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Cain. Why, what are things ?
Cain. But it grows dark, and dark- the Lucifer. Both partly: but what doth
stars are gone!
Lucifer. And yet thon seest.
Cain. 'Tis a fearful light!
No sun, no moon, no lights innumerable.
The very blue of the empurpled night
sphere Lucifer. Away, then! on our mighty wings. Of light gave way, and show'd them taking Cain. Oh! how we cleave the blue! The
shapes stars fade from us!
Unequal, of deep valleys and vast mountains; The earth! where is my earth ? let me look And some emitting sparks, and some dison it,
playing For I was made of it.
Enormous liquid plains, and some begirt Lucifer. 'Tis now beyond thee,
With luminous belts, and floating moons, Less in the universe, than thou in it:
Lucifer. But distinct.
Cain. I seek it not; but as I know there are
Such, and that my sire's sin makes him
To such, I would behold at once, what I
Lucifer. And so it shall be ever; but
Cain. Enormons vapours roll
Through thee and thine.
And wider, and make widening circles
round us. Cuin. But the lights fade from me fast, Lucifer. Advance ! And some till now grew larger as we
Cain. And thou! approachd,
Lucifer. Fear not-without me thou And wore the look of worlds.
Couldst not have gone beyond thy world.
[They disappear through the clouds.
Enter LUCIFER and CAIN.
dim worlds! Breathe, save the erect ones?
For they seem more than one, and yet more Cain. How the lights recede!
Than the huge brilliant luminous orbs
Had deem'd them rather the bright populace | If not the last, rose higher than the first; Of some all unimaginable Heaven Haughty, and high, and beautiful, and full Than things to be inhabited themselves, Of seeming strength, but of inexplicable But that on drawing near them I beheld Shape; for 1 never saw such. They bear not Their swelling into palpable immensity The wing of seraph, nor the face of man, Of matter, which seem'd made for life to Nor form of mightiest brute, nor aught
that is Rather than life'itself. But here, all is Now breathing; mighty yet and beautiful So shadowy and so full of twilight, that As the most beautiful and mighty which It speaks of a day past.
Live, and yet so unlike them, that I scarce Lucifer. It is the realm
Can call them living.
mean to be Lucifer. Dost thou curse thy father? The last of these. Cain. Cursed he not me in giving me my
Cain. And what are they?
Lucifer. That which
Cain. But what were they ?
Lucifer. Living, high, The curse is mutual'twixt thy sire and thee - Intelligent, good, great, and glorious things, But for thy sons and brother!
As much superior unto all thy sire, Cain. Let them share it
Adam, could e'er have been in Eden, as With me, their sire and brother! What else is The sixty-thousandth generation shall be, Bequeath'd to me? I leave them my inher- In its dull damp degeneracy, to itance.
Thee and thy son;—and how weak they are, Oh ye interminable gloomy realms
judge Of swimming shadows and enormous shapes, By thy own flesh. Some fully shown, some indistinct, and all Cain. Ah me! and did they perish? Mighty and melancholy -- what are ye? Lucifer. Yes, from their earth, as thou Live ye, or have ye lived ?
wilt fade from thine. Lucifer. Somewhat of both.
Cain. But was mine theirs ? Cain. Then what is death?
Lucifer. It was. Lucifer. What? Hath not he who made ye Cain. But not as now. Said 'tis another life?
It is too little and too lowly to Cain. Till now he hath
Sustain such creatures.
Cain. And wherefore did it fall ?
Cain. But how ?
Subsiding has struck out a world: such Cain. What are these mighty phantoms things, which I see
Though rare in time, are frequent in eterFloating around me? - they wear not the nity.form
Pass on, and gaze upon the past. of the intelligences I have seen
Cain. 'Tis awful! Round our regretted and unenter'd Eden, Lucifer. And true. Behold these phantoms! Nor wear the form of man as I have view'd it
they were once In Adam's, and in Abel's, and in mine, Material as thou art. Norin my sister-bride's,nor in my children's: Cain. And must I be And yet they have an aspect, which, though Like them?
Lucifer. Let Him who made thee answer of men nor angels, looks like something, that. which,
I show thee what thy predecessors are,
And what they were thou feelest, in degree Roar nightly in the forest, but ten-fold Inferior, as thy petty feelings and
In magnitude and terror; taller than Thy pettier portion of the immortal part The cherub-guarded walls of Eden, with Of high intelligence and earthly strength. Eyes flashing like the fiery swords which What ye in common have with what they had
fence them, Is life, and what ye shall have-death; the And tusks projecting like the trees stripp'd of
Their bark and branches-- what were they? of your poor attributes is such as suits Lucifer. That which Reptiles engender'd out of the subsiding The Mammoth is in thy world; but these lie Slime of a mighty universe, crush'd into By myriads underneath its surface. A scarcely-yet shaped planet, peopled with Cain, But Things whose enjoyment was to be in None on it? blindness
Lucifer. No: for thy frail race to war A Paradise of Ignorance, from which With them would render the curse on it Knowledge was barr'd as poison. But behold
uselessWhat thesc superior beings are or were;
'Twould be destroy'd so early. Or, if it irk thee, turn thee back and till Cain. But why war? The earth, thy task-I'll waft thee there Lucifer. You have forgotten the denunin safety.
ciation Cain. No: l'll stay here.
