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LUCIFER.
And who and what doth not? Who covets evil
For its own bitter sake?- None-nothing! 'tis
The leaven of all life and lifelessness.

CAIN.
Within those glorious orbs which we behold,
Distant and dazzling, and innumerable,
Ere we came down into this phantom realm,
Ill cannot comc; they are too beautiful.

This question of my father; and he said,
Because this evil only was the path
To good. Strange good, that must arise from out
Its deadly opposite! I lately saw
A lamb stung by a reptile: the poor suckling
Lay foaming on the carth, beneath the vain

And piteous bleating of its restless dam:
My father pluck'd some herbs, and laid them to
The wound; and by degrees the helpless wretch
Resumed its careless life, and rose to drain
The mother's milk, who o'er it tremulous
Stood licking its reviving limbs with joy.

Behold, my son! said Adam, how from evil
Springs good!

LUCIFER.
What didst thou answer ?

LUCIFER.

CAIN,

Thou hast seen them from afar.

CAIX.

And what of that?
Distance can but diminish glory—they,
When nearer, must be more ineffable.

LUCIFER.
Approach the things of earth most beautiful,
And judge their beauty near.

CAIN.

I have done this
The loveliest thing I know is loveliest nearest.

LUCIFER.
Then there must be delusion.-What is that,
Which being nearest to thine eyes, is still
More beautiful than beauteous things remote ?

CAIN.
My sister Adah. All the stars of heaven,
The deep blue noon of night, lit by an orb
Which looks a spirit, or a spirit's world-
The hues of twilight-the sun's gorgeous coming-
His setting indescribable, which fills
My eyes with pleasant tears as I behold
Him sink, and feel my heart float softly with him
Along that western paradise of clouds
The forest shade-the green bough-the bird's voice
The vesper bird's, which seems to sing of love,
And mingles with the song of cherubim,
As the day closes over Eden's walls ;-
All these are nothing to my eyes and heart,
Like Adani's face: I turn from earth and heaven
To gaze on it.

LUCIFER.

'Tis frail as fair mortality,
In the first dawn and bloom of young creation
And earliest embraces of earth's parents,
Can make its offspring; still it is delusion.

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All things, my father says; but I confess
I see it not in their allotment here.

LUCIFER
And therefore thou canst not see if I love
Or no, except some vast and general purpose,
To which particular things must melt like snow,

CAIN.
Snows! what are they?

LUCIFER.

Be happier in not knowing
What thy remoter offspring must encounter ;
But bask beneath the clime which knows no winter'

CAIN.
But dost thou not love something like thyself?

CAIN.

LUCIFER.

And dost thou love thyself?

You think so, being not her brother.

LUCIFER.

Mortal!
My brotherhood's with those who have no children.

CAIX
Then thou canst have no fellowship with us.

LUCIFER.
may be that thine own shall be for me.
But is thou dust possess a beautiful
Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes,
Why art thou wretcbed?

CAIN.

Why do I exist ?
Why art thme wretched? why are all things so ?
Even He who made us must be as the maker
of things unhappy! To produce destruction
Can surely never be the task of joy,
And

yet my sire says He's omnipotent :
Then why is evil—He being good? I ask'd

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I have thought, why recall a thought thai

(he pauses,
as agitated)-Spirit!
Here we are in thy world ; speak not of mine.
Thou hast shown me wonders; thou hast shown me those
Mighty Pre-Adamites who walk'd the earth
Of which ours is the wreck: thou hast pointed out
Myriads of starry worlds, of which our own
Is the dim and remote companion, in
Infinity of life: thou hast shown me shadows
Of that existence with the dreaded name
Which my sire brought us—death; thou hast shown me

much-
But not all: show me where Jehovah dwells,
In his especial paradise-or thine :
Where is it?

LUCIFER.
Here, and o'er all

space.

CAIN

But ye

LUCIFER.
With time.

CAIN.
But time has past, and hitherto
Even Adam and my mother both are fair:
Not fair like Adah and the seraphim-
But very fair.

LUCIFER.

All that must pass away
In them and her.

CAIN.

I'm sorry for it; but
Cannot conceive my love for her the less.
And when her beauty disappears, methinks
He who creates all beauty will lose more
Than me in sceing perish such a work.

