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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.
Within those glorious orbs which we behold,
Thou hast seen them from afar.
And what of that?
Distance can but diminish glory-they, When nearer, must be more ineffable.
Approach the things of earth most beautiful,
And judge their beauty near.
This question of my father; and he said,
To good. Strange good, that must arise from out
A lamb stung by a reptile: the poor suckling
What didst thou answer?
He is my father: but I thought, that 't were
I have done this
A better portion for the animal
The loveliest thing I know is loveliest nearest.
Then there must be delusion.-What is that, Which being nearest to thine eyes, is still More beautiful than beauteous things remote?
My sister Adah.-All the stars of heaven,
The hues of twilight-the sun's gorgeous coming-
Him sink, and feel my heart float softly with him
The forest shade-the green bough-the bird's voice-
As the day closes over Eden's walls;
All these are nothing to my eyes and heart,
"Tis frail as fair mortality,
In the first dawn and bloom of young creation
You think so, being not her brother.
My brotherhood's with those who have no children.
Then thou canst have no fellowship with us.
It may be that thine own shall be for me. But if thou dost possess a beautiful Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes, Why art thou wretched?
Why do I exist?
Why art thou wretched? why are all things so?
I have thought, why recall a thought that (he pauses, as agitated)-Spirit!
Here we are in thy world; speak not of mine.
Of which ours is the wreck: thou hast pointed out
Infinity of life: thou hast shown me shadows
Which my sire brought us-death; thou hast shown me
Her favour, since the serpent was the first
To win it.
And his father's?
What is that
To me? should I not love that which all love?
And the Jehovah-the indulgent Lord,
Ne'er saw Him, and I know not if He smiles.
But you have seen his angels.
Of worlds and life, which I hold with him-No!
In highest heaven. Through all eternity,
All, all, will I dispute! And world by world,
He as a conqueror will call the conquer'd
And scarce-born mortals, what have been his gifts To you already in your little world?
But few; and some of those but bitter.
With me, then, to thine earth, and try the rest
The Earth near Eden, as in Act I.
Enter CAIN and ADAH.
Alas! I seem
Hush! tread softly, Cain.
No! By heaven, which He Holds, and the abyss, and the immensity
Our little Enoch sleeps upon yon bed Of leaves, beneath the cypress.
A gloomy tree, which looks as if it mourn'd
Because its branches
Shut out the sun like night, and therefore seem'd
Ay, the last
And longest; but no matter-lead me to him.
And yet I have approach'd that sun, and seen
[They go up to the child. Years had roll'd o'er my absence.
How lovely he appears! his little checks,
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
"T is closed.
You have said well; I will contain
My heart till then. He smiles, and sleeps!-Sleep on
I had beheld the immemorial works
Of endless beings; skirr'd extinguish'd worlds:
I had borrow'd more by a few drops of ages
Well said the spirit,
Wherefore said he so?
Of a world scarce less young: sleep on, and smile!
And innocent! thou hast not pluck'd the fruit-
No: he contents him 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,
Lashes, dark as the cypress which waves o'er them:
Eden and immortality, resolves
Laughs out, although in slumber. He must dream- Even for our parents' error.
Of what? Of Paradise!-Ay! dream of it,
Two altars, which our brother Abel made During thine absence, whereupon to offer A sacrifice to God on thy return.
And how knew he, that I would be so ready
Surely, 't is well done.
One altar may suffice; I have no offering.
The fruits of the earth, the early, beautiful
I have toil'd, and till'd, and sweaten in the sun,
The bread we eat? For what must I be grateful?
For nothing shall I be a hypocrite,
When thou art gentle. Love us, then, my Cain!
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,
And to be more than expiated by
Oh, do not say so! Where were then the joys,
Oh Cain! look on him; see how full of life,
In the clear waters, when they are gentle, and
We mean to sacrifice.
Farewell, my Cain; But first embrace thy son. May his soft spirit, And Abel's pious ministry, recall thee To peace and holiness!
I know not.
[Erit ADAH, with her child.
Where hast thou been?
Nor what thou hast seen?
The immortal, the unbounded, the omnipotent,