Which drove your race from Eden - war Lucifer. How long?
with all things, Cain. For ever! Since
And death to all things, and disease to most I must one day return here from the earth, things, I rather would remain; I am sick of all And pangs, and bitterness; these were the That dust has shown me-let me dwell i:a
Of the forbidden tree. Lucifer. It cannot be: thou now behold Cain. But animalsest as
Did they too eat of it, that they must die? A vision that which is reality.
Lucifer. Your Maker told ye, they were To make thyself fit for this dwelling, thou
made for you, Must pass through what the things thou As you for him.—You would not have their seest have pass’d
doom The gates of death.
Superior to your own? Had Adam not Cain. By what gate have we enter'd Fallen, all had stood. Even now?
Cain. Alas! the hopeless wretches! Lucifer. By mine! But, plighted to return, They too must share my sire's fate, like My spirit buoys thee up to breathe in regions Where all is breathless save thyself. Gaze on; Like them, too, without having shared the But do not think to dwell here till thine
Like them, too, without the so dear-bonght ls come.
knowledge! Cain. And these,too; can they ne'er repass it was a lying tree-for we know nothing. To earth again?
At least it promised knowledge at the price Lucifer. Their earth is gone for ever- of death - but knowledge still: but what So changed by its convulsion, they would not knows man? Be conscious to a single present spot Lucifer. It may be death leads to the Of its new scarcely harden'd surface_'twas – highest knowledge ; Oh, what a beautiful world it was! And being of all things the sole thing Cain. And is.
certain, It is not with the earth, though I must till it, At least leads to the surest science : therefore I feel at war, but that I may not profit The tree was true, though deadly. By what it bears of beautiful untoiling, Cain. These dim realms! Nor gratify my thousand swelling thoughts I see them, but I know them not. With knowledge, nor allay my thousand Lucifer. Because fears
Thy hour is yet afar, and matter cannot Of death and life.
Comprehend spirit wholly—but 'tis someLucifer. What thy world is thou seest, But canst not comprehend the shadow of To know there are such realms. That which it was.
Cain. We knew already Cain. And those enormous creatures, That there was death. Phantoms inferior in intelligence
Lucifer. But not what was beyond it. (At least so seeming) to the things we have Cain. Nor know I now. passid,
Lucifer. Thou knowst that there is Resembling somewhat the wild habitants. A state, and many states beyond thine ownOf the deep woods of earth, the hugest which i And this thou knewest not this morn.
his sons ;
Cain. But all
Thy world and thou are still too young! Seems dim and shadowy.
Thou thinkest Lucifer. Be content; it will
Thyself most wicked and unhappy: is it Seem clearer to thine immortality.
Not so ? Cain. And yon immeasurable liquid space Cain. For crime I know not; but for pain, Of glorious azure which floats on beyond us, I have felt much. Which looks like water, and which I should Lucifer. First-born of the first man! deem
Thy present state of sin- and thou art evil, The river which flows out of Paradise Of sorrow -- and thou sufferest, are both Eden Past my own dwelling, but that it is bankless In all its innocence compared to what And boundless and of an ethereal hue Thou shortly mayst be; and that state What is it?
Now let us back to earth!
Lead me here only to inform me this? Lucifer. Are its habitants,
Lucifer. Was not thy quest for knowledge? The past leviathans.
Cain. Yes : as being Cain. And yon immense
The road to happiness. Serpent, which rears his dripping mane and Lucifer. If truth be so, vasty
Thou hast it. Head ten times higher than the haughtiest Cain. Then my father's God did well cedar
When he prohibited the fatal tree. Forth from the abyes, looking as he could Lucifer. But had done better in not coil
planting it. Himself arvund the orbs we lately look'd on- But ignorance of evil doth not save Is he not of the kind which bask'd beneath From evil; it must still roll on the same, The tree in Eden ?
A part of all things. Lucifer. Eve, thy mother, best
Cain. Not of all things. No: Can tell what shape of serpent tempted her. I'll not believe it-for I thirst for good. Cain. This seems too terrible. No doubt Lucifer. And who and what doth not? the other
Who covets evil Had more of beauty.
Forits own bitter sake? _None_nothing ! 'tis Lucifer. Hast thou ne'er beheld him? The leaven of all life and lifelessness. Cain. Many of the same kind (at least Cain. Within those glorious orbs which so call'd),
we behold But never that precisely which persuaded Distant and dazzling, and innumerable, The fatal fruit, nor even of the same Ere we came down into this phantom-realm, aspect.
