Page images
[ocr errors]


Cain. Another sacrifice! Give way, or else | The earth swims round me :-what is this? That sacrifice


'tis wet ; Abel. What meanest thou ?

(Puts his hand to his brow, and then Cain. Give

looks at it. Give way! thy God loves blood !- then And yet there are no dews! 'Tis blood-my look to it:

blood Give way, ere he hath more!

My brother's and my own; and shed by me! Abel. In his great name,

Then what have I further to do with life, I stand between thee and the shrine which Since I have taken life from my own flesh? hath

But he can not be dead !-Is silence death? Had his acceptance.

No; he will wake: then let me watch by him. Cain. If thou lov'st thyself,

Life cannot be so slight, as to be quench'd Stand back till I have strew'd this turf along Thus quickly!_he hath spoken to me since Its native soil :-else

What shall I say to him? - My brother! - No; Abel (opposing him). I love God far more He will not answer to that name; for Than life.

brethren Cain. (striking him on the temples, with Smite not each other. Yet-yet_speak to me.

a brand, which he snatches from the Oh! for a word more of that gentle voice,
altar) Then take thy life unto thy That I may bear to hear my own again!

Since he loves lives.'

Enter ZILLAN Abel (falls). What hast thou done, my Zillah. I heard a heavy sound : what can brother?

it be ? Cain. Brother!

'Tis Cain; and watching by my husband. Abel. Oh, God! receive thy servant, and

Wbat Forgive his slayer, for he knew not what Dost thou there, brother? Doth he sleep? He did. - Cain, give me--give me thy hand;

Oh! heaven! and tell

What means this paleness, and yon stream? Poor Zillah

-No! no! Cain (after a moment's stupefaction). My It is not blood; for who would shed his hand! 'tis all red, and with

blood ? What? [Along pause. - Looking slowly round. Abel! what's this?—who hath done this? Where am I ? alone! Where's Abel? where

He moves not; Cain? Can it be that I am he? My brother, He breathes not: and his hands drop down Awake! — why liest thou so on the green

from mine earth?

With stony lifelessness! Ah! cruel Cain ! 'Tis not the hour of slumber:- why so pale? Why cam’st thou not in time to save him What hast thou !- thou wert full of life

from this morn!

This violence? Whatever hath assail'd him, Abel! I pray thee, mock me not! I smote Thou wert the stronger, and shouldst have Too fiercely, but not fatally. Ah, why

stepp'd in Wouldst thou oppose me ? This is mockery; Between him and aggression! Father! And only done to daunt me :-'twas a blow

Eve! And but a blow. Stir-stir-nay, only stir! Adah!--come hither! Death is in the world! Why, so—that's well! — thou breath'st!

[Exit Zillah, calling on her parents. breathe upon me!

Cain (solus). And who hath brought him Oh, God! Oh, God!

there?--I-who abhor Abel (very faintly). What's he who speaks The name of Death so deeply, that the of God?

thought Cain. Thy murderer.

Empoison'd all my life, before I knew Abel. Then may God forgive him! Cain, His aspect-I have led him here, and given Comfort poor Zillah : she has but one My brother to his cold and still embrace, brother

As if he would not have asserted his Now.

[Abel dies. Inexorable claim without my aid. Cain. And I none! - Who makes me I am awake at last-a dreary dream brotherless ?

Had madden'd me;—but he shall ne'er His eyes are open! then he is not dead!

awake! Death is like sleep; and sleep shuts down our lids.

Enter ADAM, Eve, Adan, and ZILLAA. His lips, too,are apart; why then he breathes! Adam. A voice of woe from Zillah brings And yet I feel it not.—His heart !- his

me here.heart!

What do I see ?— 'Tis true!-My son ! Let me see, doth it beat?_methinks_No!_no! This is a vision, else I am become Woman, behold the serpent's work, and The native of another and worse world.


(To Eve.

