similar occasions, when the Fathers were quoted to him as Moderator in the schools of Cambridge, "Behold the Book!" - holding up the Scripture. It is to be recollected, that my present subject has nothing to do with the New Testament, to which no reference can be here made without anachronism. With the poems upon similar topics I have not been recently familiar. Since I was twenty I have never read Milton [2], but I had read him so frequently before, that this may make little difference. Gesner's "Death of Abel"[3] I have never read since I was eight year s of age, at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel's Thirza; in the following pages I have called them, "Adah" and "Zillah," the earliest female name s which occur in Genesis. They were those of Lamech's wives: those of Cain and Abel are not called by their names. Whether, then, a coincidence of subject may have caused the same in expression, I know nothing, and care as little. I am prepared to be accused of Manicheism [4], or some other hard name ending in ism, which makes a formidable figure and awful sound in the eyes and ears of those who would be as much puzzled to explain the terms so bandied about, as the liberal and pious indulgers in such epithets. Against such I can defend myself, or, if necessary, I can attack in turn. "Claw for claw, as Conan said to Satan, and the deevil take the shortest nails" (Waverley) [5]. The reader will please to bear in mind (what few choose to recollect), that there is no allusion to a future state in any of the books of Moses, nor indeed in the Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary omission he may consult Warburton's "Divine Legation" [6]; whether satisfactory or not, no better has yet been assigned. I h ave therefore supposed it new to Cain, without I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ. With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was difficult for me to make him talk like a clergyman upon the same subjects; but I have done what I could to restrain him withi n the bounds of spiritual politeness. If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of the Serpent, it is only because the book of Genesis has not the most distant allusion to anything of the kind, but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine capacity. Note--The reader will perceive that the author has partly adopted in this poem the notion of Cuvier [2] that the world had been destroyed several times before the creation of man. This speculation, derived from the different strata and the bones of enormous and unknown animals found in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic account, but rather confirms it; as no human bones have yet been discovered in those strata, although those of many known animals are found near the remains of the unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the pre Adamite world was also peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and proportionably powerful to the mammoth, etc., etc., is, of course, a poetical fiction to help him to make out his case. I ought to add, that there i s a "tramelogedia" of Alfieri, called "Abele" [8]. I have never read that, nor any other of the posthumous works of the writer, except his Life. CHARACTERS MEN. ADAM. CAIN. ABEL. SPIRITS. ANGEL OF THE LORD.


ACT I. SCENE 1. - The Land without Paradise. - Time, Sunrise. ADAM, EVE, CAIN, ABEL, ADAH, ZILLAH, offering a Sacrifice.

ADAM. God the Eternal! Infinite! All-wise! Who out of darkness on the deep didst make Light on the waters with a word - All Hail! Jehovah! with returning light - All Hail! EVE. God! who didst name the day, and separate Morning from night, till then divided never Who didst divide the wave from wave, and call Part of thy work the firmament - All Hail! ABEL. God! who didst call the elements into Earth, ocean, air and fire - and with the day And night, and worlds which these illuminate, Or shadow, madest beings to enjoy them, And love both them, and thee - All Hail! All Hail! ADAM. God! the Eternal parent of all things! Who didst create these best and beauteous beings, To be beloved, more than all, save thee Let me love thee and them: - All Hail! All Hail! ZILLAH. Oh, God! who loving, making, blessing all, Yet didst permit the Serpent to creep in, And drive my father forth from P aradise, Keep us from further evil:- Hail! All Hail! ADAM. Son Cain! my first-born - wherefore art thou silent? CAIN. Why should I speak? ADAM. To pray. CAIN. Have ye not prayed? ADAM. We have, most fervently. CAIN. And loudly: I Have heard you. ADAM. So will God, I trust. ABEL. Amen! ADAM. But thou my eldest born? art silent still? CAIN. 'Tis better I should be so. ADAM. Wherefore so? CAIN. I have nought to ask. ADAM. Nor aught to thank for? CAIN. No. ADAM. Dost thou not live? CAIN. Must I not die? EVE. Alas! The fruit of our forbidden tree begins To fall. ADAM. And we must gather it again. Oh God! why didst thou plant the tree of knowledge? CAIN. And wherefore plucked ye not the tree of life? Ye might have then defied him. ADAM. Oh! my son, Blaspheme not: these are Serpent's words. CAIN. Why not? The snake spoke truth; it was the Tree of Knowledge; It was the Tree of Life: knowledge is good, And Life is good; and how can both be evil? EVE. My boy! thou speakest as I spoke in sin, Before thy birth: let me not see renewed My misery in thine I have repented. Let me not see my offspring fall into The snares beyond the walls of Paradise, Which even in Paradise destroyed his parents. Content thee with what is. Had we been so, Thou now hadst been contented. - Oh, my son! ADAM. Our orisons[9] completed, let us hence, Each to his task of toil - not heavy, though Needful: the earth is young, and yields us kindly Her fruits with little labor. EVE. Cain - my son Behold thy father cheerful and resigned And do as he doth. [Exeunt ADAM and EVE.] ZILLAH. Wilt thou not, my brother? ABEL. Why wilt thou wear this gloom upon thy brow, Which can avail thee nothing, save to rouse The Eternal anger? ADAH. My beloved Cain Wilt thou frown even on me?

And this is Life?. follow? I judge but by the fruits. CAIN. and feel for it. as if they Could master all things . and ADAH. and with you. Master of spirits. the Tree Of Knowledge? and was not the Tree of Life Still fruitful? Did I bid her pluck them not? Did I plant things prohibited within The reach of beings innocent. Ah! Thou look'st almost a god. why place him near it. But live to die. Poor clay! And thou pretendest to be wretched! Thou! CAIN. CAIN. but it will pass. CAIN. would be nought Save what I am. And hadst thou not been fit by thine own soul For such companionship. in his greatness. . Are ye happy? LUCIFER. on pain Of being that which I am. And you. 'twere the best boon He ever granted: but let him reign on! And multiply himself in misery! Spirits and Men.he seems mightier far than them. 'Tis well .and thou wilt be No less than thou art now. and all the fruit is Death! LUCIFER. he'd have us so. That he may torture: . too. One who aspired to be what made thee. Ere the night closes o'er the inhibited walls And the immortal trees which overtop The cherubim-defended [11] battlements? If I shrink not from these.he cannot unmake: We are immortal! .but I thought alone This misery was mine. brother! [Exeunt ABEL. and constant thought: I look Around a world where I seem nothing. understands not The mind which overwhelms me: never till Now met I aught to sympathize with me." How know I that? Because He is all-powerful. and might be: sorrow seems Half of his immortality. and what else hath he made? But let him Sit on his vast and solitary throne. No: art thou? CAIN.and they are bitterWhich I must feed on for a fault not mine. They are the thoughts of all Worthy of thought. nor love the state To which that birth has brought me.let him! He is great But. and LUCIFER. How! You know my thoughts? LUCIFER. CAIN. must still Create.CAIN. Are ye happy? LUCIFER. thou shalt live. see no thing To make death hateful. I will Return to seek you here. It may be thou shalt be as we. No more? LUCIFER. who art thou? LUCIFER.as he Gave you a father .I was unborn: I sought not to be born.she. make our pangs Innumerable. I know the thoughts Of dust. While that of Knowledge. And what is that? LUCIFER. A loathsome. too. CAIN. to make eternity Less burthensome to his immense existence And unparticipated solitude. humanity? He cometh.and thou art Of spirits and of men. Whom I see daily wave their fiery swords Before the gates round which I linger oft. If not.] LUCIFER. and tell him that His evil is not good! If he has made. The peace of God Be on your spirit. my mother has forgot the mind Which made her thirst for knowledge at the risk Of an eternal curse. Adah! no. CAIN. My father and my mother talk to me Of serpents. brother .] CAIN (solus). sisters. more endurable.'tis your immortal part Which speaks within you. Ah! didst thou tempt my mother? LUCIFER.nay. I live. CAIN. CAIN. and my Adah .and thou. And ye? LUCIFER. I am none: And having failed to be one.and if he so doth. Souls who dare use their immortality Souls who dare look the Omnipotent tyrant in His everlasting face. Spirit. LUCIFER. Mark me! that Son will be a sacrifice! CAIN. let him reign! CAIN. where it grew The fairest in the center? They have but One answer to all questions.why suffer? What was there in this? The tree planted. By the unbounded sympathy of all With all! but He! so wr etched in his height. yet cannot overcome And so I live. Mortal! CAIN. what art thou? LUCIFER. save an innate clinging. with Thoughts which arise within me. . [Enter LUCIFER. if he made us . I would not now Have stood before thee as I am. living. with all thy might. And heaven's And all that in them is. Why should I quail from him who now approaches? Yet . So I have heard His Seraphs sing. nor believe But. is no happier than We in our conflict! Goodness would not make Evil. Whom have we here?. Could he but crush himself. Creating worlds.and me: I feel the weight Of daily toil. Which shut them out . Your gentleness must not be harshly met: I''ll follow you anon. I fain [10] would be alone a little while. which is thine ouward cov'ring. Precede me. which I abhor. as before. I am: . the fire-armed angels. too.what they must sing and say. and why not for him? If not. And being so. "'Twas his will. by my mother's haste. Would I had never lived! LUCIFER. and yet not all as beautiful As he hath been.perhaps he'll make One day a Son unto himself . to catch a glimpse of those Gardens which are my just inheritance. They have deceived thee. my brother is A watching shepherd boy. And he is good. My father is Tamed down. Was plucked too soon. CAIN. Who? LUCIFER. nor less Beauteous. Think not The Earth.A shape like to the angels Yet of a sterner and a sadder aspect Of spiritual essence: why do I quake? Why should I fear him more than other spirits. Thy sire's Maker. What immortal part? This has not been revealed: the Tree of Life Was withheld from us by my father's folly.Toil! and wherefore should I toil?.which I know not.and must live for ever. indissoluble tyrant. ZILLAH. a serpent Had been enough to charm ye. And is it So? and can aught grieve save. As he saith . canst thou Leave them. Thou speak'st to me of things which long have swum In visions through my thought: I never could Reconcile what I saw with what I heard.I rather would consort with spirits. They say . No. He conquered. and Would not have made thee what thou art. Thou livest . ADAH. We are mighty.it will cease . Why did he Yield to the Serpent and the woman? or Yielding . Abel.I will follow shortly. and so my father saith. I tempt none. at least we sympathize And. CAIN. ABEL.my Own and beloved . My sister Zillah sings an earlier hymn Than the birds' matins. Are everlasting. who offers up The firstlings of the flock to him who bids The earth yield nothing to us without sweat. CAIN. How should I be so? Look on me! LUCIFER. and of fruits and trees: I see The gates of what they call their Paradise Guarded by fiery-sworded Cherubim. So restless in his wretchedness. and curious By their own innocence? I would have made ye . and the earth's CAIN. and. tarry not behind. must all-good. and walk with dust? LUCIFER. I'm sick at heart. In Twilight's hour. suffering in concert. is Existence .because My father could not keep his place in Eden? What had I done in this? . as I Despise myself. and re-create . and yet all invincible Instinct of life. Save with the truth: was not the Tree. Let him crowd orb on orb: he is alone Indefinite. LUCIFER.