LUCIFER.
I pity thee who lovest what must perish.

CAIN.
And I thee who lov'st nothing.

LUCIFER.

And thy brotherSits he not near thy heart?

CAIN.

Why should he not?

LUCIFER
Thy father loves him well-so does thy God.

CAIN.
And so do I.

LUCIFER.
'Tis well and meekly done.

CAIN.
Meekly!

LUCIFER.
He is the second born of flesh,
And is his mother's favourite.

CAIN

Let him keep
Aer favour, since the serpent was the first
To win it.

LUCIFER,
And his father's ?

CAIN.

What is that
To me ? should I not love that which all love ?

LUCIFER.
And the Jehovah—the indulgent Lord,
And beauteous planter of barr'd Paradise-
He, too, looks smilingly on Abel.

CAIN

I
Ne'er saw Him, and I know not if He smiles.

LUCIFER.
But you have seen his angels.

CAIN.

Rarely.
LUCIFER.

But
Sufficiently to see they love your brother ;
His sacrifices are acceptable.

Have some allotted dwelling—as all things ;

Clay has its earth, and other worlds their tenants ;
All temporary breathing creatures their
Peculiar element; and things which have
Long ceased to breathe our breath have theirs, thos

say'st;
And the Jehovah and thyself have thine-
Ye do not dwell together ?

LUCIFER.

No, we reign Together, but our dwellings are asunder.

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LUCIFER.

Which?

CAIN.

Thou ! for If thou canst do man good, why dost thou not?

LUCIFER. And why not He who made? I made ye not ; Ye are his creatures, and not mine.

CAIN.

Then leave us His creatures, as thou say'st we are, or show me Thy dwelling, or his dwelling.

LUCIFER.

I could show thee Both; but the time will come thou shalt see one Of them for evermore.

of worlds and life, which I hold with him-No!
I have a victor-true; but no superior.
Homage He has from all—but none from me:
I battle it against him, as I battled
In highest heaven. Through all eternity,
And the unfathomable gulfs of Hades,
And the interminable realms of

space,
And the infinity of endless ages,
All, all, will I dispute! And world by world,
And star by star, and universe by universe,
Shall tremble in the balance, till the great
Conflict shall cease, if ever it shall cease,
Which it ne'er shall, till he or I be quench'd !
And what can quench our immortality,
Our mutual and irrevocable hate ?
He as a conqueror will call the conquer'd
Evil; but what will be the good He gives?
Were I the victor, his works would be deem'd
The only evil ones. And you, ye new
And scarce-born mortals, what have been his gifts
To

you already in your little world ?

CAIN.

And why not now?

LUCIFER.

CAIX.

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 !
And gaze upon them on their secret thrones !
Dust! limit thy ambition, for to see
Either of these, would be for thee to perish!

But few; and some of those but bitter.

LUCIFER.

CAIN.

And let me perish, so I see them!

LUCIFER.

There The son of her who snatch'd the apple spake! But thou wouldst only perish, and not see them; That sight is for the ocher state.

CAIX.

Of death?

LUCIFER. That is the prelude.

CAIN.

Then I dread it less, Now that I know it leads to something definite.

Back
With me, then, to thine earth, and try the rest
of his celestial boons to ye and yours.
Evil and good are things in their own essence,
And not made good or cvil by the giver;
But if he gives you good—so call him; if
Evil springs from him, do not name it mine,
Till
ye

know better its true fount; and judge
Not by words, though of spirits, but the fruits
Of your existence, such as it must be.
One good gift has the fatal apple given
Your reason :-let it not be oversway'd
By tyrannous threats to force you into faith
'Gainst all external sense and inward feeling:
Think and endure,—and form an inner world
In your own bosom—where the outward fails :
So shall you nearer be the spiritual
Nature, and war triumphant with your own.

[They disappea.

LUCIFER.

And now I will convey thee to thy world,
Where thou shalt multiply the race of Adam,
Eat, drink, toil, tremble, laugh, weep, sleep, and die.

CAIN.

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Haughty spirit ! Thou speak’st it proudly; but thyself, though proud, Hast a superior.

LUCIFER.

