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Lucifer. No! By heaven, which He Cain. Ay, the last-
[They go up to the child. him-No!
How lovely he appears! his little cheeks, I have a victor-true ; but no superior. In their pure incarnation, vying with Homage he has from all-but none from me: The rose-leaves strewn beneath them. I battle it against him, as I battled Adah. And his lips, too, In highest heaven. Through all eternity, How beautifully parted! No; you shall not And the unfathomable gulfs of Hades, Kiss him, at least not now: he will awake And the interminable realms of space, And the infinity of endless ages,
His hour of mid-day rest is nearly over; All. all, will I dispute! And world by world, But it were pity to disturb him till And star by star, and universe by universe 'Tis closed. Shall tremble in the balance, till the great Cain. You have said well; I will contain Conflict shall cease, if ever it shall cease, My heart till then. He smiles, and sleeps! Which it ne'er shall, till he or I be quench’d! Sleep on And what can quench our immortality, And smile, thou little, young inheritor Or mutual and irrevocable hate?
of a world scarce less young: sleep on, He as a conqueror will call the conquer'd
and smile! Eril; but what will be the good he gives? | Thine are the hours and days when both Were I the victor,his works would be deem'd
are cheering The only evil ones. And you, ye new And innocent! thou hast not pluck'd the And scarce-born mortals, what have been
fruit his gists
Thou knowst not thou art naked ! Must the To you already in your little world ?
time Cain. But few; and some of those but bitter. Come thou shalt be amerced for sins Lucifer. Back
unknown, With me, then, to thine earth, and try the rest Which were not thine nor mine? But now Of his celestial boons to ye and yours.
sleep on! Evil and good are things in their own essence, His cheeks are reddening into deeper smiles, And not made good or evil by the giver; And shining lids are trembling o'er his long But if he gives you good—so call him; if Lashes, dark as the cypress which waves Evil springs from him, do not name it mine, o'er them; Till ye know better its true fount; and judge Half open, from beneath them the clear blue Not by words, though of spirits, but the fruits Laughs out, although in slumber. He must Of y your existence, such as it must be.
dream One good gift has the fatal apple given- of what? Of Paradise!-Ay! dream of it, Your reason :- let it not be over-sway'd My disinherited boy! 'Tis but a dream; By tyrannous threats to force you into faith For never more thyself, thy sons, nor fathers, "Gainst all external sense and inward feeling: Shall walk in that forbidden place of joy! Think and endure,—and form an inner world Adah. Dear Cain! Nay, do not whisper In your own bosom_where the outward fails;
o'er our son So shall you nearer be the spiritual Such melancholy yearnings o'er the past : Nature, and war triumphant with your own. Why wilt thou always mourn for Paradise?
[They disappear. Can we not make another?
Adah. Here, or
Where'er thou wilt: where'er thou art, I
feel not SCENE I. — The Earth near Eden, as in Act 1. The want of this so much regretted Eden. Enter CaiN and Adal.
Have I not thee, our boy, our sire, and
brother, Adah. Hush! tread softly, Cain.
And Zillah-our sweet sister, and our Eve, Cain. I will; but wherefore?
To whom we owe so much besides our birth? Adah. Our little Enoch sleeps upon yon bed
Cain. Yes -- death, too, is amongst the Of leaves, beneath the cypress.
debts we owe her.
Adah. Cain! that proud spirit, who withA. gloomy tree, which looks as if it mourn’d drew thee hence, O'er what it shadows; wherefore didst thou Hath sadden'd thine still deeper. I had hoped
The promised wonders which thou hast
beheld, Adah. Because its branches Shut out the sun like night, and therefore
Visions, thou sayst, of past and present
worlds, Filling to shadow slumber.
Would have composed thy mind into the
Cain. Cypress! 'tis
choose it For our child's canopy?
Of a contented knowledge; but I see Adah. Alas! thou sinnest now my Cain; Thy guide hath done thee evil: still I thy words thank him,
Sound impious in mine ears. And can forgive him all, that he so soon Cain. Then leave me! llath given thee back to us.
Adah. Never, Cain. So soon?
Though thy God left thec. Adah. 'Tis scarcely
Cain. Say, what have we here? Two hours since ye departed: two long hours Adah. Two altars, which our brother To me, but only hours upon the sun.
Abel made Cain. And yet I have approach'd that During thine absence, wherenpon to offer sun, and seen
A sacrifice to God on thy return. Worlds which he once shone on, and never Cain. And how knew he, that I would
be so ready Shall light; and worlds he never lit: me- With the burnt offerings, which he daily thought
brings Years had rollid o'er my absence.
With a meek brow, whose base humility Adah. Hardly hours.