Il cannot come; they are too beautiful. Lucifer. Your father saw him not? Lucifer. Thou hast seen them from afar. Cain. No: 'twas my mother
Cain. And what of that? Who tempted him—she tempted by the Distance can but diminish glory- they serpent.
When nearer must be more ineffable. Lucifer. Good man! whene'er thy wife, Lucifer. Approach the things of earth or thy sons' wives
most beautiful, Tempt thee or them to aught that's new or And judge their beauty near. strange,
Cain. I have done this Be sure thou seest first who hath tempted The loveliest thing I know is loveliest them.
nearest. Cain. Thy precept comes too late: there Lucifer. Then there must be delusion.is no more
What is that, For serpents to tempt woman to.
Which being nearest to thine eyes is still Lucifer. But there
More beautiful than beauteous things reAre some things still which woman may
mote? tempt man to,
Cain. My sister Adah.-All the stars of And man tempt woman:—let thy sons look heaven, to it!
The deep blue noon of night, lit by an orb My counsel is a kind one; for 'tis even Which looks a spirit, or a spirit's world— Given chiefly at my own expense: 'tis true, The hues of twilight--the sun's gorgeous Twill not be follow'd, so there's little lost.
comingCain. I understand not this.
His setting indescribable, which fills Lucifer. The happier thou!
My eyes with pleasant tears as I behold
Him sink, and feel my heart float softly Cain. Most assuredly:
What should I be without her ?
Lucifer. What does thy God love ? The vesper bird's, which seems to sing of love, Cain. All things, my father says; but And mingles with the song of cherubim,
I confess As the day closes over Eden's walls; I see it not in their allotment here. All these are nothing to my eyes and heart, Lucifer. And therefore thou canst not Like Adah's face: I turn from earth and
see if I love heaven
Orno, except some vast and general purpose, To gaze on it.
To which particular things must melt like Lucifer. 'Tis frail as fair niortality, In the first dawn and bloom of young creation Cain. Snows! what are they? And earliest embraces of earth's parents, Lucifer. Be happier in not knowing Can make its offspring; still it is delusion. What thy remoter offspring must encounter;
Cain. You think so, being not her brother. But bask beneath the clime which knows no Lucifer. Mortal!
winter! My brotherhood's with those who have no Cain. But dost thou not love something children.
like thyself? Cain. Then thou canst have no fellow Lucifer. And dost thou love thyself? ship with us.
Cain. Yes, but love more Lucifer. It may be that thine own shall What makes my feelings more endurable, be for me.
And is more than myself, because I love it. But if thou dost possess a beautiful Lucifer. Thou lovest it, because 'tis Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes,
beautiful Why art thou wretched?
As was the apple in thy mother's eye; Cain. Why do I exist ?
And when it ceases to be so, thy love Why art thou wretched ? why are all Will cease, like any other appetite. things so ?
Cain. Cease to be beautiful! how can Even he who made us must be as the maker
that be? Of things unhappy! To produce destruction Lucifer. With time. Can surely never be the task of joy,
Cain. But time has past, and hitherto And yet my sire says he's omnipotent: Even Adam and my mother both are fair: Then why is evil-he being good? I ask'd Not fair like Adah and the seraphimThis question of my father; and he said, But very fair. Because this evil only was the path
Lucifer. All that must pass away To good. Strange good, that must arise In them and her. from out
Cain. I'm sorry for it; but Its deadly opposite. I lately saw
Cannot conceive my love for her the less. A lambstung by a reptile: the poor suckling And when her beauty disappears, methinks Lay foaming on the earth, beneath the vain He who creates all beauty will lose more And piteous bleating of its restless dam: Than I in seeing perish such a work. My father pluck'd some herbs, and laid Lucifer. I pity thee who lovest what them to
must perish. The wound; and by degrees the helpless Cain. And I thee who lov'st nothing. wretch
Lucifer. And thy brotherResumed its careless life, and rose to drain Sits he not near thy heart? The mother's milk, who o'er it tremulous Cain, Why should he not? Stood licking its reviving limbs with joy. Lucifer. Thy father loves him well--80 Behold, my son! said Adam, how from evil does thy God. Springs good!
Cain. And so do I. Lucifer. What didst thou answer ? Lucifer. Tis well and meekly done. Cain. Nothing; for
Cain. Meekly! He is my father: but I thought, that 'twere Lucifer. He is the second-born of flesh, A better portion for the animal
And is his mother's favourite. Never to have been stung at all, than to Cain. Let him keep Purchase renewal of its little life
Her favour, since the serpent was the first With agonies unutterable, though
To win it. Dispellid by antidotes.
Lucifer. And his father's ? Lucifer. But as thou saidst
Cain. What is that Of all beloved things thou lovest her To me? should I not love that which all Who shared thy mother's milk, and giveth
Lucifer. And the Jehovah--the indulgent Unto thy children