Thy Fond parents listened to a creeping thing. and Adah looks on me. He has not yet Been seen. But I must retire To till the earth . when a boy. When thousand ages Have rolled o'er your dead ashes. CAIN. or neither! LUCIFER. What? CAIN. and Zillah casts hers to the earth. But thou canst not Speak aught of Knowledge which I would not know. And speaks not. Then who was the Demon? He Who would not let ye live. Think'st thou I'd take the shape of things that die? CAIN. The Maker . CAIN. who see the truth.or wherefore plucked he not The life-tree? LUCIFER. But shall I know it? LUCIFER.beneath Aught save a sharer or a servant of His power.and hereafter. Have I not said it? . One is yours already. CAIN. His equal? LUCIFER.but long outlive both thine and thee. For what should spirits tempt them? What Was there to envy in the narrow bounds Of Paradise. And thou? CAIN. and yet not less than those he tempted. CAIN. CAIN. but I am great Many there are who worship me. sole eternity. But must be undergone. LUCIFER. Thou art my worshipper. I feel. Deadly error! Not to snatch first that fruit: .more in wisdom. But I will bend to neither. The snake was the snake No more. and more Who shall . CAIN. Wilt thou teach me all? LUCIFER. In nature being earth also . CAIN. I tell thee that the Serpent was no more Than a mere serpent: ask the Cherubim Who guard the tempting tree. I watched for what I thought his coming. He who bows not to him has bowed to me. Less than thy father's . The other may be still. Follow Where I will lead thee. it is a dreadful thing. but will absorb all things That bear the form of earth -born being. Which are so beautiful: shall they. as I have heard from those who heard them. No. But the thing had a demon? LUCIFER He but woke one In those he spake to with his forky tongue. LUCIFER. I knew not that. The offering is more his than mine . LUCIFER. Be it proved. I cannot answer. LUCIFER. Aye. He was hindered. LUCIFER. till he ran roaring from my gripe. must speak it. That is a grovelling wish. Both them who sinned and sinned not.but I speak to thee of what thou know'st not. or how? CAIN. and even He who thrust ye forth. CAIN.thy Lord.Call him Which name thou wilt: he makes but to destroy. And what is that? LUCIFER. Who? LUCIFER. who is. Ne'er the less. and your seed's. but what. CAIN. Name it LUCIFER. see What is true knowledge. die? LUCIFER. Why? CAIN. for With fear rose longing in my heart to know What 'twas which shook us all . Nothing can Quench the mind.Gods. How so? LUCIFER. Alas! I scarcely now know what it is. LUCIFER.I have nought in common with him! Nor would: I would be aught above . checkered By the far-flashing of the Cherubs' swords. not worshipping Him makes thee mine the same. Said'st thou not Thou ne'er hadst bent to him who made thee? CAIN. By being Yourselves. Since he could overcome them. too. In thunder. That were no evil: would I ne'er had been Aught else but dust! LUCIFER. YesBut Abel's earnest prayer has wrought upon me. since I heard Of Death: although I know not what it is Yet it seems horrible. and Abel lifts his eyes To Heaven. And become gods as we. who made things but to bend Before his sullen. Hast thou ne'er bowed To him? CAIN. To cull some first-fruits. Were I quiet earth. But not to live . yet thought it. if the mind will be itself And center of surrounding things . I cannot compass: 'tis denounced against us. fear nothing. LUCIFER." Were those his words? CAIN. In play.what should I tempt them for.be thou amongst the first. CAIN. who know all things.fear I know not what! LUCIFER.for he wished to know! CAIN. LUCIFER. Thou art not the Lord my father worships . Thoughts unspeakable Crowd in my breast to burning. Darest thou look on Death? CAIN. Let me but Be taught the mystery of my being. Who Saith that? It is not written so on high: The proud One will not so far falsify. that spirits who pervade Space . My father Says he is something dreadful. With all thy Tree of Kn owledge. CAIN. To be resolved into the earth. The seed of the then world may thus array Their earliest fault in fable. Though man's vast fears and little vanity Would make him cast upon the spiritual nature His own low failing. LUCIFER. so thrust ye Because "ye should not eat the fruits of life. CAIN. And then I turned my wary eyes from off Our native and forbidden Paradise. And sighs a prayer. . They were. Why dost thou hesitate? . Perhaps . it seems. in the joy And power of Knowledge? CAIN.need I say it? Could not thy mighty knowledge teach thee that? LUCIFER.but nothing came. upon one condition. LUCIFER. and foreknew The knowledge fatal to their narrow joys. Could I wrestle with him? I wrestled with the lion.'tis made To sway. Thou'lt know here . I never As yet have bowed unto my father's God. As I know not death. CAIN. LUCIFER. in your resistance. Up to the lights above us. But we. And heart to look on? CAIN. as I scorn all That bows to him. But didst thou tempt my parents? LUCIFER. CAIN. CAIN. or he who would Have made ye live for ever. I'm glad of that: I would not have them die They are so lovely. CAIN. What is Death? I fear. LUCIFER. when I hear Of this almighty Death. Ask the Destroyer. And when I saw gigantic shadows in The umbrage of the walls of Eden. and my mother Weeps when he's named. And yet I fear it . And fell. That Thou dost fall down and worship me . in the azure. And do not thirst to know.but ere he plucked The knowledge. Inevitable. as an illWhat ill? LUCIFER. and attribute To me a shape I scorn. CAIN. CAIN. And I. Although my brother Abel oft implores That I would join with him in sacrifice: Why should I bow to thee? LUCIFER. Ah! I thought it was a being: who could do Such evil things to beings save a being? LUCIFER. I have looked out In the vast desolate night in search of him. It has no shape.and Adah LUCIFER.for I had promised LUCIFER. I dwell apart. To offer up With Abel on an altar. Would they had snatched both The fruits. I? Poor clay . and bear a mind To know. CAIN. CAIN. No. he was ignorant of Death. They say the Serpent was a spirit.

] ADAH. To Death . What is the sin which is not Sin in itself? Can circumstance make sin Or virtue? .if it doth. Interchecked with an instant of brief pleasure. of the same womb. And leave us? CAIN. How know'st thou? CAIN. All we love in our children and each other. not content with their own sorrow. Who Art thou that steppest between heart and heart? CAIN. LUCIFER. But he is not like The angels we have seen.as thou Wert worked on by the snake. because It is omnipotent. others? But he is welcome. Beloved Adah! ADAH. Oh.but it can never be forgotten Through thrice a thousand generations! never Shall men love the remembrance of the man Who sowed the seed of evil and mankind In the same hour! They plucked the tree of science And sin . and tempt us with our o wn Dissatisfied and curious thoughts . thy children. ADAH. Thou errest. and She wrung from me.It was Born with me . Omnipotence Must be all goodness. In hymns and harpings. harmless wantonness of bliss.and if we had been. in innocent And happy intercourse with happy spirits: But we. did they not Prefer an independency of torture To the smooth agonies of adulation.Cherubim know most And this should be a Cherub . as they were: they deigned To be our guest . I do. not yet It one day will be in your children. and as false. LUCIFER. And dread.if they sinned. 'twas with Truth. And still loftier than the archangels.to our eternal sorrow. I ask Thee to be mine. So did the Serpent. the doom Of thy fond parents. She is my sister. my God! Shall they not love and bring forth things that love Out of their love? have they not drawn their milk Out of this bosom? was not he. As true. which may be. But lead them and ourselves through many years Of sin and pain . More than thy mother. ADAH.and hope of that Which cometh not. No. she must not. Not as thou lovest Cain. and self-seeking prayers. Nearer and nearer: .and the mystery of Death.and worship aught. Born of the same sole womb. Aye . For thee. But there are spirits loftier still The archangels. ADAH. Choose betwixt Love and Knowledge . My little Enoch! and his lisping sister! Could I but deem them happy. I must away with him. And yet I fly not from him: in his eye There is a fastening attraction which Fixes my fluttering eyes on his. LUCIFER. He speaks like A God. my mother! thou Hast plucked a fruit more fatal to thine o ffspring Than to thyself.since there is No other choice: your sire hath chosen already: His worship is but fear. I see an angel. millions. If the blessedness Consists in slavery .so he lied not: And if he did betray you. I would. Bear with what we have borne. Bear all . Oh. We have seen many: will he share our hour Of rest? . To that which is omnipotent. Did they love us when they snatched from the Tree That which hath driven us all from Paradise? ADAH. What dreads my Adah? This is no ill spirit. Higher things than ye are slaves: and higher Than them or ye would be so. Cain? CAIN. At least they ought to have known all things that are Of knowledge . and love me . ADAH. And if the higher knowledge quenches love. CAIN Seest thou not? ADAH. then. and thy sire? ADAH. ADAH. I have come for thee. he looks not Like them. he is not of ours. this promise. ignorant of Eden. LUCIFER.nor God's: I have beheld The Cherubs and the Seraphs.but not blessed. Aye . your mother: bears she not the knowledge Of good and evil? ADAH. What need of snakes and fruits to teach us that? ADAH. ADAH. To inherit agonies accumulated By ages!-and I must be sire of such things! Thy beauty and thy love .my love and joy. And Truth in its own essence cannot be But good.no. No. I would half Forget . Cain! walk not with this Spirit.was not the Tree that Of Knowledge? ADAH. The Seraphs love most . I choose not . LUCIFER. and toil. and not from love. ADAH. my heart Beats quick. but I have done thy task: the fruits Are ripe. expulsion from our home. Cain! choose Love. ADAH.he is welcome. But terror and self-hope. and Rather than see her weep. He is not God .And as I love thee.and we Have less without thee. Oh. Then follow me! CAIN.since he loves not. we are the slaves OfLUCIFER. CAIN. in the same hour With me? did we not love each other? and In multiplying our being multiply Things which will love each other as we love Them? . Begot me . LUCIFER. What! Must not my daughter love her brother Enoch? LUCIFER. ADAH. and heaviness. What must he be you cannot love when known? Since the all-knowing Cherubim love least. And cannot be a sin in you . Let me go with thee.and all the few that are. CAIN. And all the unnumbered and innumerable Multitudes. and it lied. ADAH. ADAH.Cain . Should we not love them . What do they know? . and glowing as the light which ripens: Come away. thou at the least hast passed Thy youth in Paradise. in thy most flushed And heedless. My brother. Is that a sin too? LUCIFER. ADAH. Adah! . Are girt [12] about by demons. alone - .and our children. And yet that grief is knowledge . Wilt thou? LUCIFER. Aye. Ask Eve.whate'er It seem in those who will replace ye in Mortality.save me from him! CAIN.the unknown! Methinks the Tree of Knowledge Hath not fulfilled its promise: .CAIN. thou art fairer Than was the Serpent. CAIN. He is a God. LUCIFER. I will. I cannot abhor him. It is our hour of rest and joy . proves. I am not wretched.will he? CAIN (to LUCIFER). Be thou happy. But all we know of it has gathe red Evil on ill. Cain. myriads. but still of sorrow. then. who assume The words of God. Was it so in Eden? ADAH. LUCIFER.thee . Are there. The rapturous moment and the placid hour. I look upon him with a pleasing fear. Remorse of that which was . their father.I Love thee. Our parents? CAIN. LUCIFER. ADAH. my Cain! go not Forth with this spirit. I cannot answer this immortal thing Which stands before me. I have heard it said. and yet draws me near. LUCIFER. and if thou Wert happy CAIN. Fiend! tempt me not with beauty. Thou hast labored not This morn. Born on the same day. with tears. methinks. he awes me.Cain . CAIN.or few. for their daring. We were not born then . and sweat. And me? CAIN. The Seraphs' love can be but ignorance: That they are not compatible. ADAH. ADAH.and.that they are miserable. ADAH. LUCIFER. The sin I speak of is not of my making. [Enter ADAH.but I love nought else. my Adah.