Shows more of fear than worship, as a bribe Cain. The mind then hath capacity of To the Creator ? time,
Adah. Surely, 'tis well done. And measures it by that which it beholds, Cain. One altar may suffice; I have no Pleasing or painful; littlc or almighty.
offering I had beheld the immemorial works
Adah. The fruits of the earth, the early, Of endless beings; skirr'd extinguish'd
Blossom and bud, and bloom of flowers, And, gazing on eternity, methought
and fruits; I had borrow'd more by a few drops of ages These are a goodly offering to the Lord. From its immensity; but now I feel Given with a gentle and a contrite spirit. My littleness again. Well said the spirit, Cain I have toild, and tillid, and sweaten That I was nothing!
in the sun Adah. Wherefore said he so?
According to the curse:-must I do more? Jehovah said not that.
For what should I be gentle? for a war Cain. No: he contents him
With all the elements ere they will yield With making us the nothing which we are; The bread we eat? For what must I be i And after flattering dust with glimpses of grateful ? Eden and Immortality, resolves
For being dust, and groveling in the dust, It back to dust again—for what?
Till I return to dust? If I am nothingAdah. Thou knowat
For nothing shall I be an hypocrite, Even for our parents' error.
And seem well pleased with pain? For Cain, What is that
what should I To us? they sinn'd, then let them die! Be contrite ? for my father's sin, already Adah. Thou hast not spoken well, nor Expiate with what we all have undergone, is that thought
And to be more than expiated by Thy own, but of the spirit who was with The ages prophesied, upon our sced? thee.
Little deems our young blooming sleeper, Would I could dic for them, so they inight
The germ of an eternal misery Cain. Why, so say |--provided that one To myriads is within him! better 'twere victim
I snatch'd him in his sleep, and dash'd him Might satiate the insatiable of life,
'gainst And that our little rosy sleeper there The rocks, than let him live toMight never taste of death nor buman Adah. Oh, my God!
Touch not the child—my child! thy child! Nor hand it down to those who spring from
Oh Cain ! him.
Cain. Fear not! for all the stars, and Adah. How know we that some such
all the power atonement one day
Which sways them, I would not accost yon May not redeem our race?
infant Cain. By sacrificing
With rnder greeting than a father's kiss. The harmless for the guilty? what atonement Adah. Then, why so awful in thy speech! Were there? why, we are innocent: what Cain. I said, have we
'Twere better that he ceased to live,than give Done, that we must be victims for a deed Life to so much of sorrow as he must Before our birth, or need have victims to Endure, and, harder still,bequeath ; but since Atone for this mysterious, nameless sin- That saying jars you, let us only say If it be such a sin to seek for knowledge? Twere better that he never had been born.
Adak. Oh, do not say so! Where were Cain. The dead, then the joys,
The immortal, the unbounded, the omniThe mother's joys of watching, nourishing, potent, And loving him? Soft! he awakes. Sweet The overpowering mysteries of space
Enoch! (She goes to the child. The innumerable worlds that were and areOh Cain! look on him; see how full of life, A whirlwind of such overwhelming things, Of strength, of bloom, of beauty, and of joy, Suns, moons, and earths, upon their loudHow like to me-- how like to thee, when
voiced spheres gentle,
Singing in thunder round me, as have For then we are all alike; is 't not so, Cain?
made me Mother, and sire, and son, our features are Unfit for mortal converse: leave me, Abel. Reflected in cach other; as they are Abel. Thine eyes are flashing with nnIn the clear waters, when they are gentle, and natural lightWhen thou art gentle. Love us,then,my Cain! Thy cheek is flush'd with unnatnral hueAnd love thyself for our sakes, for we love Thy words are fraught with an unnatural thee.
soundLook! how he laughs and stretches out his What may this mean? arms,
Cain. It means
pray thee, leave me. And opens wide his blue eyes npon thinc, Abel. Not till we have pray'd and sacriTo hail his father; while his little form
ficed together. Flutters as wing'd with joy. Talk not of pain! Cain. Abel, I pray thee, sacrifice aloneThe childless cherubs well might envy thee Jehovah loves thee well. The pleasures of a parent! Bless him, Cain! Abel. Both well, I hope. As yet he hath no words to thank thee, but Cain. But thee the better: I care not His heart will, and thine own too.
for that; Cain, Bless thee, boy!
Thou art fitter for his worship than I am: If that a mortal blessing may avail thee, Revere him, then -- but let it be aloneTo save thee from the serpent's curse!
At least without me. Adah. It shall.
Abel. Brother, I should ill Surely a father's blessing may avert
Deserve the name of our great father's son, A reptile's subtlety.
If as my elder I revered thee not, Cain. Of that I doubt ;
And in the worship of our God callid not But bless him ne'er the less.
On tliee to join me, and precede me in Adah. Our brother comes.
Our priesthood—'tis thy place. Cain. Thy brother Abel.