[ocr errors]

my son!

yon brand,

I am


Eve. Oh! speak not of it now : the With scorpions! May his dreams be of his serpent's fangs

victim ! Are in my heart. My best beloved, Abel! His waking a continual dread of death! Jehovah! this is punishment beyond May the clear rivers turn to blood as he A mother's sin, to take him from me! Stoops down to stain them with his raging Adam. Who

lip! Or what hath done this deed ?—speak, Cain, May every element shun or change to him! since thou

May he live in the pangs which others die Wert present: was it some more hostile angel,

with! Who walks not with Jehovah? or some wild And death itself wax something worse than Brute of the forest?

death Eve. Ah! a livid light

To him who first acquainted him with man! Breaks through as from a thunder-cloud! Hence, fratricide! henceforth that word is

Cain, Massy and bloody! snatch'd from off the Through all thecoming myriads of mankind, altar,

Who shall abhor thee, though thou wert And black with smoke, and red with

their sire! Adam. Speak, my Son !

May the grass wither from thy feet! the Speak, and assure us, wretched as we are,

woods That we are not more miserable still.

Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust Adah. Speak,Cain! and say it was not thou! A grave! the sun his light! and heaven Eve. It was.

her God!

[Erit Eve. I see it now-he hangs his guilty head, Adam. Cain! get thee forth: we dwell And covers his ferocious eye with hands

no more together. Incarnadine.

Depart! and leave the dead to meAdah. Mother, thou dost him wrong- Henceforth alone_we never must meet more. Cain ! clear thee from this horrible accusal, Adah. Oh, part not with him thus, my Which grief wrings from our parent.

father : do not Eve. Hear, Jehovah!

Add thy deep curse to Eve's upon his head! May the eternal serpent's curse be on him! Adam. I curse him not: his spirit be his For he was fitter for his seed than ours. May all his days be desolate! May- Come, Zillah ! Adah. Hold !

Zillah. I must watch my husband's corse. Curse him not, mother, for he is thy son- Adam. We will return again, when he is Curse him not, mother, for he is my brother,

gone And my betroth’d.

Who hath provided for us this dread office. Eve. He hath left thee no brother- Come, Zillah! Zillah no husband –

-me no son!- for thus Zillah. Yet one kiss on yon pale clay, I curse him from my sight for evermore! And those lips once so warm-my heart ! All bonds I break between us, as he broke That of his nature,in yon-Oh death! death!

[Ereunt Adam and Zillah weeping. Why didst thou not take me, who first in- Adah. Cain! thou hast heard, we must curr'd thee?

go forth. I am ready, Why dost thou not so now?

So shall our children be. I will bear Enoch, Adam. Eve! let not this,

And you his sister. Ere the sun declines Thy natural grief, lead to impiety! Let us depart, nor walk the wilderness A heavy doom was long forespoken to us; Under the cloud of night.-Nay, speak to me, And now that it begins, let it be borne To me, thine own. In such sort as may show our God, that we Cain. Leave me! Are faithful servants to his holy will. Adah. Why, all have left thee. Eve (pointing to Cain). His will!! the Cain. And wherefore lingerest thou ? will of yon incarnate spirit

Dost thou not fear Of death,whom I have brought upon the earth To dwell with one who hath done this? To strew it with the dead. May all the curses Adah. I fear Of life be on him! and his agonies Nothing except to leave thee, much as I Drive him forth o'er the wilderness, like us Shrink from the deed which leaves thee From Eden, till his children do by him

brotherless. As he did by his brother! May the swords I must not speak of this—it is between thee And wings of fiery cherubim pursue him And the great God. By day and night--snakes spring up in his A Voice from within exclaims, path

Cain! Cain ! Earth's fruits be ashes in his mouth the Adah! Hearst thou that voice ? leaves

The Voice within. On which he lays his head to sleep be Cain! Cain ! strew'd

Adah. It soundeth like an angel's tone.

my heart!

[ocr errors]

me ?

Enter the Angel of the Lord. Ere yet my mother's mind subsided from Where is thy brother Abel ?

The serpent, and my sire still mourn'd for Cain. Am I then

Eden. My brother's keeper ?

That which I am, I am; I did not seek Angel. Cain! what hast thou done? For life, nor did I make myself; but could I The voice of thy slain brother's blood cries With my own death redeem him froin the out,

dust Even from the ground, unto the Lord !And why not so ? let him return to day, Now art thou

And I lie ghastly! so shall be restored Cursed from the earth, which open'd late By God the life to him he loved : and taken her mouth

From me a being I ne'er loved to bear. To drink thy brother's blood from thy rash Angel. Who shall heal murder? what hand.

is done is done. Henceforth, when thou shalt till the Go forth ! fulfil thy days! and be thy deeds ground, it shall not

Unlike the last! [T'he Angel disappears. Yield thee her strength;a fugitive shalt thou Adah. He's gone, let us go forth; Be from this day, and vagabond on earth! I hear our little Enoch cry within Adah. This punishment is more than he Our bower. can bear.