knowing nought beyond their shallow senses.and that Which is not heaven or earth. LUCIFER.] ADAH (follows exclaiming). Cain. ADAH. but with those around us I think I could be so. ADAH. I love it for Its beauty LUCIFER. Hast thou seen him? ADAH. welcoming the morn. and the mortals to make happy. Show in an hour what he hath made in many. CAIN. as in the dim blue air the eye Of you. young mortals. and is he happy? Lonely. and sink not . SCENE 1. Worship the word which strikes their ear.yet I fear To sink. Thou seems'st unhappy: do not make us so. And walk the waters. and so dost thou. LUCIFER. 0 Cain! This spirit curseth us. With an inferior circlet near it still. . who is God's own image. I tread on air. Yes . So they were when the fair Serpent Spoke with our mother first. Which. In sooth. Or stretch an hour into eternity: We breathe not by a mortal measurement But that's a mystery. Cain! thou hast heard. Could I stand here? His angels are within Your vision. CAIN. I will have none such: Worship or worship not. lights at once upon The star which watches. It is a beautiful star.if I may Judge from what I have heard. Throughout all space. But in that hour see things of many days. Our father Saith that he has beheld the God himself Who made him and our mother. though It seems an awful shadow .and both in vain. Can I do so without impiety? LUCIFER. With torture of my dooming. If I were not that which I have said. despite of Death. woman! he alone Of mortals from that place (the first and last Who shall return. ADAH. The million millions The myriad myriads . NoSave in my father. But in his being? ADAH.and the o'er peopled Hell. Nor would be happy. And they who guard them? LUCIFER. Follow me. Believe . "Believe in me. ADAH. and he keeps it. Point me out the site . Which.and Time Eternity . Of which thy bosom is the germ. and endearing.in his works. or good? To me my solitude seems sin.and sink not! doubt . and yon bright star Is leader of the host of Heaven. return within an hour? LUCIFER. but peopled with Those who once peopled or shall people both These are my realms! so that I do divide His. With us acts are exempt from time. [Exeunt LUCIFER and CAIN. my God! Who could be happy and alone. and our children. they Echo the sound to miserable things. Will he return? LUCIFER. Alone! Oh. His brother. but thou seem'st Like an ethereal night. What all? LUCIFER. If I am not. Not dazzling. CAIN. save ONE) [13] shall come back to thee. Lead on. but fly with me o'er the gulf Of space an equal flight. Oh God! or Demon! or whate'er thou art. But the symbols Of the Invisible are the loveliest Of what is visible. who aided in this work. Or of his first-born son: ask your own heart. What else can joy be. of which I am the Prince. Or in his angels. and good? ADAH. Where dwellest thou? LUCIFER. Is yon our earth? LUCIFER. LUCIFER. and we Can crowd eternity into an hour. Dost thou not recognize The dust which formed your father? CAIN. but the spreading joy? LUCIFER. ADAH. LUCIFER. Where should I dwell? Where are Thy God or Gods . enquire The cause of this all-spreading happiness (Which you proclaim) of the all-great and good Maker of life and living things. LUCIFER. Can it be? Yon small blue circle. CAIN. To a place Whence he shall come back to thee in an hour. By all. unless When I think how soon I shall see my brother. Alas! no! and you Are you of Heaven? LUCIFER. which humbles me and mine. and yet drawing us to them. By me? LUCIFER. they look upon us. Aye. It is not tranquil." and the man shall walk The billows and be safe. I have said it. and unnumbe red stars Spangle the wonderful mysterious vault With things that look as if they would be suns. when. it is His secret.there am I: all things are Divided with me: Life and Death .I will have nought to do with happiness. How can that be? LUCIFER. ADAH. thou shalt behold The worlds beyond thy little world. Him will I follow. Since better may not be without: there is A wisdom in the spirit. ADAH. and thou shalt be Borne on the air. Have faith in me. the exile fresh from Eden. yet less beautiful and powerful In seeming: as the silent sunny noon. He shall. We must bear. and of future worlds. Or hath destroyed in few? CAIN. Believe in me. All light.and heaven and earth . And I will weep for thee. ADAH. So beautiful. A man shall say to a man.the all-peopled earth The unpeopled earth . Will he. Which looks like that which lit our earthly night? Is this our Paradise? Where are its walls. unnumbered. be happy? ADAH. I dread not. To make that silent and expectant world As populous as this: at present there Are few inhabitants. Let him say on. LUCIFER. They fill my eyes with tears. CAIN. And some of us resist . Alone I could not. Spirit. nor be Amerced [14] for doubts beyond thy little life. His Seraphs say: but it is worth the trial. thou say'st. and I will show What thou dar'st not deny. LUCIFER. who are like to thee And brighter. Our father Adores the Invisible only. If thou dost long for knowledge. and possess a kingdom which is not His. ADAH. which directs To right. There will come An hour. Whither? LUCIFER. He is not so. and our parents. as a conditional creed To save thee. And thou couldst not Alone. I can satiate That thirst nor ask thee to partake of fruits Which shall deprive thee of a single good The Conqueror has left thee. Did not your Maker make Out of old worlds this new one in few days? And cannot I. where long white clouds Streak the deep purple.the history Of past .and perish! thus Would run the edict of the other God. Yet thy God is alone. he hath The angels. I will not say. Who names me Demon to his angels. and deem Evil or good what is proclaimed to them In their abasement.and present. tossed upon some water -drops. come on with me. And thus becomes so in diffusing joy. Cain! my brother! Cain! ACT II. And why not adore? ADAH.-The Abyss of Space. Ask of your sire. Alas! those tears! Couldst thou but know what oceans will be shed ADAH. ADAH. ADAH. ADAH. LUCIFER. as I know it not. swinging in far ether.

