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Cain, Can I do so without impiety?

Fresh souls and bodies, all foredoom'd to be Lucifer, Believe-and sink not! doubt-and As frail, and few so happyperish! thus

Cain.

Spirit! I Would run the edict of the other God,

Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thing Who names me demon to His angels; they

of which I have heard my parents speak, as of Echo the sound to miserable things,

A hideous heritage I owe to them
Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow No less than life; a heritage not happy,
senses,

If I may judge, till now. But, spirit: if
Worship the word which strikes their ear, and deem It be as thou hast said (and I within
Evil or good what is proclaim'd to them

Feel the prophetic torture of its truth),
In their abasement. I will have none such:

Here let me die: for to give birth to those Worship or worship not, thou shalt behold

Who can but suffer many years, and die,, The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be

Methinks is merely propagating death, Amerced for doubts beyond thy little life,

And multiplying murder. With torture of my dooming. There will come

Lucifer.

Thou canst not
An hour, when, toss'd upon some water drops, All die-there is what nust survive.
A man shall say to a man, 'Believe in me,

Cain,

The Other And walk the waters; ard the man shall walk Spake not of this unto my father, when The billows and be safe. I will not say,

He shut him forth from Paradise, with deatlı Believe in me, as a conditional creed

Written upon his forehead. But at least To save thee; but fly with me o'er the gulf

Let what is mortal of me perish, that of space an equal flight, and I will show

I may be in the rest as angels are. What thou dar'st not deny the history

Lucifer. I am angelic: wouldst thou be as I am ? Of past, and present, and of future worlds.

Cain. I know not what thou art: I see thy power, Cain, Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art,

And see thou show'st me things beyond my power, Is yon our earth?

Beyond all power of my born faculties,
Lucifer.
Dost thou not recognise

Although inferior still to my desires
The dust which form d your father?

And my conceptions.
Cain,

Can it be?
Lucifer.

What are they which dwell Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether,

So humbly in their pride, as to sojouru With an inferior circlet near it still,

With worms in clay? Which looks like that which lit our earthly night?

Cain.

And what art thou who dwellest Is this our Paradise ? Where are its walls,

So haughtily in spirit, and canst range And they who guard them?

Nature and immortality-and yet Lucifer.

Point me out the site Seem'st sorrowful? Of Paradise.

Lucifer.

I seem that which I am;
Cain. How should I? As we move

And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou
Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller, Wouldst be immortal ?
And as it waxes little, and then less,

Саг.

Thou hast said, I must be Gathers a halo round it, like the light

Immortal in despite of me. I knew not Which shone the roundest of the stars, when I This until lately; but since it must be, Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise :

Let me, or happy or unhappy, learn Methinks they both, as we recede from them,

To anticipate my immortality. Appear to join the innumerable stars

Lucifer. Thou didst before I came upon thee. Which are around us; and, as we inove on,

Cain,

How? Increase their myriads.

Lucifer. By suffering.
Lucifer.
And if there should be Cain.

And must torture be iinmortal? Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited

Lucifer. We and thy sons will try. But now, be. By greater things, and they themselves far more Is it not glorious ?

(hold: In number than the dust of thy dull earth,

Cain.

Oh, thou beautiful
Though multiplied to animated atoms,

And unimaginable ether I and
All living, and all doom'd to death, and wretched, Ye multiplying masses of increased
What wouldst thou think?

And still increasing lights! what are ye? what
Cain.
I should be proud of thought

Is this blue wilderness of interminable
Which knew such things.

Air, where ye roll along, as I have seen
Lucifer.
But if that high thought were

The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden?
Link'd to a servile mass of matter, and,

Is your course measured for ye? Or do yé Knowing such things, aspiring to such things,

Sweep on in your unbounded revelry And science still beyond them, were chain'd down Through an aërial universe of endless To the most gross and petty paltry wants,

Expansion--at which my soul aches to think All foul and fulsome, and the very best

Intoxicated with eternity? Of thine enjoyments a sweet degradation,

O GodI O Gods! or whatsoe'er ye are ! A most enervating and filthy cheat

How beautiful ye are ! how beautiful To ture theç on to the renewal of

Your works, or accidents, or whatsoe'er

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his hour

They may be ! Let me die, as atoms die

Greater than either: many things will have (If that they die), or know ye in your might

No end; and some, which would pretend to have And knowledge! My thoughts are not in this hour Had no beginning, have had one as mean Unworthy what I see, though my dust is.

