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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
Spirit! I Would run the edict of the other God,
Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thinx Who names me demon to His angels; they
Of which I have heard my parents spcak, as of Echo the sound to miserable things,
A hideous heritage I owe to them
If I may judge, till now. But, spirit: if
Feel the prophetic torture of its truth),
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 iny dooming. There will come Lucifer.
Thou canst not An hour, when, toss'd upon some water drops,
All die-there is what inust survive. A man shall say to a man, 'Believe in me,
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 fight, 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 any 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.
Can it be?
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?
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.
I seem that which I am;
And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou
Wouldst be inmortal ? And as it waxes little, and then less,
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,
llow? Increase their myriads.
Lucifer. By suffering.
And must torture be inmortal? Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited
Lucifer. We and thy sons will try. But now, beBy greater things, and they themselves far more Is it not glorious ?
(hold: In number than the dust of thy dull earth,
Oh, thou beautiful
And unimaginable ether! and
And still increasing lights! what are ye? what
Is this blue wilderness of interminable
Air, where ye roll along, as I have seen
The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden?
Is your course measured for ye? Or do ye
Through an aërial universe of endless
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 God! O Gods! or whatsoe'er ye are !
How beautiful ye are ! how beautiful
Your works, or accidents, or whatsoe'er
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.
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 approachd, Cain. And wilt thou tell me so?
And wore the look of worlds. Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms
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
It may be. Which bears them.
And men? Lucifer. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds, Lucifer. Yea, or things higher. Each bright and sparkling---what dost think of
Ay, and serpents too! them?
Lucifer. Wouldst thou have men without them! Cain. That they are beautiful in their own sphere, must no reptiles And that the night, which makes both beautiful, Breathe save the erect ones? The little shining fire-fly in its flight,
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 Cau. .
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 thce 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?
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
Must one day see perforce.
Behold! Less, in the universe, than thou in it;
'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 minc.
Enormous vapours roll
Can I return? Is but the wreck.
L fer. 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 I were, or the things which seem to us Ithou Through thee and thine.
The clouds still open wide Cain, What are these mighty phantoms which I
of the intelligences I have seen
Round our regretted and unenter'1 Eden,
Fear not; without me thou Nor wear the forın of man as I have view'd it
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 inost 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
Yet they lived. Of inatter, which seem'd made for life to dwell on, Cain,
Where? Rather than life itself. But here, all is
Where So shadowy and so full of twilight, that
Cain. When ?
On what thou callest carth of death. Wouldst have it present?
They did inhabit.
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
And what are they? O God! I dare not think on't! Cursed be
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
Living, high, Even for the innocent !
Intelligent, good, great, and glorious things,
Dost thou curse thy father? As much superior unto all thy sire,
In its dull damp degeneracy, to
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?
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 ine? I leave them my inheritance. Lucifer.
It was. Oh, ye interminable gloomy realms
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?
True, it was more glorious. Live ye, or have ye lived !
Cain. And wherefore did it fall ?
Ask Him who fells, Cain. Then what is death?
Cain. But how?
Destruction and disorder of the elements,
Which struck a world to chaos, as a chaos
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!
'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
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 slow thee what thy predecessors are,
The Mammoth is in thy world: but these lie and what they were tliou feelest, in degree
By myriads underneath its surface. Inferior aj thy petty feelings and
But Thy petticr portion of the immortal part
None on it? Of high intelligence and carthly 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
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 of the forbidden tree. What these superior beings are or were;
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 Liucifer. How long?
Superior to your own? Had Adam not Cain.
For ever! Since Fallen, all had stood. 1 must one day return here from the carth,
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.
Lucifer. It may be death leads to the highest Cain. .
By what gate have we enter'd knowledge;
And being of all things the sole thing certain,
These dim realms! But do not think to dwell here till thine hour
I see them, but I know them not. Is come.
Comprehend spirit wholly; but 'tis something
We knew already Be conscious to a single present spot
That there was death. Of its new scarcely harden'd surface--'twas
But not what was beyond it. Oh, what a beautiful world it was!
Cau. Nor know I now.
Thou knowest that there is It is not with the earth, though I njust 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.
But all Nor gratify my thousand swelling thoughts
Seeins dim and shadowy, With knowledge, nor allay my thousand fears
Be content; it will
Seem clearer to thine immortality.
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 phantasın of an ocean. The cherub-guarded walls of Eden, with
Cain. 'Tis like another world; a liquid sunEyes flashing like the fiery swords which fence them, And thosc inordinate creatures sporting o'er And tusks projecting like the trees stripp'd of Its shining surface? Their bark and branches-what were they?
Are its inhabitants: Lucifer.
That which the past leviathans.
Lucifer. And who and what duih not 1122
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,
Ere we came down into this phantom realm,
ni cannot come : they are too beautiful. Cain. This seems too terrible. No doubt the Lucifer, Thou hast seen them from afarHad more of beauty.
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 calla), 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.
I have done this Who tempted him-she tempted by the serpent.
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, 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 Cain. 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.
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 float 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.
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 man: 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
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
Of things unhappy! To produce destruction
Can surely never be the task of joy,
And yet my sire says He's omnipotent :
This question of my father; and he said,
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 I ll not believe it--for I thirst for good.
And piteous bleating of its restless dam,