All living . save as a dreadful thing Of which I have heard my parents speak. And the immortal star in its great course. and that was ere thou Or I were. Increase their myriads. what are things? LUCIFER. But the lights fade from me fast. LUCIFER.Spirit . LUCIFER. behold! Is it not glorious? CAIN. and some. And men? . Yet deem not that thou canst escape it. Less. I am angelic: wouldst thou be as I am? CAIN. all foredoomed to be As frail. All foul and fulsome . How? LUCIFER. LUCIFER. CAIN. I must be Immortal in despite of me. For I was made of it. and mine. or accidents. Oh! how we cleave the blue! The stars fade from us! The earth! where is my earth? Let me look on it. And wilt thou tell me so? Why. which makes both beautiful. as I have seen The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden? Is your course measured for ye? Or do ye Sweep on in your unbounded revelry Through an aerial universe of endless Expansion . But changes make not death. Nor ever shall . What wouldst thou think? CAIN. LUCIFER. Spirit! let me expire. and. And as it waxes little. or happy or unhappy. till now. for moments only and the space Have been and must be all unchangeable. LUCIFER. Why. LUCIFER. Dar'st thou behold? CAIN. I should be proud of thought Which knew such things. than thou in it. Spirit! I Know nought of Death. CAIN.at which my soul aches to think Intoxicated with eternity? Oh God! Oh Gods! or whatsoe'er ye are! How beautiful ye are! how beautiful Your works. CAIN. like the light Which shone the roundest of the stars. Clay . as we move on. Art thou not nearer? look back to thine earth! CAIN. LUCIFER. as of A hideous heritage I owe to them No less than life . Show me. or whatsoe'er They may be! Let me die. except to clay. LUCIFER. CAIN. as we recede from them. thou hast shown naught I dare not gaze on further. were chained down To the most gross and petty paltry wants. But. How should I? As we move Like sunbeams onward. Let me. Thou didst before I came upon thee. LUCIFER. Where dost thou lead me? LUCIFER. Each bright and sparkling .and wretched. But at least Let what is mortal of me perish. then! on our mighty wings! CAIN. A most enervating and filthy cheat To lure thee on to the renewal of Fresh souls and bodies. On. And therefore do I ask of thee. then. Beyond all power of my born faculties. And Edens in them? LUCIFER. The things I see. Knowing such things. It may be. Wouldst thou behold things mortal or immortal? CAIN. But thou art clay . LUCIFER.but since it must be. CAIN. where ye roll along. And some till now grew larger as we approached. with me. which would pretend to have Had no beginning.and they themselves far more In number than the dust of thy dull earth. And what art thou who dwellest So haughtily in spirit. Spirit! if It be as thou hast said (and I within Feel the prophetic torture of its truth). I cannot see it. But by whom or what? CAIN. The Other Spake not of this unto my father. I seem that which I am. Though multiplied to animated atoms.what thou wilt . Appear to join the innumerable stars Which are around us. LUCIFER.what dost think of them? CAIN. That they are beautiful in their own sphere. if thou Wouldst be immortal? CAIN. LUCIFER. or know ye in your might And knowledge! My thoughts are not in this hour Unworthy what I see. LUCIFER. CAIN. (If that they die). with death Written upon his forehead. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds. brighter than yon world Which bears them. The little shining fire-fly in its flight. What! is it not then new? LUCIFER. What.Of Paradise. And see thou show'st me things beyond my power. Look there! CAIN. And such they are. LUCIFER. And if there should be Worlds greater than thine own . that I may be in the rest as angels are. learn To anticipate my immortality. and die Methinks is merely propagating Death. CAIN. Yet it sparkles still. have had one as mean As thou. And science still beyond them. as to sojourn With worms in clay? CAIN. and all its dust: 'Tis part of thy eternity.and yet Seem'st sorrowful? LUCIFER. if I show to thee things which have died. it grows small and smaller.there is what must survive. CAIN. And that the night. Yea. I knew not This until lately .inhabited By greater things . I know not what thou art: I see thy power. I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks In the dim twilight. Away. 'Tis now beyond thee. CAIN. But now. That! . and then less. of which thy world Is but the wreck. or the things which seem to us Greater than either: many things will have No end.the mysteries of Death. as atoms die. thou beautiful And unimaginable ether! and Ye multiplying masses of increased And still-increasing lights! what are ye? what Is this blue wilderness of interminable Air. Thou hast said. We and thy sons will try. aspiring to such things. and canst range Nature and immortality . or see them nearer. No more than life is. What are they which dwell So humbly in their pride. Although inferior still to my desires And my conceptions. CAIN. Both partly: but what doth Sit next thy heart? CAIN. then! CAIN. LUCIFER.a heritage not happy. By suffering. Do so.and. when He shut him forth from Paradise. Must both be guided. Gathers a halo round it. And wore the look of worlds. and few so happy CAIN. But if that high thought were Linked to a servile mass of matter . And multiplying murder. in the universe. LUCIFER. Oh. though my dust is.I can survey. and such thou shalt behold. Where is it? I see nothing save a mass Of most innumerable lights. CAIN. The things I have not seen.and canst but comprehend That which was clay. But what Sate nearest it? CAIN. Here let me die: for to give birth to those Who can but suffer many years. If I may judge. And must torture be immortal? LUCIFER. LUCIFER. Thou canst not All die . LUCIFER. As I have shown thee much which cannot die? CAIN. To what was before thee! The phantasm of the world. when I Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise: Methinks they both. and mightier things have been extinct To make way for much meaner than we can Surmise.and the very best Of thine enjoyments a sweet degradation. thou Shalt soon return to earth. LUCIFER.and all doomed to death . How know I what I dare behold? As yet. Away.yonder! LUCIFER.

Adam is the first. How silent and how vast are these dim worlds! For they seem more than one. LUCIFER. and high. CAIN. or have ye lived? LUCIFER. CAIN. Yes. Ah me! and did they perish? LUCIFER. Yes. But if it be as I have heard my father Deal out in his long homilies. CAIN. Haughty. But was mine theirs? LUCIFER. ye interminable gloomy realms Of swimming shadows and enormous shapes. liable To such.They wear not the form Of the Intelligences I have seen Round our regretted and unentered Eden. and dark . that It speaks of a day past. CAIN. Advance! CAIN. are frequent in eternity. save the erect ones? CAIN. looks like something. happy! when unfolded. Pass on. Till I know That which it really is. CAIN. Though rare in time. at once. But how? LUCIFER. To the world of phantoms. And yet thou seest. And true. Some fully shown. Fear not .no moon . nor aught that is Now breathing. Happy the day! LUCIFER. in daring To pluck the fruit forbidden? LUCIFER. Aye! and serpents too? LUCIFER.without me thou Couldst not have gone beyond thy world. If not the last. and some displaying Enormous liquid plains. Enter! CAIN. CAIN. All to be animated for this only! CAIN. rose higher than the first. That which Thou shalt be. that I Had deemed them rather the bright populace Of some all unimaginable Heaven. CAIN. As much superior unto all thy sire. it was more glorious. good. Nor in my sister-bride's. .but too mean to be The last of these. Enter LUCIFER and CAIN. CAIN.Wouldst have it present? CAIN. CAIN. and showed them taking shapes Unequal. . Perhaps He one day will unfold that further secret. and so full of twilight. LUCIFER. to innumerable Yet unborn myriads of unconscious atoms. begirt with light. . Thou seekest to behold Death. 'tis a thing Oh God! I dare not think on't! Cursed be He who invented Life that leads to Death! Or the dull mass of life. And thou! LUCIFER. Nor wear the form of man as I have viewed it In Adam's and in Abel's. What are these mighty phantoms which I see Floating around me? . Rather than life itself.no lights innumerable The very blue of the empurpled night Fades to a dreary twilight . And wherefore did it fall? LUCIFER. some indistinct. In its dull damp degeneracy. judge But thy own flesh. Cursed he not me in giving me my birth? Cursed he not me before my birth. How the lights recede! Where fly we? LUCIFER. Ask him who fells. the features of fair earth: . Somewhat of both. It is the realm Of Death. as a chaos Subsiding has struck out a world: such things. Yet they lived. But it grows dark. CAIN. LUCIFER. And all that we inherit. I seek it not. Wouldst thou have men without them? must no reptiles Breathe. Like them. and floating moons. which Are beings past. When? LUCIFER. . 'Tis a fearful light! No sun . for I never saw such. Till now he hath Said nothing.] SCENE II. Which struck a world to chaos. but needs must forfeit it Even for the innocent! LUCIFER. But here. which. but unlike the worlds We were approaching. Living.but we will Unfold its gates! CAIN. and gaze upon the past. save that all shall die. LUCIFER. But distinct.instead.and how weak they are. or things higher. and make widening circles round us! LUCIFER. Could not retain. On! on! [They disappear through the clouds.yet I see Huge dusky masses.what's this? LUCIFER. CAIN. as thou wilt fade from thine. and yet so unlike them. and in mine. of deep valleys and vast mountains. CAIN. and some begirt With luminous belts.what are ye? Live ye. nor the face of man. which seemed made for life to dwell on. that. All here seems dark and dreadful. and clogged With agonies eternal. which took. CAIN. Let them share it With me. could e'er have been in Eden. CAIN. CAIN. and full Of seeming strength. 'Tis darkness! LUCIFER. Nor form of mightiest brute. Through agonies unspeakable. their sire and brother! What else is Bequeathed to me? I leave them my inheritance! Oh. Where Thou livest. but of inexplicable Shape. nor in my children's: And yet they have an aspect.LUCIFER. Enormous vapours roll Apart . though not Of men nor angels. which. But what were they? LUCIFER. being life. I would behold. Behold! CAIN.the stars are gone! LUCIFER. and beautiful. CAIN. as The sixty-thousandth generation shall be. CAIN. Behold these phantoms! they were once Material as thou art. LUCIFER. Where? LUCIFER. And so it shall be ever . The clouds still open wide And wider. which. And some emitting sparks. What? Hath not he who made ye Said 'Tis another life? CAIN. Return! be sure: how else should Death be peopled? Its present realm is thin to what it will be. mighty yet and beautiful As the most beautiful and mighty which Live. But that on drawing near them I beheld Their swelling into palpable immensity Of matter. to Thee and thy son. LUCIFER. and yet more peopled Than the huge brilliant luminous orbs which swung So thickly in the upper air. CAIN. Of thine. It was. I cannot answer. from their earth. and that my sire's sin makes him and me. Dost thou curse thy father? CAIN. and shadows still to come. And what are they? LUCIFER. It is too little and too lowly to Sustain such creatures. great. and all Mighty and melancholy . Seemed full of life even when their atmosphere Of light gave way. Than things to be inhabited themselves.Hades. and glorious things. that I scarce Can call them living. Thou say'st well: The curse is mutual 'twixt thy sire and thee But for thy sons and brother? CAIN. Through thee and thine. But not as now. all is So shadowy. On what thou callest earth They did inhabit. They bear not The wing of Seraph. high. Intelligent. and dead things? CAIN. By a most crushing and inexorable Destruction and disorder of the elements. LUCIFER. Can I return? LUCIFER. what I Must one day see perforce. Adam. True. Yea. but as I know there are Such. 'Tis awful! LUCIFER. Then what is Death? LUCIFER. I grant thee .