As thou; and mightier things have been extinct Spirit ! let me expire, or see them nearer.

To make way for much meaner than we can Lucifer. Art thou not nearer ? Look back to thine Surmise; for moments only and the space earth!

Have been and must be all unchangeable. Cain. Where is it? I see nothing save a mass But changes make not death, except to clay : Of most innumerable lights.

But thou art clay, and canst but comprehend
Lucifer.
Look there!

That which was clay; and such thou shalt behold. Cain. I cannot see it.

Cain. Clay, spirit! what thou wilt, I can survey, Lucifer. Yet it sparkles still.

Lucifer, Away, then ! Cain. That !-yonder!

But the lights fade from me fast, Lucifer. Yea.

And some till now grew larger as we approach'd, Cain.

And wilt thou tell me so? And wore the look of worlds. Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms

Lucifer.

And such they are. Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks

Cain. And Edens in them? In the dim twilight, brighter than yon world

Lucifer.

It may be. Which bears them.

Cain.

And men? Lucifer. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds, Lucifer. Yea, or things higher. Each bright and sparkling-what dost think of Cain.

Ay, and serpents too? them?

Lucifer. Wouldst thou have men without them! Cain. That they are beautiful in their own sphere, I must no reptiles And that the night, which makes both beautiful, Breathe save the erect ones? The little shining fire-Ay in its fight,

Cain.

How the lights recede! And the immortal star in its great course,

Where fly we? Must both be guided.

Lucifer. To the world of phantoms, which Lucifer. But by whom or what?

Are beings past, and shadows still to come. Cain. Show me.

Cain. But it grows dark, and dark-the stars are Lucifer. Dar'st thou behold? Lucifer. And yet thou seest.

(gone. Cain. How know I what Cain,

Tis a fearful light! I dare behold! As yet, thou hast shown nought No sun, no moon, no lights innumerable. I dare not gaze on further.

The very blue of the empurpled night Lucifer.

On, then, with me. Fades to a dreary twilight, yet I see Wouldst thou behold things mortal or immortal? Huge dusky masses : but unlike the worlds Cain. Why, what are things?

We were approaching, which, begirt with light, Lucifer.

Both partly: but what doth Seem'd full of life even when their atmosphere Sit next thy heart?

Of light gave way, and show'd them taking shapes Cain. The things I see.

Unequal, of deep valleys and vast mountains ; Lucifer.

But what? And some emitting sparks, and some displaying Sate nearest it?

Enormous liquid plains, and some begirt
Cain.
The things I have not seen,

With luminous belts, and floating moons, which Nor ever shall the mysteries of death.

took, Lucifer. What, if I show to thee things which Like them, the features of fair earth:-instead, have died,

All here seems dark and dreadful. As I have shown thee much which cannot die ?

Lucifer.

But distinct. Cain. Do so.

Thou seekest to behold death and dead things! Lucifer. Away, then, on our mighty wings. Cain. I seek it not : but as I know there are Cain. Oh, how we cleave the blue! The stars Such, and that my sire's sin makes him and me, fade from us :

And all that we inherit, liable
The earth! where is my carth? Let me look on it, To such, I would behold at once, what I
For I was made of it.

Must one day see perforce.
Lucifer.
'Tis now beyond thec,

Lucifer.

Behold! Less, in the universe, than thou in it;,..

Cain,

'Tis darkness. Yet deem not that thou canst escape it: thou

Lucifer. And so it shall be ever; but we will Shalt soon return to earth and all its dust:

Unfold its gates! 'Tis part of thy eternity, and mine.

Cain. Enormous vapours roll
Cain. Where dost thou lead me?

Apart-what's this?
Lucifer.
To what was before thee! Lucifer.

Enter!
The phantasm of the world; of which thy world

Cain.

Can I return? Is but the wreck.

Lucifer. Return! be sure : how else should death Cain. . What! is it not then new ?

be peopled ? Lucifer. No more than life is; and that was ere | Its present realm is thin to what it will be, Or / were, or the things which seem to us (thou | Through thee and thinç.

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Cain.

The clouds still open wide Cain, What are these mighty phantoms which I And wider, and make widening circles round us. | Floating around me!-They wear not the form (see Lucifer. Advance !

of the intelligences I have seen
Саін.
And thou!

Round our regretted and unenter'] Eden,
Lucifer.