No! By heaven, which He Hlolds, and the abyss, and the immensity

Cypress ! 't is
A gloomy tree, which looks as if it mourn'd
O'er what it shadows; wherefore didst thou choose a
For our child's canopy ?

ADAH
Because its branches

|то

me,

CAIX.

ADAH.

ADAH.

CAIN.

CAIN.

ADAH.

CAIN.

ADAH.

CAIN.

Shut out the sun like night, and therefore seem'd

but only hours upon the sun.
Fitting to shadow slumber.
CAIX,

And yet I have approach'd that sun, and seen
Ay, the last

Worlds which he once shone on, and never more
And longest; but no matter-lead me to him. Shall light; and worlds he never lit: methought

(They go up to the child. Years had rollid o'er my absence. How lovely he appears! his little checks, In their p're incarnation, vying with

Hardly hours. The rose-leaves strewn beneath them.

The mind then hath capacity of time,

And his lips, too, And measures it by that which it beholds, How beautifully parted ! No, you shall not

Pleasing or painful, little or almighty. Kiss him, at least not now: he will awake soon

I had beheld the immemorial works His hour of mid-day rest is nearly over,

Of endless beings; skirr'd extinguish'd worlds: But it were pity to disturb him till

And, gazing on eternity, methought 'Tis closed.

I had borrow'd more by a few drops of ages
You have said well; I will contain

From its immensity; but now I feel

3 My heart till then. He smiles, and sleeps !-Sleep on

My litueness again.

Well said the spirit,

That I was nothing!
And smile, thou little, young inheritor
Of a world scarce less young: sleep on, and smile!

Wherefore said he so?
Thine are the hours and days when both are cheering Jehovah said not that.
And innocent! thou hast not pluck'd the fruit-
Thou know'st not thou art naked! Must the time

No: he contents him
Come thou shalt be amerced for sins unknown,

With making us the nothing which we are; Which were not thine nor mine? But now sleep on! And after flattering dust with glimpses of His cheeks are reddening into deeper smiles,

Eden and immortality, resolves
And shining lids are trembling o'er his long

It back to dust again—for what ?
Lashes, dark as the cypress which waves o'er them:
Half open, from beneath them the clear blue

Thou know'sta
Laughs out, although in slumber. He must dream-

Even for our parents' error.
Of what? Of Paradise !--Ay! dream of it,
My disinherited boy! 'Tis but a dream;

What is that
For never more thyself, thy sons, nor fathers,
Shall walk in that forbidden place of joy!

To us? they sinn'd, then let them die !
Dear Cain! Nay, do not whisper o'er our son

Thou hast not spoken well, nor is that thought Such melancholy yearnings o'er the past;

Thy own, but of the spirit who was with thee. Why wilt thou always mourn for Paradise ?

Would I could die for them, so they might live!
Can we not make another?

Why, so say I-provided that one victim
Where?

Might satiate the insatiable of life,

And that our little rosy sleeper there
Here, or

Might never taste of death nor human sorrow,
Where'er thou wilt: where'er thou art, I feel not Nor hand it down to those who spring from him.
The want of this so much regretted Eden.
Have I not thee, our boy, our sire, and brother,

How know we that some such atonement one day
And Zillah-our sweet sister, and our Eve,

May not redeem our race? To whom we owe so much besides our birth ?

By sacrificing Yes, death, too, is amongst the debts we owe her.

The harmless for the guilty ? what atonement

Were there? why, we are innocent: what have me Cain! that proud spirit, who withdrew thee hence,

Done, that we must be victims for a deed Hath sadden'd thine still deeper. I had hoped

Before our birth, or need have victims to The promised wonders which thou hast beheld,

Atone for this mysterious, nameless sinVisions, thou say'st, of past and present worlds,

Ir it be such a sin to seek for knowledge ?
Would have composed thy mind into the calm
of a contented knowledge; but I see

Alas! tho: sinnest now, my Cain; thy words
Thy guide hath done thee evil: still I thank him, Sound impivus in mine ears.
And can forgive him all, that he so soon
Hath given thee back to vs.

Then leave me:
CAIN
So soon?

Nere,
Though thy God left thee.
'T is scarcely

CAIX. Two hours since ye departed: two long hours

Say, what have we here?