It may be death leads to the highest knowledge.I'll waft thee there in safety. Eve. or thy sons' wives.and thou art evil. if it irk thee. and that state again. for 'tis even Given chiefly at my own expense. Hast thou ne'er beheld him? CAIN. But all Seems dim and shadowy. Like them. CAIN. But why war? LUCIFER. This seems too terrible. Nor gratify my thousand swelling thoughts With knowledge. These dim realms! I see them. Many of the same kind (at least so called) But never that precisely. But animals Did they. LUCIFER.but these lie By myriads underneath its surface. which rears his dripping mane and vasty Head. By what gate have we entered Even now? LUCIFER. And being of all things the sole thing certain. CAIN.'twas Oh.can they ne'er repass To earth again? LUCIFER. How long? CAIN. LUCIFER. crushed into A scarcely-yet shaped planet. For crime. CAIN. a Paradise To what thy sons' sons' sons. Be content. LUCIFER.with Eyes flashing like the fiery swords which fence them And tusks projecting like the trees stripped of Their bark and branches . . LUCIFER.Death: the rest Of your poor attributes is such as suits Reptiles engendered out of the subsiding Slime of a mighty universe. I show thee what thy predecessors are.let me dwell in shadows. so there's little lost. Good man! whene'er thy wife. What ye in common have with what they had Is Life.and thou sufferest. But canst not comprehend the shadow of That which it was. Your father saw him not? CAIN. That which The Mammoth is in thy world. CAIN.but 'tis something To know there are such realms. No: 'twas my mother Who tempted him . 'Tis like another world. without having shared th e apple. accumulating In generations like to dust (which they . Tempt thee or them to aught that's new or strange. We knew already That there was Death. Or. CAIN. Alas! the hopeless wretches! They too must share my sire's fate. And death to all things. too. LUCIFER. No doubt the other Had more of beauty. Resembling somewhat the wild habitants Of the deep woods of earth. thy mother. nor allay my thousand fears Of Death and Life. And must I be Like them? LUCIFER. Of sorrow .she tempted by the serpent. and what ye shall have . Like them. Nor know I now. But do not think to dwell here till thine hour Is come! CAIN. CAIN. Be sure thou seest first who hath tempted them! CAIN. What thy world is. LUCIFER. CAIN. and which I should deem [15] The river which flows out of Paradise Past my own dwelling. By mine! But. But behold What these superior beings are or were.but that I may not profit By what it bears of beautiful.What is it? LUCIFER. And is! It is not with the earth. LUCIFER. taller than The cherub-guarded walls of Eden .war with all things. But not what was beyond it. You have forgotten the denunciation Which drove your race from Eden . And yon immense Serpent. To make thyself fit for this dwelling. untoiling. 'tis true. the hugest which Roar nightly in the forest. No: for thy frail race to war With them would render the curse on it useless 'Twould be destroyed so early. CAIN. I feel at war . they were made for you. ten times higher than the haughtiest cedar. In its redoubled wretchedness. that they must die? LUCIFER. CAIN. LUCIFER. As you for him. And what they were thou feelest. nor even of the same aspect. And yon immeasurable liquid space Of glorious azure which floats on beyond us. thy task .is it Not so? CAIN. But there Are some things still which woman may tempt man to. a liquid sun And those inordinate creatures sporting o'er Its shining surface? LUCIFER. CAIN. it will Seem clearer to thine immortality. But None on it? LUCIFER. And pangs. though I must till it. all had stood. CAIN. too . these were the fruits Of the forbidden tree. CAIN. are both Eden In all its innocence compared to what Thou shortly may'st be. I am sick of all That dust has shown me . and disease to most things. thou Must pass through what the things thou seest have passed The gates of Death. First-born of the first man! Thy present state of sin .You would not have their doom Superior to your own? Had Adam not Fallen. what a beautiful world it was! CAIN. .CAIN. and of an ethereal hue . Forth from the abyss. Your Maker told ye.'tis the phantasm of an Ocean. plighted to return. No: I'll stay here. CAIN. I rather would remain. And man tempt woman: . There is still some such on earth. which persuaded The fatal fruit. but I know them not. from which Knowledge was barred as poison. and thy children shall Dwell near it . though deadly. And these. Let He who made thee answer th at. Gaze on. in degree Inferior as thy petty feelings and Thy pettier portion of the immortal part Of high intelligence and earthly strength. peopled with Things whose enjoyment was to be in blindness A Paradise of Ignorance. Which looks like water. CAIN. It cannot be: thou now beholdest as A vision that which is reality. looking as he could coil Himself around the orbs we lately looked on Is he not of the kind which basked beneath The Tree in Eden? LUCIFER. turn thee back and till The earth. and many states beyond thine own And this thou knewest not this morn. LUCIFER. they would not Be conscious to a single present spot Of its new scarcely hardened surface . LUCIFER. and bitterness.what were they? LUCIFER. And those enormous creatures. Their earth is gone forever So changed by its convulsion. The past Leviathans. too. eat of it. thou see'st. LUCIFER. LUCIFER. without the so dear-bought knowledge! It was a lying tree . At least leads to the surest science: therefore The Tree was true. Thy precept comes too late: there is no more For serpents to tempt woman to. Forever! Since I must one day return here from the earth. but that it is bankless And boundless. too. Phantoms inferior in intelligence (At least so seeming) to the things we have passed. I know not but for pain. LUCIFER. Although inferior. best Can tell what shape of serpent tempted her. Thou knowest that there is A state. My spirit buoys thee up to breathe in regions Where all is breathless save thyself. CAIN. I understand not this.for we know nothing. Are its inhabitants. and matter cannot Comprehend spirit wholly .let thy sons look to it! My counsel is a kind one.but knowledge still: but what knows man? LUCIFER. CAIN. like his sons. At least it promised knowledge at the price Of death . 'Twill not be followed. The happier thou! Thy world and thou are still too young! Thou thinkest Thyself most wicked and unhappy . I have felt much. but ten-fold In magnitude and terror. Because Thy hour is yet afar.

my father says. What is that To me? should I not love that which all love? LUCIFER. Mortal! My brotherhood's with those who have no children.so does thy God. And the Jehovah . LUCIFER.the indulgent Lord. LUCIFER. CAIN. therefore. Let him keep Her favor.the Sun's gorgeous coming His setting indescribable. Then there must be delusion.What is that Which being nearest to thine eyes is still More beautiful than beauteous things remote? CAIN. But as thou saidst Of all beloved things thou lovest her Who shared thy mother's milk. And his father's? CAIN. CAIN. who o'er it tremulous Stood licking its reviving limbs with joy. that 'twere A better portion for the animal Never to have been stung at all than to Purchase renewal of its little life With agonies unutterable. methinks He who creates all beauty will lose more Than me in seeing perish such a work. and lifelessness. What does thy God love? CAIN. in Infinity of life: thou hast shown me shadows Of that existence with the dreaded name . And yet my sire says he's omnipotent: Then why is Evil . Thou hast seen them from afar. too. What didst thou answer? CAIN. My sister Adah. As the day closes over Eden's walls. still it is delusion. but Cannot conceive my love for her the less: And when her beauty disappears.None . But had done better in not planting it. In the first dawn and bloom of young crea tion. Ere we came down into this phantom realm. Was not thy quest for knowledge? CAIN. like any other appetite. LUCIFER. CAIN.nothing! 'tis The leaven of all life. though Dispelled by antidotes. because I love it! LUCIFER. which fills My eyes with pleasant tears as I behold Him sink. lit by an orb Which looks a spirit. CAIN. that must arise from out Its deadly opposite. Then thou canst have no fellowship with us. If truth be so. With time. CAIN. thou canst not see if I love Or no . Why do I exist? Why art thou wretched? why are all things so? Ev'n he who made us must be. my son! said Adam. LUCIFER. and dazzling. Yes. CAIN. CAIN. Why art thou wretched? CAIN. LUCIFER. But Sufficiently to see they love your brother: His sacrifices are acceptable. I Ne'er saw him. And what of that? Distance can but diminish glory . LUCIFER. shall endure and do. Most assuredly: What should I be without her? LUCIFER. But bask beneath the clime which knows no winter. I have done this The loveliest thing I know is loveliest nearest. Be happier in not knowing What thy remoter offspring must encounter. A part of all things. as the maker Of things unhappy! To produce destruction Can surely never be the task of joy. And dost thou love thyself? CAIN. CAIN. CAIN. 'Tis fair as frail mortality. Because this Evil only was the path To Good. Within those glorious orbs which we behold. LUCIFER. how from Evil Springs Good! LUCIFER. Because thou hast thought of this ere now. and feel my heart float softly with him Along that western paradise of clouds The forest shade. And bounteous planter of barred Paradise He. LUCIFER.they. because 'tis beautiful. Dost thou love nothing? LUCIFER. And I thee who lov'st nothing. And if I have thought. But time has passed. looks smilingly on Abel. CAIN. Approach the things of earth most beautiful. CAIN. Can make its offspring. And so do I. The deep blue noon of night. LUCIFER. No I'll not believe it . You think so. Thou lovest it. All that must pass away In them and her. and rose to drain The mother's milk. since the Serpent was the first To win it. And is his mother's favorite. LUCIFER. why recall a thought that . And earliest embraces of earth's parents.All the stars of heaven. and innumerable. So be they! wherefore speak to me of this? LUCIFER. speak n ot of mine.he being Good? I asked This question of my father. And wherefore didst thou Lead me here only to inform me this? LUCIFER. and I know not if he smiles. for He is my father: but I thought. As was the apple in thy mother's eye. which seems to sing of love. Thou hast it. And.as being The road to happiness! LUCIFER. CAIN. But if thou dost possess a beautiful Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes. LUCIFER. to my eyes and heart. and laid them to The wound. Ill cannot come: they are too beautiful. the bird's voice The vesper bird's. of which our own Is the dim and remote companion. and hitherto Even Adam and my mother both are fair: Not fair like Adah and the Seraphim But very fair. Now let us back to earth! CAIN. Cease to be beautiful! how can that be? LUCIFER. All these are nothing. I'm sorry for it. And mingles with the song of Cherubim. but love more What makes my feelings more endurable. 'Tis well and meekly done. And judge their beauty near. Strange good.In fact but add to). Rarely. And when it ceases to be so. But dost thou not love something like thyself? LUCIFER. CAIN. Meekly! LUCIFER. He is the second born of flesh. LUCIFER. Nothing. I lately saw A lamb stung by a reptile: the poor suckling Lay foaming on the earth. LUCIFER. beneath the vain And piteous bleating of its restless dam. And who and what doth not? Who covets evil For its own bitter sake? . LUCIFER. Not of all things. CAIN. . All things. CAIN. CAIN. CAIN. CAIN. LUCIFER. But ignorance of evil doth not save From evil. I pity thee who lovest what must perish. must be more ineffable. being not her brother. LUCIFER. it must still roll on the same. Then my father's God did well When he prohibited the fatal Tree. And is more than myself. Snows! what are they? LUCIFER. or a spirit's worldThe hues of twilight . CAIN.(he pauses as agitated) . What am I? CAIN. and giveth hers Unto thy children CAIN. But you have seen his angels. Thy father loves him well . When nearer. Like Adah's face: I turn from earth and heaven To gaze on it. It may be that thine own shall be for me. and he said.for I thirst for good. CAIN. but I confess I see it not in their allotment here. Why should he not? LUCIFER. LUCIFER. To which particular things must melt like snows.except some vast and general purpose. the green bough. thy love Will cease. Yes . . Behold.Spirit! Here we are in thy world. Thou hast shown me wonders: thou hast shown me those Mighty Pre-Adamites who walked the earth Of which ours is the wreck: thou hast pointed out Myriads of starry worlds. And thy brother Sits he not near thy heart? CAIN. My father plucked some herbs. Distant. and by degrees the helpless wretch Resumed its careless life.

But if he gives you good . Half open. Didst thou not require Knowledge? And have I not in what I showed. I will . Your reason: . at least not now: he will awake soon His hour of mid-day rest is nearly over. How came ye. And the unfathomable gulfs of Hades. and some of those bu t bitter. sleep . Shall tremble in the balance. what have been his gifts To you already.as all things. You have said well. Eat. and things which have Long ceased to breathe our breath. but were it not so. Which were not thine nor mine? But now sleep on! His cheeks are reddening into deeper smiles. And the interminable realms of space. [They go up to the child.] ACT III.sleep on. And cannot ye both reign. and sleeps! . And shining lids are trembling o'er his long Lashes. thou say'st. the last And longest. Because its branches Shut out the sun like night. and try the rest Of his celestial boons to you and yours. but thyself. but no superior. Haughty spirit! Thou speak'st it proudly. So shall you nearer be the spiritual Nature. There The son of her who snatched the apple spake! But thou wouldst only perish. drink. and judge Not by words. My disinherited boy! 'Tis but a dream. and smile! Thine are the hours and days when both are cheering And innocent! thou hast not plucked the fruit Thou know'st not thou art naked! Must the time Come thou shalt be amerced for sins unknown. And why not now? LUCIFER. young inheritor Of a world scare less young: sleep on. ADAH. But it were pity to disturb him till 'Tis closed. which looks as if it mourned O'er what it shadows. and the abyss. Aye. we reign Together.or thine: Where is it? LUCIFER. . CAIN. Our little Enoch sleeps upon yon bed Of leaves. Art not thou Abel's brother? CAIN. CAIN Aye. although in slumber. and o'er all space. dark as the cypress which waves o'er them. We both reign. CAIN. Evil and Good are things in their own essence. Bequeath that science to thy children. such as it must be. have theirs. And his lips.is there not Enough? . LUCIFER. as thou say'st we are.and die! CAIN. LUCIFER. as in Act 1.For what? LUCIFER. LUCIFER. Is spirit like to flesh? can it fall out . CAIN. till the great Conflict shall cease. do not name it mine. then. Till ye know better its true fount. Taught thee to know thyself? CAIN. CAIN. Then I dread it less. Thou! for If thou canst do man good. ADAH. though proud. No! By heaven. and 'Twill spare them many tortures. SCENE 1. And let me perish. CAIN. to thine earth. All temporary breathing creatures their Peculiar element.let it not be overswayed By tyrannous threats to force you into faith 'Gainst all external sense and inward feeling: Think and endure. CAIN. CAIN. but what will be the Good he gives? Were I the victor.so call him. And not made good or evil by the Giver. his works would be deemed The only evil ones. thou little. you shall not Kiss him. ye new And scare-born mortals. Thy human mind hath scarcely grasp to gather The little I have shown thee into calm And clear thought: and thou wouldst go on aspiring To the great double Mysteries! the two Principles! [16] And gaze upon them on their secret thrones! Dust! limit thy ambition. and not see them. And this should be the human sum Of knowledge. In his especial Paradise . Would there were only one of ye! perchance An unity of purpose might make union In elements which seem now jarred in storms. Which? CAIN. beneath the cypress. which I hold with him . CAIN. Enter CAIN and ADAH. too. Hast a superior. How beautifully parted! No. and universe by universe.true. though of Spirits. thou hast shown me much But not all: show me where Jehovah dwells. I could show thee Both. all. And the Jehovah and thyself have thine Ye do not dwell together? LUCIFER. and war triumphant with your o wn. And so we shall remain. if ever it shall cease. One good gift has the fatal apple given. toil.] How lovely he appears! his little cheeks.why should ye differ? LUCIFER. Or mutual and irrevocable hate? He as a conqueror will call the conquered Evil. To reign. That sight is for the other state. till he or I be quenched! And what can quench our immortality. CAIN. from beneath them the clear blue Laughs out. laugh. CAIN. Clay has its earth. Here. And now I will convey thee to thy world. but no matter .[17] vying with The rose leaves strewn beneath them. but the time will come thou shalt see one Of them for evermore.lead me to him. or show me Thy dwelling.Death. and other worlds their tenants. and the immensity Of worlds and life. LUCIFER. He must dream Of what? Of Paradise! . And to what end have I beheld these things Which thou hast shown me? LUCIFER. But one of you makes evil. being Spirits wise and infinite. or his dwelling. Which it ne'er shall. and not mine. wherefore didst thou choose it For our child's canopy? ADAH. and your glory? LUCIFER. will I dispute! And world by world. tremble. No.but none from me: I battle it against him. CAIN. to know mortal nature's nothingness. LUCIFER. if Evil springs from him. Of Death? LUCIFER. Cypress! 'Tis A gloomy tree. CAIN. I will contain My heart till then. Back With me. Yea! CAIN. .and your nature. To separate? Are ye not as brethren in Your essence . then?. for to see Either of these would be for thee to perish! CAIN. Homage he has from all . but our dwellings are asunder.through all Eternity. why dost thou not? LUCIFER. Did ye not tell me that Ye are both eternal? LUCIFER. [They disappear. is boundless? LUCIFER. And you. which he Holds. Hush! tread softly. Now that I know it leads to something definite. Were thou shalt multiply the race of Adam.The Earth. and therefore seemed Fitting to shadow slumber. And the infinity of endless ages. Alas! I seem Nothing. Cain! CAIN. Then leave us His creatures.Aye! dream of it. weep. But ye Have some allotted dwelling . And smile. But few.Which my sire brought us . near Eden.Infinity with Immortality? Jarring and turning space to misery . We are brethren. . in your little world? CAIN.where the outward fails. All. Ye are his creatures. And star by star. LUCIFER.and form an inner world In your own bosom . That is the prelude. In their pure incarnation. He smiles. And why not he who made? I made ye not.No! I have a Victor . but the fruits Of your existence.but wherefore? ADAH. as I battled In highest Heaven . And what I have seen Yon blue immensity. so I see them! LUCIFER.

Oh. who withdrew thee hence. Cain! My brother. that he so soon Hath given thee back to us. Wherefore said he so? Jehovah said not that. we are innocent: what have we Done. ADAH. CAIN. nameless sin If it be such a sin to seek for knowledge? ADAH.our sweet sister. which our brother Abel made During thine absence. thou say'st of past and present worlds. The germs of an eternal misery To myriads is within him! better 'twere I snatched him in his sleep. like to our father? CAIN. Our brother comes CAIN. while his little form Flutters as winged with joy. ADAH. Dear Cain! Nay. or Where'er thou wilt: where'er thou art. harder still. And friend to man. No: he contents him With making us the nothing which we are. Talk not of pain! The childless cherubs well might envy thee The pleasures of a parent! Bless him. there. I had beheld the immemorial works Of endless beings. And loving him? Soft! he awakes.provided that one victim Might satiate the Insatiable of life. According to the curse: . Say. CAIN. Given with a gentle and a contrite spirit. so they might live! CAIN. Visions. that we must be victims for a deed Before our birth. By sacrificing The harmless for the guilty? what atonement Were there? why. Cain! As yet he hath no words to thank thee. I have no offering.must I do more? For what should I be gentle? for a war With all the elements ere they will yield The bread we eat? For what must I be grateful? For being dust. ADAH. then. CAIN. recall thee To peace and holiness! [Exit ADAH. and When thou art gentle. 'Twere better that he ceased to live. And measures it by that which it beholds. What is that To us? they sinned. bequeath. Where? ADAH. and of joy How like to me . Hardly hours. and grovelling in the dust. Thou know'st Even for our parents error. Our sister tells me that thou hast been wandering. hail! ABEL. but of the Spirit who was with thee. CAIN. Nor hand it down to those who spring from him. Of strength. Till I return to dust? If I am nothing For nothing shall I be an hypocrite. but since That saying jars you. And how knew he. and all the power Which sways them I would not accost yon infant With ruder greeting than a father's kiss. leave us for awhile We mean to sacrifice. How know we that some such atonement one d ay May not redeem our race? CAIN. And yet I have approached that sun. and brother. CAIN. ADAH. Alas! thou sinnest now. whereupon to offer A sacrifice to God on thy return. CAIN. when they are gentle. CAIN. ADAH. I feel not The want of this so much regretted Eden. what have we here? ADAH. thy sons. ABEL. far Beyond our wonted range. ADAH. Surely. The mother's joys of watching.our sire. and our Eve.as a bribe To the Creator? ADAH. No. but I see Thy guide hath done thee evil: still I thank him. Two altars. Would I could die for them. Cain! look on him. Pleasing or painful.for what? ADAH. which he daily brings With a meek brow. and sweaten in the sun. Never! Though thy God left thee. and seen Worlds which he once shone on. too. Shall walk in that forbidden place of joy! ADAH. Of that I doubt. But bless him ne'er the less. Term him! your words are strange today. nor fathers. And can forgive him all. see how full of life. Surely a father's blessing may avert A reptile's subtlety. CAIN. nor is that thought Thy own. methought I had borrowed more by a few drops of ages From its immensity: but now I feel My littleness again.our boy . May his soft spirit. and. The mind then hath capacity of time. when gentle For then we are all alike.] Oh. And to be more than expiated by The ages prophesied. Farewell. is't not so. for we love thee. my Cain: thy words Sound impious in mine ears. Cain! that proud Spirit. and worlds he never lit: methought Years had rolled o'er my absence. my Cain. To save thee from the Serpent's curse! ADAH. And Abel's pious ministry. than give Life to so much of sorrow as he must Endure. the early.] . of beauty. CAIN. My sister Adah. That I was nothing! ADAH. beautiful. do not say so! Where were then the joys. but His heart will. of bloom. But first embrace thy son. upon our seed. CAIN. To hail his father. CAIN. my brothe r.my child! thy child! Oh. our features are Reflected in each other. boy! If that a mortal blessing may avail thee. The peace of God be on thee! CAIN. do not whisper o'er our son Such melancholy yearnings o'er the past: Why wilt thou always mourn for Paradise? Can we not make another? CAIN. Thou hast not spoken well. Thy brother Abel.how like to thee. Hath saddened thine still deeper. Love us. and son. Abel. nourishing. Here. In high communion with a Spirit. my God! Touch not the child . Then. To whom we own so much besides our birth? CAIN. as they are In the clear water.For never more thyself. Cain? Mother. 'Tis scarcely Two hours since ye departed: two long hours To me. Little deems our young blooming sleeper. And Zillah . and never more Shall light. Why. skirred [18] extinguished worlds. why so awful in thy speech? CAIN. And. gazing on eternity. Have I not thee . Would have composed thy mind into the calm Of a contented knowledge. CAIN. with her child. and thine own too. my Cain! And love thyself for our sakes. then let them die! ADAH. resolves It back to dust again . Well said the Spirit. but only hours upon the sun. is among the debts we owe her. whose base hu mility Shows more of fear than worship . And seem well-pleased with pain? For what should I Be contrite? for my father's sin. The fruits of the earth. Why then commune with him? he may be A foe to the Most High. and tilled. Yes . And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine. than let him live to ADAH. It shall. And after flattering dust with glimpses of Eden and Immortality. ADAH.Death. So soon? ADAH. Cain! CAIN. and sire. CAIN. little or almighty. and dashed him 'gainst The rocks. Then leave me! ADAH. Blossom and bud -and bloom of flowers and fruits These are a goodly offering to the Lord. Welcome. Oh. so say I . I said. 'tis well done. Was he of those We have seen and spoken with. ADAH.] ABEL. Sweet Enoch! [She goes to the child. let us only say 'Twere better that he never had been born. Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms. And that our little rosy sleeper there Might never taste of death nor human sorrow.if so you term him? ABEL. Fear not! for all the stars. I had hoped The promised wonders which thou hast beheld. already Expiate with what we all have undergone. [Enter ABEL. that I would be so ready With the burnt offerings. Bless thee. One altar may suffice. Has the Most High been so . I have toiled. or need have victims to Atone for this mysterious.

Or. CAIN.but yet accept it for The thanksgiving of him who spreads it in The face of thy high heaven . Nor suffer any ABEL [rising]. Compared with our great crimes: . ABEL.the Unbounded . If.ABEL. save in thy will And whether that be good or ill I know not. [They dress their altars. of which he is . Now prepare Thine offerings. moons. I pray thee To do so now: thy soul seems laboring in Some strong delusion. And I will follow . Abel. but still to be fulfilled! Accept from out thy humble first of shepherds' First of the first-born flocks . may seem Good to thee . But I have ne'er Asserted it. Jehovah upon earth! and God in heaven! And it may be with other names. What mean'st thou? CAIN.thy God loves blood! . Another sacrifice! Give way. Look on it! and for him who dresseth it. as have made me Unfit for mortal converse: leave me.and. ABEL [opposing him]. Strike him! thou art omnipotent. and who breathed the breath of life Within our nostrils. with its blood of lambs and kids. Brother.in honor Of thee. and scatters the fruits abroad upon the earth. What shall I do? ABEL. Brother. Behold them hereThe firstlings of the flock. receive them. and of thy name. Shown in the exemption of thy deeds from evil. as thou wilt! since all Rests upon thee. To the pain of the bleating mo thers. Give Give way! . and must Yield what it yieldeth to my toil . and ascends to heaven. and glory. because Thine attributes seem many. CAIN. No. He is . And altar without gore. when thick with blood! ABEL. It means . which smokes On my right hand. My Abel. although I have seen the elements stilled. and precede me in Our priesthood . nor fit to judge Omnipotence . which thus far I have endured. Choose for me: they to me are so much turf And stone.'tis thy place. Oh. Choose one of those two altars.] Behold them in their various bloom and ripeness. or else That sacrifice may be ABEL.as what offering can be Aught unto thee? . as thy work s: If thou must be propitiated with prayers. CAIN. Spurn me not. From earth they came. upon their loud-voiced spheres Singing in thunder round me. lead thou the way. The smoky harbinger of thy dull prayers Thine altar.but let it be alone At least. except to some good end Of thine omnipotent benevolence! Inscrutable. we must perform our task togethe r. ABEL.'tis hallowed now By the immortal pleasure of Jehovah. Thou shalt not: . ABEL. Nothing can calm me more. Oh. brother. Take them! If thou must be induced with altars. Abel. CAIN. And suits thee. Not till we have prayed and sacrificed together.its fruit. Two beings here erect them unto thee. I have chosen. Suns. the shepherd's shrine. To try another sacrifice. Thine eyes are flashing with unnatural light Thy cheek is flushed with an unnatural hue Thy words are frau ght with an unnatural sound What may this mean? CAIN. which Still yearn for their dead offspring? or the pangs Of the sad ignorant victims underneath Thy pious knife? Give way! this bloody record Shall not stand in the sun. as to Accord a pardon like a Paradise. Why so? ABEL. I have no flocks. Thou art fitter for his worship than I am. without me. His! His pleasure! what was his high pleasure in The fumes of scorching flesh and smoking blood. [He gathers fruits. to earth let them return.inasmuch as they have not Suffered in limb or life . ere he hath more! ABEL. Their seed will bear fresh fruit there ere the summer: Thy burnt-flesh offering prospers better. And softened with a sacrifice. The dead The Immortal . hath shed it for thy service In the first of his flock. CAIN.an offering.well. to make His children all lost. give back! thou shall not touch my altar With violence: if that thou wilt adopt it. CAIN.as I may. 'Tis the highest. ABEL. I revered thee not. ABEL. sacrifice alone Jehovah loves thee well. Omnipotent. and Good and Evil seem To have no power themselves.then look to it: Give way. In his great name. I should ill Deserve the name of our great father's son. To cast down yon vile flatterer of the clouds. 'tis thine. it may be . as the elder. [The fire upon the altar of ABEL kindles into a column of the brightest flame. which the unstained turf I spread them on now offers in the face Of the broad sun which ripened them. Which fed on milk. In itself nothing . Neither. CAIN. If it must be so .] ABEL [kneeling]. if the sweet and blooming fruits of earth.before It is too late. then. whose limbs now reek In sanguinary incense to thy skies. to be destroyed in blood. Where are thine? ABEL.add not impious works to impious Words! let that altar stand . . see How Heaven licks up the flames. ABEL. CAIN. Thy fruits are scattered on the earth. But thee the better: I care not for that.Sole Lord of light! Of good. Nor what thou hast seen? CAIN. ABEL. may win thy favor. while a whirlwind throws down the altar of CAIN. I pray thee. called not On thee to join me. to shame creation! ABEL. then . and with whom Nothing can err. CAIN. I will build no more altars. I am a tiller of the ground. leave me. CAIN. and seeks nothing Which must be won by kneeling: if he's evil. ABEL. as my elder. and fat thereof A shepherd's humble offering. as the elder. Where hast thou been? CAIN. offer first Thy prayer and thanksgiving with sacrifice. ABEL. Cain! what meanest thou? CAIN. for evermore! CAIN [standing erect during this speech]. pray! Jehovah's wroth with thee. as they might have been. it will calm thee. Strike him! or spare him. despite our father's sin. In his acceptance of the victims. But make another of thine own . And spared. Not being omnipotent. CAIN. Think not upon my offering's acceptance.bowing his own Even to the dust. and eternity! Without whom all were evil. Spirit whate'er or whose'er thou art. I know not. ABEL [kneeling]. My brother.the Omnipotent The overpowering mysteries of space The innumerable worlds that were and areA whirlwind of such overwhelming things. and kindle a flame upon them. CAIN. leave me! Or let me leave thee to thy pious purpose. And milder seasons. CAIN.but merely to endure Its mandate.I pray thee.I am new to this.such as thou mad'st him. Both well. Had not thy justice been so tempered with The mercy which is thy delight. The more my grief. God! Who made us. If thou lov'st blood. I stand between thee and the shrine which hath Had his acceptance. if good. than supplication To look on ours! If a shrine without victim. who hath blessed us. Revere him. and earth. I hope. CAIN. and may'st For what can he oppose? If he be good.] ABEL.and rather form A sample of thy works. No . And in the worship of our God. Calm! say I? Never Knew I what calm was in the soul. Choose thou! CAIN.