Cain. But I have ne'er
Abel. The more my grief ; I pray thee Abel. Welcome, Cain! My brother, To do so now: thy soul seems labouring in The peace of God be on thee!
Some strong delusion; it will calm thee. (ain. Abel, hail!
(ain. No; Abel. Our sister tells me that thou hast Nothing can calm me more. Calm! say I? been wandering,
Never In high communion with a spirit, far Knew I what calm was in the soul, although Beyond our wonted range. Was he of those I have seen the elements still’d. My Abel, We have seen and spoken with, like to
leave me! our father ?
Or let me leave thee to thy pious purpose. Cain. No.
Abel. Neither ; we must perform our Abel. Why then commune with him? he task together.
Spurn me not. A foe to the Most High.
Cain. If it must be so-well, then, (ain. And friend to man.
What shall I do? Has the Most High been so — if so you Abel. Choose one of those two altars. term him?
Cain. Choose for me: they to me are Abel. Term him! your words are strange
so much turf to-day, my brother.
And stone. My sister Adah leave us for a while
Abel. Choose thou ! We mean to sacrifice.
Cain. I have chosen. Adah. Farewell, my Cain;
Abel. "Tis the highest, But first embrace thy son. May his soft spirit, And suits thee, as the elder. Now prepare And Abel's pious ministry, recall thee Thine offerings. To peace and holiness!
Cain. Where are thine ? (Erit Adah, with her child. Abel. Behold them hereAbel. Where hast thou been ?
The firstlings of the flock, and fat thereof Cain. I know not.
A shepherd's humble offering. Abel. Nor what thou hast seen?
Cain. I have no flocks;
I am a tiller of the ground, and must Look on it! and for him who dresseth it, Yield what it yieldeth to my toil--its fruit: He is—such as thou mad'st him; and seeks
(He gathers fruits. nothing Behold them in their various blooin and Which must be won by kneeling: if he's evil, ripeness.
Strike him ! thou art omnipotent, and [They dress their altars, and mayst,-
kindle a flame upon them. For what can he oppose? If he be good, Abel. My brother, as the elder, offer first Strike him,or spare him, as thou wilt! Thy prayer and thanksgiving with sacrifice.
since all Čain. No-I am new to this; lead thou Rests upon thee; and good and evil seemi
To have no power themselves, save in thy And I will follow—as I may.
will; Abel (kneeling). Oh God!
And whether that be good or ill I know not, Who made us, and who breathed the breath Not being omnipotent, nor fit to judge of life
Omnipotence, but merely to endure Within our nostrils, who hath blessed us, Its mandate ; which thus far I have endured. And spared, despite our father's sin, to make The fire upon the altar of Abel kindles His children all lost,as they might have been, into a column of the brightest flame, Had not thy justice been so temper'd with and ascends to heaven ; while a whirlThe mercy which is thy delight, as to
wind throws down the altar of Cain, Accord a pardon like a Paradise,
and scatters the fruits abroad upon Compared with our great crimes:- Sole
the earth. Lord of light!
Abel (kneeling). Oh, brother , pray! Of good, and glory, and eternity;
Jehovah 's wroth with thee! Without whom all were evil,and with whom Cain. Why so ? Nothing can err, except to some good end Abel. Thy fruits are scatter'd on the earth. Of thine omnipotent benevolence
Cain. From earth they came, to earth Inscrutable, but still to be fulfilld
let them return; Accept from out thy humble first of Their seed will bear fresh fruit there ere shepherd's
the summer : First of the first-born flocks-an offering, Thy burnt flesh-offoring prospers better; sce In itself nothing -- as what offering can be How heaven licks up the flames, when Aught unto thee?- but yet accept it for
thick with blood ! The thanksgiving of him who spreads it in Abel. Think not upon my off'rings’ acThe face of thy high heaven, bowing his own
ceptance, Even to the dust, of which he is, in honour But make another of thine own before Of thee, and of thy name, for evermore! It is too late.