Cain. Ah ! little knows he what he weeps Behold, thou drivest him from the face of

for! earth,

And I who have shed blood cannot shed tears! And from the face of God shall he be his. But the four rivers would not cleanse my A fugitive und vagabond on earth,

soul. 'Twill come to pass, that who so findeth him Thinkst thou my boy will bear to look on Shall slay him.

Cain. Would they could ! but who are they Adah. If I thought that he would not, Shall slay me? where are these on the lone

I would earth

Cain (interrupting her). No, As yet anpeopled ?

No more of threats: we have had too many Angel. Thou hast slain thy brother.

of them : And who shall warrant thee against thy son? Go to our children; I will follow thee.

Adah. Angel of Light! be merciful,nor say Adah. I will not leave thee lonely with That this poor aching breast now nourishes the dead ; A murderer in my boy, and of his father. Let us depart together. Angel. Then he would but be what his Cain. Oh! thou dead father is.

And everlasting witness! whose unsinking Did not the milk of Eve give nutriment Blood darkens earth and heaven! what thou To him thou now seest so besmear'd with

now art, blood ?

I know not! but if thou seest what I am, The fratricide might well engender parri- I think thou wilt forgive him, whom his God cides.

Can ne'er forgive, nor his own soul. But it shall not be so — the Lord thy God Farewell! And mine commandeth me to set his seal I must not, dare not touch what I have On Cain, so that he may go forth in safety.

made thee. Who slayeth Cain, a sevenfold vengeance I, who sprung from the same womb with shall

thee, drain'd Be taken on his head. Come hither! The same breast,clasp'd thee often to my own, Cain. What

In fondness brotherly and boyish, I Wouldst thou with me?

Can never meet thee more, nor even dare Angel. To mark upon thy brow To do that for thee, which thou shouldst Exemption from such deeds as thou hast done.

have done Cain. No, let me die!

For me – compose thy limbs into their Angel. It must not be.

grave[The Angel sets the mark on Cain's brow. The first grave yet dug for mortality. Cain. It burns

But who hath dug that grave? Oh, carth! My brow, but nought to that which is Oh, earth! within it.

For all the fruits thou hast render'd to me, I Is there more ? let me meet it as I may. Give thee back this._Now for the wilderness. Angel. Stern hast thou been and stub- [Adah stoops down and kisses the body born from the womb,

of Abel. As the ground thou must henceforth till; Adah. A dreary, and an early doom, but he

my brother, Thou slew'st was gentle as the flocks he has been thy lot! Of all who mourn for tended.

Cain. After the fall too soon was I begotten; 1 alone must not weep. My office is

like me,


Henceforth to dry up tears, and not to shed | Cain. And he who lieth there was childthem;

less. I But yet , of all who mourn, none mourn Have dried the fountain of the gentle Not only for thyself, but him who slew thee. Which might have graced his recent marNow,Cain!I will divide thy burden with thee. riage-couch, Cain. Eastward from Eden will we take And might have temper'd this stern blood our way;

of mine, 'Tis the most desolate, and suits my steps. Uniting with our children Abel's offspring! Adah. Lead! thou shalt be my guide, O Abel ! and may our God

Adah. Peace be with him! Be thine! Now let us carry forth our children. Cain. But with me!


[blocks in formation]

SCENE I. - A woody and mountainous Anah. But, Aholibamah, district near Mount Ararat.-TIME- love our God less since his angel loved me: midnight.

This cannot be of good ; and though I

know not Enter Anak and AHOLIBAMAR.

That I do wrong, I feel a thousand fears Anah. Our father sleeps: it is the hour which are not ominous of right. when they

Ahol. Then wed thee Who love us are accustom'd to descend Unto some son of clay, and toil and spin! Through the deep clouds o’er rocky Ararat:_ There's Japhet loves thee well, hath loved How my heart beats !

thee long;
Aholibamah. Let us proceed upon Marry, and bring forth dust!
"Our invocation.