Fear not; without me thou Nor wear the form of man as I have view'd it Couldst not have gone beyond thy world. On! on! In Adam's, and in Abel's, and in mine, (They disappear through the clouds. Nor in any sister-bride's, nor in my children's :

And yet they have an aspect, which, though not SCENE II.-Hades.

Of men nor angels, looks like something which, Enter Lucifer and Cain.

If not the last, rose higher than the first, Cain. How silent and how vast are these dim Haughty, and high, and beautiful, and full worlds!

Of seeming strength, but of inexplicable
For they seem more than one, and yet more peopled Shape; for I never saw such. They bear not
Than the huge brilliant luminous orbs which swung The wing of seraph, nor the face of man,
So thickly in the upper air, that I

Nor form of mightiest brute, nor aught that is
Had deem'd them rather the bright populace Now breathing; mighty yet and beautiful
Of some all unimaginable heaven,

As the most beautiful and mighty which
Than things to be inhabited themselves,

Live, and yet so unlike them, that I scarce But that on drawing near them I beheld

Can call them living. Their swelling into palpable immensity

Lucifer.

Yet they lived Of matter, which seem'd made for life to dwell on, Cain.

Where? Rather than life itself. But here, all is

Lucifer.

Where So shadowy and so full of twilight, that

Thou livest.
It speaks of a day past.

Cain. When?
Lucifer.
It is the realm

Lucifer.

On what thou callest earth of death. Wouldst have it present?

They did inhabit. Cain.

Till I know Cain.

Adam is the first. That which it really is, I cannot answer.

Lucifer. Of thine I grant thee-but too mean to be But if it be as I have heard my father

The last of these. Deal out in his long homilies, 'tis a thing

Cain.

And what are they? O God! I dare not think on't ! Cursed be

bucifer.

That which He who invented life that leads to death!

Thou shalt te. Or the dull mass of life, that, being life,

Cain. But what were they? Could not retain, but needs must forfeit it

Lucifer,

Living, high, Even for the innocent!

Intelligent, good, great, and glorious things,
Lucifer.

Dost thou curse thy father? As much superior unto all thy sire,
Cain. Cursed he not me in giving me iny birth? Adam, could c'er have been in Eden, as
Cursed he not me before my birth, in daring

The sixty-thousandth generation shall be,
To pluck the fruit forbidden?

In its dull damp degeneracy, to Lucifer.

Thou say'st well: Thee and thy son: and how weak they are, judge The curse is mutual 'twixt thy sire and thee

By thy own flesh. But for thy sons and brother?

Cain,

Ah me! and did they perish! Cain.

Let them share it Lucifer. Yes, from their earth, as thou wilt fade With me, their sire and brother! What else is

Cain. But was mine theirs ?

[from thine, Bequeath'd to me? I leave them my inheritance. Lucifcr.

It was. Oh, ye interminable gloomy realms

Cain,

But not as now. Of swimming shadows and enormous shapes,

It is too little and too lowly to Some fully shown, some indistinct, and all

Sustain such creatures. Mighty and melancholy-what are ye?

Lucifer.

True, it was more glorious. Live ye, or have ye lived ?

Cain. And wherefore did it fall ?
Lucifer,
Somewhat of both.
Lucifer.

Ask Him who fells. Cain. Then what is death?

Cain. But how?
Lucifer. What? Hath not He who made yel Lucifer. By a most crushing and inexorable
Said 'tis another life?

Destruction and disorder of the elements,
Cair.
Till now He hath

Which struck a world to chaos, as a chaos
Said nothing, save that all shall die.

Subsiding has struck out a world : such things, Lucifer.

Perhaps

Though rare in time, are frequent in eternity. He one day will unfold that further secret.

Pass on, and gaze upon the past. Cain. Happy the day!

Cain,

'Tis awful ! Lucifer.

Yes: happy! when unfolded Lucifer. And true. Behold these phantoms! they Through agonies unspeakable, and clogg'd

Material, as thou art.

(were once With agonies eternal, to innumerable

Саін.

And must I be Yet unborn myriads of unconscious atoms,

Like them? All to be animated for this only!

Lucifer. Let Him who made thee answer that.

I show the what thy predecessors are,

The Mammoth is in thy world: but these lie and what they were tlou feelest, in degree

By myriads underneath its surface. Inferior 2, thy petty feelings and

Cair.

But Thy petticr portion of the immortal part

None on it? Of high intelligence and earthly strengtlı.

Lucifer. No: for thy frail race to war What ye in common have with what they had With them would render the curse on it useless Is life, and what ye shall have death: the rest 'Twould be destroyed so early. Of your poor attributes is such as suits

Cai.

But why war ? Reptiles engender'd out of the subsiding

Lucifer. You have forgotten the denunciation Slime of a mighty universe, crush'd into

Which drove your race from Eden-war with all A scarcely yet shaped planet, pecpled with

things, Things whose enjoyment was to be in blindness And death to all things, and disease to most things, A Paradise of Ignorance, from which

And pangs, and bitterness; these were the fruits Knowledge was barr'd as poison. But behold or the forbidden tree. What these superior beings are or were;

Cain,

But animals Or, if it irk thee, turn thee back and till

Did they, too, eat of it, that they must die? (you, The earth, thy task-I'll waft thee there in safety. Lucifer. Your Maker told ye, they were made for Cain No: I'll stay here.

As you for Him. You would not have their doom Lucifer. How long?

Superior to your own? Had Adam not Cain.

For ever! Since! Fallen, all had stood. I must one day return here from the carth,

Carn.

Alas, the hopeless wretches! I rather would reinain; I ain sick of all

They too must share my sire's fate, like his sons; That dust has shown me-let me dwell in shadows. Like them, too, without having shared the appie;

Lucifer. It cannot be: thou now beholdest as Like them, too, without the so dear-bought know. A vision that which is reality.

It was a lying tree-for we know nothing. (ledge ! To make thyself fit for this dwelling, thou

At least it promised knowledge at the price Must pass through what the things thou seest have of death---but knowledge still : but what knows man? The gates of death.

pass'd Lucifer. It may be death leads to the highest Саіл.

By what gate have we enter'd knowledge; Even now?

And being of all things the sole thing certain, Lucifer. By mine! But, plighted to return, At least leads to the surest science: therefore My spirit buoys thee up to breathe in regions

The tree was true, though deadly. Where all is breathless save thyself. Gaze on;

Cain,

These dim realms! But do not think to dwell here till thine hour

I see them, but I know them not. Is come.

Lucifer.

Because
Cair. And these, too; can they ne'cr repass Thy hour is yet afar, and matter cannot
To earth again?

Comprehend spirit wholly; but 'tis something
Lucifer. Their earth is gone for ever To know there are such realms.
So changed by its convulsion, they would not

Cain.

We knew already Be conscious to a single present spot

That there was death. Of its new scarcely harden'd surface-'twas

Lucifer.

But not what was beyond it. Oh, what a beautiful world it was !

Cain. Nor know I now.
Cam.

And is.
Lucifer.

Thou knowest that there is It is not with the earth, though I niust till it,

A state, and many states beyond thine own: I feel at war, but that I may not profit

And this thou knewest not this morn. By what it bears of beautiful untoiling.

Carn.

But all Nor gratify my thousand swelling thoughts

Seems dim and shadowy. With knowledge, nor allay my thousand fears

Lucifer.

Be content; it will of death and life.

Seem clearer to thine immortality.
I.ucifer. What thy world is, thou seest, Cain, And yon immeasurable liquid space
But canst not comprehend the shadow of

of glorious azure which floats on beyond us, That which it was.

Which looks like water, and which I should deem Cain.

And those enormous creatures, The river which flows out of Paradise Phantoms inferior in intelligence

Past my own dwelling, but that it is bank.ess (At least so seeming) to the things we have pass'd, And boundless, and of ethereal hueResembling somewhat the wild habitants

What is it? Of the deep woods of earth, the hugest which

Lucifer. There is still some such on earth. Roar nightly in the forest, but tenfold

Although inferior, and thy children shall In magnitude and terror; taller than

Dwell near it-'tis the phantasin of an ocean. The cherub-guarded walls of Eden, with

Cain. 'Tis like another world; a liquid sun-Eyes flashing like the fiery swords which fence them, And those inordinate creatures sporting o'er And tusks projecting like the trees stripp'd of Its shining surface? Their bark and branches-what were they?

Lucifir.

Are its inhabitants; Lucifer.

That which The past leviathans.

Cain.