ADAH.

ADAH.

CAIN.

CAIN.

ADAH.

ADAH.

CAIN.

CAIN.

ADAH.

ADAH.

CAIN.

ADAH.

ADAH.

ADAH.

Two altars, which our brother Abel made
During thine absence, whereupon to offer
A sacrifice to God on thy return.

CAIN.

And how knew he, that I would be so ready
With the burnt-offerings, which he daily brings
With a meek brow, whose base humility
Shows more of fear than worship, as a bribe
To the Creator?

When thou art gentle. Love us, then, my Cain!
And love thyself for our sakes, for we love thee.
Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms,
And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine,
To hail his father; while his little form
Flutters as wing'd with joy. Talk not of pain !
The childless cherubs well might envy thee
The pleasures of a parent! Bless him, Cain!
As yet he hath no words to thank thee, but
His heart will, and thine own too.

ADATI.

CAIN

CAIN.

ADAH.

ADAH.

CAIX.

Surely, 't is well done.

Bless thee, boy!

If that a mortal blessing may avail thee, One altar may suffice; I have no offering.

To save thee from the serpent's curse!

It shall. The fruits of the earth, the early, beautiful Blossom and bud, and bloom of flowers, and fruits ; Surely a father's blessing may avert These are a goodly offering to the Lord,

A reptile subtlety.

CAIN, Given with a gentle and a contrite spirit.

Of that I doubt; I have toil'd, and tilld, and sweaten in the sun,

But bless him ne'ertheless.

ADAH.
According to the curse:-must I do more?
For what should I be gentle? for a war

Our brother comes. With all the elements ere they will yield

CAIN The bread we eat? For what must I be grateful ?

Thy brother Abel.
For being dust, and grovelling in the dust,

Enter ABEL.
Till I return to dust? If I am nothing-
For nothing shall I be a hypocrite,

Welcome, Cain! My brother,
And seem well pleased with pain? For what should I The peace of God be on thee!
Be contrite ? for my father's sin, already
Expiate with what we all have undergone,

Abel! hail !
And to be more than expiated by
The ages prophesied, upon our seed.

Our sister tells me that thou hast been wandering,
Little deems our young blooming sleeper, there, In high communion with a spirit, far
The germs of an eternal misery

Beyond our wonted range. Was he of those To myriads is within him! better 't were

We have seen and spoken with, like to our father ? I snatch'd him in his sleep, and dash'd him 'gainst The rocks, than let him live to

No.

ABEL.

CAIN.

ABEL.

CAIN.

ADAH.

ABEL.

CAIN.

ABEL.

ADAH.

CAIN.

Oh, my God!

Why then communc with him? he may be Touch not the child—my child! thy child! Oh Cain! A foe to the Most High.

CAIN. Fear not! for all the stars, and all the power

And friend to man. Which sways them, I would not accost yon infant Has the Most High been so—if so you term him? With ruder greeting than a father's kiss.

Term him! your words are strange to-day, my brother Then, why so awful in thy speech?

My sister Adah, leave us for a while

We mean to sacrifice.
I said,

ADAH.
Twere better that he ceased to live, than give

Farewell, my Cain; Life to so much of sorrow as he must

But first embrace thy son. May his soft spirit, Endure, and, harder still, bequeath; but since And Abel's pious ministry, recall the That saying jars you, let us only say

To peace and holiness! 'T were better that he never had been born.

[Erit Adah, with her child.

ABEL. Oh, do not say so! Where were then the joys,

Where hast thou been ? The mother's joys of watching, nourishing,

CAIN. And loving him? Soft! he awakes. Swect Enoch! I know not.

[She goes to the child. Oh Cain! look on him; see how full of life,

Nor what thou hast seen? Of

strength, of bloom, of beauty, and of joy, How like to me-how like to thee, when gentle,

The dead For then we are all alike; is 't not so, Cain? The importal, the unbounded, the omnipotent, Mother, and sire, and son, our features are

The overpowering mysteries of spaceReflected in cach other; as they are

The innumerable worlds that were and areIn the ciear waters, when they are gentle, and A whirlwind of such overwhelming things,

ADAH.

ABEL.

CAIN,

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