Anah. I should have loved
Anah. But the stars are hidden. Azaziel not less were he mortal ; yet
I tremble.

I am glad he is not. I can not outlive Ahol. So do I, but not with fear

him, Of aught save their delay.

And when I think that his immortal wings Anah. My sister, though

Will one day hover o'er the sepulchre I love Azaziel more than oh, too much! Of the poor child of clay which so adored What was I going to say? my heart grows impious.

As he adores the Highest, death becomes Ahol. And where is the impiety of loving Less terrible; but yet I pity him; Celestial natures ?

His grief will be of ages, or at least


Mine would be such for him, were I the


Thou rulest in the upper air -
And he the perishable.

Or warring with the spirits who may daro Ahol. Rather say,

Dispute with Him, That he will single forth some other who made all empires, empire; or recalling, daughter

Some wandering star which shoots through. Of Earth,and love her as he once loved Anah.

the abyss, Anah. And if it should be so, and she Whose tenants dying, while their world so loved him,

is falling, Better thus than that he should weep for me. Share the dim destiny of clay in this;

Ahol. If I thought thus of Samiasa's love, Or joining with the inferior cherubim, All seraph as he is, I'd spurn him from me. Thou deignest to partake their hymnBut to our invocation! Tis the hour.

Samiasa! Anah. Seraph !

I call thee, I await thee, and I love thee. From thy sphere!

Many worship thee, that will I not: Whatever star contain thy glory:

If that thy spirit down to mine may move In the eternal depths of Heaven

Albeit thou watchest with “the seven," Descend and share my lot!
Though through space infinite and hoary Though I be form'd of clay,
Before thy bright wings worlds be driven,

And thou of beams
Yet hear!

More bright than those of day
Oh! think of her who holds thee dear!

On Eden's streams,
And though she nothing is to thee, Thine immortality can not repay,
Yet think that thou art all to her.

With love more warm than mine
Thou canst not tell,--and never be My love. There is a ray
Such pangs decreed to aught save me,- In me, which though forbidden yet toshino,
The bitterness of tears.

I feel was lighted at thy God's and thine. Eternity is in thine years,

It may be hidden long: death and decay Unborn, undying beauty in thine eyes ; Our muther Eve bequeath'd us—but my With me thou canst not sympathize,

heart Except in love, and there thou must Defies it: though this life must pass away;

Acknowledge that more loving dust Is that a canse for thee and me to part? Ne'er wept beneath the skies.

Thou art immortal--80 am I: I feelThou walkst thy many worlds, thou seest I feel my immortality o'ersweep

The face of him who made thee great, All pains,all tears,all time,all fears,and peal, As He hath made me of the least

Like the eternal thunders of the deep, Of those cast out from Eden's gate : Into my ears this truth — "thou livest for

Yet, Seraph dear!
O hear!

But if it be in joy
For thou hast loved me, and I would I know not, nor would know;
not die

That secret rests with the Almighty giver Until I know what I must die in Who folds in clouds the fonts of bliss knowing,

and woe. That thou forget'st in thine eternity

But thee and me He never can destroy; Her whose heart death could not keep Change us He may, but not o'erwhelm;

from o’erflowing For thee, immortal essence as thou art! Of as eternal essence, and must war Great is their love who love in sin and With Him if He will war with us: with

thee And such I feel are waging in my heart I can share all things, even immortal A war unworthy: to an Adamite

sorrow; Forgive, my Seraph! that such thoughts For thou hast ventured to share lifo appear,

with me, For sorrow is our element;

And shall I shrink from thine eternity ? Delight

No! though the serpent's sting should An Eden kept afar from sight,

pierce me thorough,
Though sometimes with our visions And thou thyself wert like the serpent,coil

Around me still! and I will smile
The hour is near

And curse thee not; but hold
Which tells me we are not abandon'd quite.. Thee in as warm a fold
Appear! Appear!

As-bat descend ; and provo


A mortal's love
My own Azaziel! be but here,

For an immortal. If the skies contain
And leave the stars to their own light. More joy than thou canst give and tako,
Ahol. Samiasa!

remain !


we are


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »