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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

Divided with me; life and death -- and time --
Eternity -- and heaven and earth -- and that
Which is not heaven nor earth, but peopled with
Those who once peopled or shall people both --
These are my realms! So that I do divide
His, and possess a kingdom which is not
His. If I were not that which I have

said, 551
Could I stand here? His angels are within
Your vision.

Adah. So they were when the fair ser-pent
Spoke with our mother first.

Lucifer. Cain! thou hast heard.

If thou dost long for knowledge, I can satiate
That thirst; nor ask thee to partake of fruits
Which shall deprive thee of a single good The conqueror has left thee. Follow me.

Cain. Spirit, I have said it.

[Exeunt LUCIFER and Cain.

Adah (follows, exclaiming). Cain! my brother! Cain!


ACT II

SCENE I

The Abyss of Space.

Cain. I tread on air, and sink not; yet I fear
To sink.

Lucifer. Have faith in me, and thou shalt be
Borne on the air, of which I am the prince.

Cain. Can I do so without impiety?

Lucifer. Believe -- and sink not! doubt
-- and perish! thus
Would run the edict of the other God,
Who names me demon to his angels; they
Echo the sound to miserable things,
Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow senses,
Worship the word which strikes their ear,

and deem 10
Evil or good what is proclaim'd to them
In their abasement. I will have none such:
Worship or worship not, thou shalt behold
The worlds beyond thy little world, nor be
Amerced for doubts beyond thy little life,
With torture of my dooming. There will come
An hour, when, toss'd upon some water-drops,
A man shall say to a man, 'Believe in me,
And walk the waters;' and the man shall walk
The billows and be safe. I will not say, 20
Believe in me, as a conditional creed
To save thee; but fly with me o'er the gulf
Of space an equal flight, and I will show
What thou dar'st not deny, -- the history
Of past, and present, and of future worlds.

Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art,
Is yon our earth?

Lucifer. Dost thou not recognise The dust which form'd your father?

Cain. Can it be?
Yon small blue circle, swinging in far ether,

With an inferior circlet near it still, 30
Which looks like that which lit our earthly night?
Is this our Paradise? Where are its walls,
And they who guard them?

Lucifer. Point me out the site Of Paradise

Cain. How should I? As we move Like sunbeams onward, it grows small and smaller,
And as it waxes little, and then less,
Gathers a halo round it, like the light
Which shone the roundest of the stars, when I
Beheld them from the skirts of Paradise.

Methinks they both, as we recede from

them, 40
Appear to join the innumerable stars
Which are around us; and, as we move on,
Increase their myriads.

Lucifer. And if there should be Worlds greater than thine own, inhabited By greater things, and they themselves far more
In number than the dust of thy dull earth, Though multiplied to animated atoms,
All living, and all doom'd to death, and wretched,
What wouldst thou think?

Cain. I should be proud of thought Which knew such things.

Lucifer. But if that high thought were

-636-

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