And yon inmense į Lucifer. And who and what duih not: 1560 Serpent, which rtárs its dripping mane and vasty covets evil Head ten timnes higher than the haughtiest cedar For its own bittet sake? None--nothing ! 'lis Forth from the abyss, looking as lie could coil The leaven of all life, and lifelessness. Himself around the orbs we lately look'd 01

Cain. Within those glorious orbs which we Is he not of the kind which bask'd beneath

beheld, The tree in Eden ?

Distant, and dazzling, and innumerable,
Lucifer.
Eve, thy mother, best

Ere we came down into this phantom realm,
Can tell what shape of serpent tempted her.

Ill cannot come: they are too beautiful. Cain. This seems too terrible. No doubt the Lucifer, Thou hast seen them from afarHad more of beauty.

(other ! Cuin,

And what of that? Lucifer.

Hast thou ne'er beheld him? | Distance can but diminish glory ; they, Cain. Many of the same kind (at least so call), When nearer, must be more ineffable. But never that precisely which persuaded

Lucifer. Approach the things of earth most The fatal fruit, nor even of the same aspect.

beautiful, Lucifer. Your father saw him not?

And judge their beauty near.
Cain.
No; 'twas my mother Cain.

I have done this Who tempted him-she tempted by the serpeut.

The loveliest thing I know is loveliest nearest. Lucifer. Good man, whene'er thy wife, or thy Lucifer. Then there must be delusion. What sons' wives,

is that, Tempt thee or them to augl.t that's new or strange, 1 Which being nearest to thine eyes is still Be sure thou seest first who hath tempted them. More beautiful than beauteous things remote ?

Cain. Thy precept comes too late ; there is no Cair. My sister Adah. All the stars of heaven, For serpents to tempt woman to.

(more The deep blue noon cf night, lit by an orb Lucifer.

But there

Which looks a spirit, or a spirit's worldAre some things still which woman may tempt The hues of twilight-the sun's gorgeous comingman to,

His setting indescribable, which fills And man tempi woman : let thy sons look to it! My eyes with pleasant tears, as I behold My counsel is a kind one: for 'tis even

Him sink, and feel my lieart foat softly with him Given chiefly at my own expense : 'tis true,

Along that western paradise of clouds'Twill not be follow'd, so there's little lost.

The forest shade-the green bough-the bird's Cain. I understand not this.

voiceLucifer.

The happier thou! The vesper bird's, which seems to sing of love, Thy world and thou are still too young! Thou And mingles with the song of cherubim, thinkest

As the day closes over Eden's walls ;-Thyself most wicked and unhappy!-is it

All these are nothing, to my eyes and heart, Not so?

Like Adah's face : I turn from earth and heaven Cain. For crime, I know not; but for pain

To gaze on it. I have felt much,

Lucifer. 'Tis fair as frail mortality, Lucifer. First-born of the first mani In the first dawn and bloom of young creation, Thy present state of sin, and thou art evil

And earliest embraces of earth's parents Of sorrow, and thou sufferest-are both Eden Can make its offspring ; still it is delusion. In all its innocence compared to what

Cain. You think so, being not her brother. Thou shortly may'st be; and that state again

Lucifer.

Mortal! In its redoubled wretchedness, a Paradise

My brotherhood's with those who have no children. To what thy sons'sons' sons, accumulating

Cain. Then thou canst have no fellowship with us. In generations like to dust (which they

Lucifer. It may be that thine own shall be for me. In fact but add to), shall endure and do.

But if thou dost possess a beautiful Now let us back to earth!

Being beyond all beauty in thine eyes, Cain.

And wherefore didst thou Why art thou wretched? Lead me here only to inform me this?

Why do I exist ? Lucifer. Was not thy quest for knowledge! Why art thou wretched ? why are all things so ! Cain.

Yes; as being Even He who made us must be, as the maker
The road to happiness.

Of things unhappy! To produce destruction
Lucifer.
If truth be so,

Can surely never be the task of joy,
Thou hast it.

And yet my sire says He's omnipotent :
Cain. Then my father's God did well Then why is evil-He being good? I ask'd
When He prohibited the fatal tree.

This question of my father; and he said,
Lucifer. But had done better in not planting it. Because this evil only was the path
But ignorance of evil doth not save

To good. Strange good that must arise from out From evil; it must still roll on the same,

Its deadly opposite. I lately saw
A part of all things.

A lamb stung by a reptile: the poor suckling
Cain.
Not of all things. No:

Lay foaming on the earth, beneath the vain 1 ll not believe it--for I thirst for good.

And piteous bleating of its restless dam,

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