« ZurückWeiter »
And bounteous planter of barr'd Paradise - Lucifer. Ay.
Cain. And cannot ye both reign then? Cain. I
is there not
Lucifer. But you have seen his angels. Lucifer. We both reign.
Cain. But one of you makes evil.
Lucifer. Which? Sufficiently to see they love your brother; Cain. Thou ! for His sacrifices are acceptable.
If thou canst do man good, why dost thou not? Cain. So be they ! wherefore speak to Lucifer. And why not he who made? I me of this?
made ye not ; Lucifer. Because thou hast thought of Ye are his creatures, and not mine. this ere now.
Cain. Then leave us Cain. And if
His creatures, as thou sayst we are, or I have thought, why recal a thought that
show me (he pauses, as agitated) Spirit! Thy dwelling, or his dwelling. Here we are in thy world; speak not of mine. Lucifer. I could show thee Thou hast shown me wonders; thou hast Both; but the time will come thou shalt
shown me those Mighty Pre-Adamites who walk'd the earth Of them for evermore. Of which ours is the wreck; thou hast Cain. And why not now? pointed out
Lucifer. Thy human mind hath scarcely Myriads of starry worlds, of which our own
grasp to gather Is the dim and remote companion, in The little I have shown thee into calm Infinity of life: thou hast shown me shadows And clear thought; and thou wouldst go Of that existence with the dreaded name
on aspiring Which my sire brought us-Death; thou To the great double Mysteries! the two hast shown me much
Principles! But not all: show me where Jehovah dwells, And gaze upon them on their secret thrones! In his especial Paradise-or thine: Dust! limit thy ambition, for to see Where is it?
Either of these, would be for thee to perish! Lucifer. Here, and o'er all space. Cain. And let me perish, so I see them! Cain. But ye
Lucifer. There Have some allotted dwelling - as all things; The son of her who snatch'd the apple spake! Clay has its earth, and other worlds their But thou wonldst only perish, and not see tenants ;
them; All temporary breathing creatures their That sight is for the other state. Peculiar elenient; and things which have, Cain. Of death ? Long ceased to breathe our breath, have Lucifer. That is the prelude. theirs, thou sayst;
Cain. Then I dread it less, And the Jehovah and thyself have thine- Now that I know it leads to something Ye do not dwell together?
definite. Lucifer. No, we reign
Lucifer. And now I will convey thee to Together, but our dwellings are asunder.
thy world, Cain. Would there were only one of ye! Where thou shalt multiply the race of Adam, perchance
Eat, drink, toil, tremble, laugh, weep, An unity of purpose might make union
sleep, and die. In elements which seem now jarr’d in storms. Cain. And to what end have I beheld How came ye, being spirits, wise and infinite, these things To separate ? Are ye not as brethren in Which thou hast shown me? Your essence, and your nature, and your Lucifer. Didst thou not require glory?
Knowledge? And have I not, in what I Lucifer. Art thou not Abel's brother?
show'd, Cain. We are brethren,
Taught thee to know thyself?
Cain. Alas! I seem
Lucifer. And this should be the human sum Jarring and turning space to misery Of knowledge, to know mortal nature's For what?
nothingness; Lucifer. To reign.
Bequeath that science to thy children, and Cain. Did ye not tell me that
'Twill spare them many tortures. Ye are both eternal ?
Cain. Haughty spirit! Lucifer. Yea!
Thou speakst it proudly; but thyself, Cain. And what I have seen,
though proud, Yon blue immensity, is boundless ? Hast a superior.
Lucifer. No! By heaven, which He Cain. Ay, the lastHolds, and the abyss, and the immensity And longest; but no matter-lead me to him. Of worlds and life, which I hold with
[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; yon 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 world scarce less young: sleep on, He as a conqueror will call the conquer'd
and smile! Evil; 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
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. 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-s0 call him; if Lashes, dark as the cypress which waves Evil springs from him, do not name it mine,
o'er them; Tillye 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 your existence, such as it must be.
dreamOne 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, thysons, 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 I. The want of this so much regretted Eden. Enter Cain and ADAH.
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. Cain. Cypress! 'tis
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 choose it
The promised wonders, which thou hast For our child's canopy?
beheld, Adah. Because its branches
Visions, thou sayst, of past and present Shut out the sun like night, and therefore worlds, seem'd
Would have composed thy mind into the Fitting to shadow slumber.
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! Hath given thee back to us.
Adah. Never, Cain. So soon?
Though thy God left thee. 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, whereupon 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; little or almighty.
offering: I had beheld the immemorial works
Adah. The fruits of the earth, the early, Of endless beings; skirr'd extinguish'd beautiful worlds;
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 toil'd, and till’d, 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 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 seed? thee.
Little deems our young blooming sleeper, Would I could die for them, so they might
The germ of an eternal misery Cain. Why, so say I--provided that onc 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 human Adah. Oh, my God! sorrow,
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 Čain. By sacrificing
With ruder greeting than a father's kiss. The harmless for the guilty? what atonement Adah. Then, why so awful in thy speech 3 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 sayIf it be such a sin to seek for knowledge? | 'Twere better that he never had been born.
Adah. Oh, do not say so! Where were Cain. The dead,
The immortal, the unbounded, the omni-
Enoch! [She goes to the child. The innumerable worlds that were and are Oh 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, For then we are all alike; is 't ngt so, Cain? made me Mother, and sire, and son, our features are Unfit for mortal converse: leave me, Abel. Reflected in each other; as they are Abel. Thine eyes are flashing with unIn the clear waters, when they are gentle, and natural lightWhen thou art gentle. Love us,then,my Cain! Thy cheek is flush'd with unnatural hueAnd love thyself for our sakes, for we love Thy words are fraught with an unnatural thee.
sound Look! how he laughs and stretches out his What may this mean? arms,
Cain. It means—I pray thee, leave me. And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine, 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 alone The 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 alone To save thee from the serpent's curse! At least without me. Adah. It shall.
Abel. Brother, I should ill
If as my elder I revered thee not,
And in the worship of our God callid not But bless him ne'er the less.
On thee to join me, and precede me in
Our priesthood—'tis thy place.
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.
I? been wandering;
Never In bigh 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
Spurn me not.
Cain. If it must be so-well, then,
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
80 much turf
Cain. I have chosen.
Abel. 'Tis the highest,
Cain. Where are thine ?
The firstlings of the flock, and fat thereof-
A shepherd's humble offering.
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 bloom 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 Cain. No-I am new to this; lead thou Rests upon thee; and good and evil seem
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 fulfill'd
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-off'ring prospers better; see 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 maķe 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 any.-Omnipotent, it may be—and, if good, Abel (rising). Cain! what meanest thon? Shown in the exemption of thy deeds from Cain. To cast down yon vile flatt'rer of
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 impious works to impious altars,
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 unto 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 ripen’d 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 ! If a shrine without victim, With violence: if that thou wilt adopt it, And altar without gore, may win thy favour, To try another sacrifice, 'tis thine.