too.] ZILLAH. Oh! for a word more of that gentle voice.stir . and then looks at it.[1'9] ADAM. I am awake at last . Abel! Jehovah! this is punishment beyond A mother's sin. What hast thou done . calling on her Parents.No. Through all the coming myriads of mankind.Who makes me brotherless? His eyes are open! then he is not dead! Death is like sleep.who hath done this? He moves not. and shouldst have stepped in Between him and aggression! Fath er! .'tis wet. as he broke That of his nature. ABEL. in yon .that's well! . when he is gone Who hath provided for us this dread office. EVE. Cain! get thee forth: we dwell no more together. Come. Cain! and say it was not thou! EVE. Ah! a livid light Breaks through. was it some more hostile angel. which he snatches from the altar].he hangs his guilty head.his heart! Let me see. And my betrothed. [Puts his hand to his brow. Brother! ABEL. Who walks not with Jehovah? or some wild Brute of the forest? EVE. give me .Looking slowly round. etc. Depart! and leave the dead to me .but he shall ne'er awake! [Enter ADAM. and red with ADAM. Zillah! ZILLAH. He hath left thee no brother Zillah no husband . [ABEL dies. .Oh Death! Death! Why didst thou not take me. but not fatally. why then he breathes. I love God far more Than life. part not with him thus.thou breathest! breathe upon me! Oh God! Oh God! ABEL [very faintly]. What Dost thou there. Jehovah! May the eternal Serpent's curse be on him! For he was fitter for his seed than ours. EVE. fratricide! henceforth that word is Cain. whom I have brought upon the earth To strew it with the dead. Heaven! What means this paleness. Come. That I may bear to hear my own again! [Enter ZILLAH.His heart! . Hold! Curse him not. Cain. mother. Stand back till I have strewed this turf along Its native soil: . A voice of woe from Zillah brings me here What do I see? . Hear. Yet one kiss on yon pale clay. he will wake. Who shall abhor thee. Life cannot be so slight.] ADAM. Stir .] And yet there are no dews! 'Tis blood .] Where am I? alone! Where's A bel? where Cain? Can it be that I am he? My brother. for who would shed his blood? Abel! what's this? . If thou lov'st thyself. thou dost him wrong Cain! clear thee from this horrible accusal. EVE. mock me not! I smote Too fiercely. I must watch my husband's corse. And yet I feel it not. May all his days be desolate! May ADAH. Speak. let it be borne In such sort as may s how our God. ADAH. CAIN [striking him with a brand. since thou Wert present. what can it be? 'Tis Cain.the leaves On which he lays his head to sleep be strewed With scorpions! May his dreams be of his victim! His waking a continual dread of Death! May the clear rivers turn to blood as he Stoops down to stain them with his raging lip! May every element shun or change to him! May he live in the pangs which others die with! And Death itself wax something worse than Death To him who first acquainted him with man! Hence. What's he who speaks of God? CAIN. .else ABEL [opposing him]. Then may God forgive him! Cain. Mother. . to take him from me! ADAM.me no son! for thus I curse him from my sight for evermore! All bonds I break between us. Awake! .she has but one brother Now.my brother? CAIN.we never must meet more. Speak.Is silence death? No. Which grief wrings from our parent. ADAH.'Tis true! .my blood My brother's and my own! and shed by me! Then what have I further to do with life.Cain. As if he would not have asserted his Inexorable claim without my aid.no! This is a vision. and thine! EVE. behold the Serpent's work. before I knew His aspect . though thou wert their sire! May the grass wither from thy feet! the woods Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust A grave! the sun his light! and heaven her God! [Exit EVE.] CAIN [solus].My brother! . Comfort poor Zillah: .yet . no! It is not blood. mother. Or what hath done this deed? . Zillah! ZILLAH. my son! Speak. Thy natural grief.speak. ABEL [falls].] ADAM. so . and sleep shuts down our lids. and tell Poor Zillah CAIN [after a moment's stupefaction]. doth it beat? methinks . May all the curses Of life be on him! and his agonies Drive him forth o'er the wilderness.why liest thou so long on the green earth? 'Tis not the hour of slumber: . Since he loves lives.what is this? . for brethren Smite not each other. He breathes not: and his hands drop down from mine With stony lifelessness! Ah! cruel Cain! Why camest thou not in time to save him from This violence? Whatever hath assailed him. Ah. Eve! let not this. brother? Doth he sleep? Oh.CAIN. . and watching by my husband. as from a thunder -cloud! yon brand Massy and bloody! snatched from off the altar. who first incurred thee? Why dost thou not so now? ADAM. and given My brother to his cold and still embrace.who abhor The name of Death so deeply. that we Are faithful servants to his holy will. Then take thy life unto thy God. And who hath brought him there? . as to be quenched Thus quickly! . Oh. Oh. God! receive thy servant! and Forgive his slayer.speak to me.thou wert full of life this morn! Abel! I pray thee. for he is thy son Curse him not. The earth swims round me: .No! . Thy murderer. ADAH.come hither! Death is in the world! [Exit ZILLAH. wretched as we are. like us From Eden. till his children do by him As he did by his brother! May the swords And wings of fiery Cherubim pursue him By day and night .'twas a blow And but a blow. His lips. We will return again. and yon stream? .snakes spring up in his path Earth's fruits be ashes in his mouth . Thou wert the stronger. Who. And now that it begins.No: He will not answer to that name.a dreary dream Had maddened me. And covers his ferocious eye with hands Incarnadine! ADAH. I heard a heavy sound. for he knew not what He did .] Woman. that the thought Empoisoned all my life. It was! I see it now . my father: do not Add thy deep curse to Eve's upon his head! ADAM.I . Oh! speak not of it now: the Serpent's fangs Are in my heart! My best beloved. and with What? [A long pause. for his is my brother. And only done to daunt me: . and assure us.why so pale? What hast thou! .I am Henceforth alone . My hand! 'tis all red. and ZILLAH. I curse him not: his spirit be his curse. His will! the will of yon Incarnate Spirit Of Death. Since I have taken life from my own flesh? But he can not be dead! . on the temples. EVE [pointing to CAIN].] CAIN. only stir! Why.he hath spoken to me since What shall I say to him? . are apart. Yet .Eve! Adah! .give me thy hand.I have led him here. And I none! .My son! . why Wouldst thou oppose me? This is mockery. lead to impiety! A heavy doom was long forespoken to us. That we are not more miserable still. And black with smoke. then let me watch by him. else I am become The native of another and worse world .nay.my son! [To EVE.

by Mary Collyer) was published in 1791. Has been thy lot! Of all who mourn for thee. I will bear Enoch. 18 Passed swiftly through. 7 Cuvier's studies of fossilized bones were being published in France at about the same time that Byron was writing Cain. Oh! thou dead And everlasting witness! whose unsinking Blood darkens earth and heaven! what thou now art I know not! but if thou seest what I am. And might have tempered this stern blood of mine. my brother. Hear'st thou that voice? THE VOICE WITHIN. nor his own soul. so that he may go forth in safety. nor walk the wilderness Under the cloud of night. just below the Seraphs. But it shall not be so . It must not be. Cain! Cain! ADAH. Would they could! but who are they Shall slay me? Where are these on the lone earth As yet unpeopled? ANGEL. I am ready. is done. After the fall too soon was I begotten. CAIN. but he Thou slew'st was gentle as the flocks he tended. 'Tis the most desolate. 'Twill come to pass. which opened late her mouth To drink thy brother's blood from thy rash hand. No. [The ANGEL sets the mark on CAIN 's brow.Farewell! I must not.thine own. I will not leave thee lonely with the dead Let us depart together.] ANGEL. I am. 3 Solomon Gesner's "Death of Abel (trans. The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated on the Principles of a Religious Deast (1741).] ADAH. Henceforth. I must not speak of this . . I think thou wilt forgive him. As the ground thou must henceforth till. 16 These two Principles may be an insta nce of the Manicheism that Byron confessed to putting in the poem: light and dark.And those lips once so warm . And I lie ghastly! so shall be restored By God the life to him he loved. I would CAIN [interrupting her]. My office is Henceforth to dry up tears. 14 Punished. Uniting with our children Abel's offspring! 0 Abel! ADAH.D. 20 Four rivers were said to encircle Eden. and Bishop of Llandaff in 1782. unto the Lord! . all have left thee. whom his God Can ne'er forgive. that whoso findeth him Shall slay him.Nay. we must go forth. And you his sister. A VOICE from within exclaims. . Cain! Cain! ADAH. but him who slew thee. But with me![Exeunt.it is between thee And the great God. Think'st thou my boy will bear to look on me? ADAH. Even from the ground.I will follow thee. Regius Professor of Divinity in 1771. 9 Prayers. . 6 Thomas Warburton. CAIN. And wherefore lingerest thou? Dost thou not fear To dwell with one who hath done this? ADAH. Who slayeth Cain. nor did I make myself but could I With my own death redeem him from the dust And why not so? let him return today. Am I then My brother's keeper? ANGEL. 10 Willingly. If I thought that he would not. CAIN. Which might have graced his recent marriage couch. I hear our little Enoch cry within Our bower. What Wouldst thou with me? ANGEL. held that the world is governed by two competing deities: a god of darkness who made the body and a god of light who was responsible for the soul. and taken From me a being I ne'er loved to bear. 19 Corpse. will be Jesus. A fugitive and vagabond on earth. This punishment is more than he can bear. CAIN. I alone must not weep. It soundeth like an angel's tone. Then he would but be what his father is. ADAH. Ere the sun declines Let us depart. A dreary. Angel of Light! be merciful. ANGEL. and an early doom. 11 The Cherubs are members of the second order of angels. Ere yet my mother's mind subsided from The Serpent. Cain! what hast thou done? The voice of thy slain brother's blood cries out. and not to shed them. a sevenfold vengeance shall Be taken on his head. and may our God Be thine! Now let us carry forth our children. 12 Girdled. Now. 5 The quotation is from Sir Walter Scott's Waverly (1814). none mourn like me. . Did not the milk of Eve give nutriment To him thou now seest so besmeared with blood? The fratricide might well engender paricides. good and evil. Cain! thou hast heard. No. 17 Both blood-red and of the flesh. I. I did not seek For life. but nought to that which is within it! Is there more? let me meet it as I may. Leave me! ADAH. CAIN.] ADAH. speak to me. Who shall heal murder? what is done. Come hither! CAIN. In fondness brotherly and boyish.compose thy limbs into their grave The first grave yet dug for mortality. And who shall warrant thee against thy son? ADAH. let us go forth. a fugitive shalt thou Be from this day. Cain! I will divide thy burden with thee.] CAIN. ANGEL. 15 Judge or conclude. He's gone. Peace be with him! CAIN. 2 The allusion is to Paradise Lost (1667). Where is thy brother Abel? CAIN. That which I am. surrounded 13 That One.my heart! my heart! [Exeunt ADAM and ZILLAH weeping. Eastward from Eden will we take our way. let me die! ANGEL. and my sire still mourned for Eden. Behold thou drivest him from the face of earth. Why. Not only for thyself. who sprung from the same womb with thee. But who bath dug that grave? Oh. No more of threats: we have had too many of them: Go to our children . which thou shouldst have done For me . Stern hast thou been and stubborn from the womb. earth! Oh. CAIN. CAIN. But yet of all who mourn.the Lord thy God And mine commandeth me to set his seal On Cain. It burns My brow. 4 The Manicheans in the third century A. 8 See Opere Inediti (1804) by Vittorio Alfieri ( 1749-1803). much as I Shrink from the deed which leaves thee brotherless. I Give thee back this. ADAM. To me . and suits my steps. And from the face of God shall he be hid. God and Lucifer. CAIN. CAIN. earth! For all the fruits thou hast rendered to me. I Can never meet thee more.] ADAH.] 1822] NOTES 1 Richard Watson (1737-1816) was appointed Moderator of the Schools in 1762. Thou hast slain thy brother. I fear Nothing except to leave thee. heaven and hell all take on such Manichean aspects in Cain. drained The same breast clasped thee often to my own.Now for the wilderness! [ADAH stoops down and kisses the body of ABEL. Ah! little knows he what he weeps for! And I who have shed blood cannot shed tears! But the four rivers [20] would not cleanse my soul. when thou shalt till the ground. and vagabond on earth! ADAH. [Enter the ANGEL of the Lord. So shall our children be. nor even dare To do that for thee. dare not touch what I have made thee. Lead! thou shalt be my guide. it shall not Yield thee her strength. of course. Go forth! fulfil thy days! and be thy deeds Unlike the last! [The ANGEL disappears.Now art thou Cursed from the earth. To mark upon thy brow Exemption from such deeds as thou hast done. and of his father. nor say That this poor aching breast now nourishes A murderer in my boy. And he who lieth there was childless! I Have dried the fountain of a gentle race. ANGEL.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->