Cain (standing erect during this speech). Cain. I will build no more altars, Spirit! whate'er or whosoe'er thou art,
Nor suffer anyOmnipotent, it may be—and, if good, Abel (rising). Cain! what meanest thou? Shown in the exemption of thy deeds from Cain. To cast down yon vile flatt'rer of evil;
the clouds, Jehovah upon earth! and God in heaven! The smoky harbinger of thy dull prayersAnd it may be with other names, because Thine altar, with its blood of lambs and kids, Thine attributes seem many, as thy works:- Which fed on milk, to be destroy'd in blood. If thou must be propitiated with prayers, Abel (opposing him). Thou shalt not:Take them! If thou must be induced with add not impions works to impious
Words!let that altar stand_'tis hallow'd now And soften’d with a sacrifice, receive them! By the immortal pleasure of Jehovah, Two beings here erect them onto thee. In his acceptance of the victims. If thou lov'st blood, the shepherd's shrine, Cain. His! which smokes
His pleasure! what was his high pleasure in On my right hand, hath shed it for thy service The fumes of scorching flesh and smoking In the first of his flock, whose limbs now reek
blood, In sanguinary incense to thy skies; To the pain of the bleating mothers, which Or if the sweet and blooming fruits of earth, Still yearn for their dead offspring ? or the And milder seasons, which the unstain'd turf
pangs I spread them on now offers in the face of the sad ignorant victims underneath of the broad sun which ripend them, may Thy pious knife ? Give way! this bloody
record Good to thee, inasmuch as they have not shall not stand in the sun, to shame creation! Suffer'd in limb or life, and rather form Abel. Brother, give back! thou shalt A sample of thy works, than supplication
not touch my altar To look on ours! Ifa shrine withont victim, With violence: if that thou wilt adopt it. And altar without gore, may win thy favour, To try another sacrifice, 'tis tine.
Cain. Another sacrifice!Give way, or else | The native of another and worse world. That sacrifice may be
The earth swims round me :-what is this? Abel. What meanest thou ?
'tis wet ; Cain. Give
(Puts his hand to his brou, and then Give way! thy God loves blood !-- then
looks at it. look to it:
And yet there are no dews! 'Tis blood-my Give way, ere he hath more!
bloodAbel. In his great name,
My brother's and my own; and shed by me! I stand between thee and the shrine which Then what have I further to do with life, hath
Since I have taken life from my own flesh? Had his acceptance.
But he can not be dead !-Is silence death? Cain. If thou lov'st thyself,
No; he will wake: then let me watch by him. Stand back till I have strew'd this turf along Life cannot be so slight, as to be quench'd Its native soil:-else
Thus quickly!_he hath spoken to me since Abel (opposing him). I love God far niore What shall I say to him? - My brother!– No; Than life.
He will not answer to that name; for Cain. (striking him on the temples, with
brethren a brand, which he snatches from the Smite not each other. Yet-yet_speak to me. altar.)
Oh! for a word more of that gentle voice, Then take thy life unto thy God, That I may bear to hear my own again I Since he loves lives.
Enter ZILLAI Abel (falls). What hast thou dono, my brother?
Zillah. I heard a heavy sound : what can Cain. Brother!
it be ? Abel. Oh, God! receive thy servant, and 'Tis Cain; and watching by my husband. Forgive his slayer, for he knew not what
What He did. - Cain, give me-give me thy hand; Dost thou there, brother? Doth he sleep? and tell
Oh! heaven! Poor Zillah
What means this paleness, and yon stream? Cain (after a moments stupefaction).
-No! no! My hand! 'tis all red, and with-what? It is not blood; for who would shed his blood?
(A long pause.- Looking slowly round. Abel! what's this?—who hath done this? Where am I? alone! Where's Abel ? where
He moves not; Cain? Can it be that I am he ? My brother, He breathes not: and his hands drop down Awake! – why liest thou so on the green
from mine earth?
With stony lifelessness! Ah! cruel Cain! Tis not the hour of slumber :- why so pale? Why cam’st thou not in time to save him What bast thou !- thou wert full of life
from this morn!
This violence? Whatever hath assail'd him, Abel! I pray thee, mock me not! I smote Thou wert the stronger, and shouldst have Too fiercely, but not fatally. Ah, why
stepp'd in Wouldst thou oppose me? This is mockery; Between him and aggression! Father! And only done to daunt me :-'twas a blow
Eve! And but a blow. Stir-stir-nay, only stir! Adah!- come hither! Death is in the world! Why, so-that's well! – thou breath'st!
[Erit Zillah, calling on her parents. breathe upon me!
Cain (solus). And who hath brought him 1 Oh, God! Oh, God!
there?-I-who abhor Abel (very faintly). What's he who speaks The name of Death so deeply, that the of God?
thought Cain. Thy murderer.
Empoison'd all my life, before I knew Abel. Then may God forgive him! Cain, His aspect--I have led him here, and given Comfort poor Zillah : – she has but one My brother to his cold and still embrace, brother
As if he would not have asserted his Now.
[Abel dies. Inexorable claim without my aid. Cain. And 1 none! Who makes me I am awake at last-a dreary dream brotherless ?
Had madden'd me;—but he shall ne'er His eyes are open! then he is not dead!
awake! Death is like sleep; and sleep shuts down our lids.
Enter Adam, Eve, Adar, and ZILLAL. His lips, ton, are apart; why then he Adam. A voice of woe from Zillah brings breathes !
me here.And yet I feel it not.--His heart !- his What do I see ?_Tis true! - My son!
heart! Let me see, doth it beat?-methinks_No!_no! Woman, behold the serpent's work, and This is a vision, else I am become