The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron

By George Gordon Byron | Go to book overview

to him, as Moderator in the schools of Cambridge, 'Behold the Book!' -- holding up the Scripture. It is to be recollected that my present subject has nothing to do with the New Testament, to which no reference can be here made without anachronism. With the poems upon similar topics, I have not been recently familiar. Since I was twenty I have never read Milton; but I had read him so frequently before, that this may make little difference. Gesner Death of Abel. I have never read since I was eight years of age, at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel.'s Thirza: in the following pages I have called them 'Adah' and 'Zillah,' the earliest female names which occur in Genesis; they were those of Lamech's wives: those of Cain and Abel. are not called by their names

Whether, then, a coincidence of subject may have caused the same in expression, I know nothing, and care as little

The reader will please to bear in mind (what few choose to recollect), that there is no allusion to a future state in any of the books of Moses, nor indeed in the Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary omission he may consult Warburton Divine Legation; whether satisfactory or not, no better has yet been assigned. I have therefore supposed it new to Cain, without, I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ

With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was difficult for me to make him talk like a clergyman upon the same subjects; but I have done what I could to restrain him within the bounds of spiritual politeness. If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of the Serpent, it is only because the book of Genesis has not the most distant allusion to any thing of the kind, but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine capacity

Note. -- The reader will perceive that the author has partly adopted in this poem the notion of Cuvier, that the world had been destroyed several times before the creation of man. This speculation, derived from the different strata and the bones of enormous and unknown animals found in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic account, but rather confirms it; as no human bones have yet been discovered in those strata, although those of many known animals are found near the remains of the unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the preAdamite world was also peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and proportionably powerful to the mammoth, etc., etc., is, of course, a poetical fiction to help him to make out his case

I ought to add, that there is a 'tramelogedia' of Alfieri, called Abel.e. -- I have never read that, nor any other of the posthumous works of the writer, except his Life

RAVENNA, Sept. 20, 1821


DRAMATIS PERSON Æ
MEN ADAM
CAIN.
ABEL.
SPIRITS ANGEL OF THE LORD
Lucifer.
WOMAN EVE
Adah.
ZILLAH

ACT I

SCENE I

The Land without Paradise. -- Time, Sunrise.

ADAM, EVE, CAIN, Abel., ADAH, ZILLAH, offering a Sacrifice.

Adam. God, the Eternal! Infinite! All-wise! --
Who out of darkness on the deep didst make
Light on the waters with a word -- all hail!
Jehovah, with returning light, all hail!
Eve. God! who'didst name the day, and separate
Morning from night, till then divided never,
Who didst divide the wave from wave, and call
Part of thy work the firmament -- all hail!
Abel. God! who didst call the elements into
Earth, ocean, air, and fire, and with the day
And night, and worlds which these illumi

nate 11
Or shadow, madest beings to enjoy them,
And love both them and thee -- all hail! all hail!
Adah. God, the Eternal! Parent of all things!
Who didst create these best and beauteous beings,
To be belovèd more than all save thee --
Let me love thee and them: -- all hail! all hail!
Zillah. Oh, God! who loving, making, blessing all,
Yet didst permit the Serpent to creep in, 19
And drive my father forth from Paradise,
Keep us from further evil: -- Hail! all hail!
Adam. Son Cain, my first-born, wherefore art thou silent?

-627-

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The Complete Poetical Works of Lord Byron
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Editor's Note v
  • Table of Contents vii
  • Biographical Sketch xi
  • Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - A Romaunt 1
  • Shorter Poems 83
  • Miscellaneous Poems 139
  • Domestic Pieces 207
  • Hebrew Melodies 216
  • Ephemeral Verses 223
  • Satires 240
  • Tales, Chiefly Oriental 309
  • Italian Poems 436
  • Dramas 477
  • Scene II 481
  • Act II 483
  • Scene I 483
  • Scene II 487
  • Scene IV 488
  • Act III 491
  • Scene I 491
  • Scene II 493
  • Scene III 494
  • Scene IV 495
  • Act I 499
  • Act I 499
  • Scene II 500
  • Act II 509
  • Scene I 509
  • Scene II 516
  • Act III 518
  • Scene I 518
  • Scene II 520
  • Act IV 528
  • Scene I 528
  • Scene II 533
  • Act V 538
  • Act V 538
  • Scene II 546
  • Scenf III 548
  • Scene II 549
  • Sardanapalus 550
  • Scene II 551
  • Act II 561
  • Scene I 561
  • Act III 571
  • Scene I 571
  • Act IV 578
  • Scene I 578
  • Act V 587
  • Scene I 587
  • Act I 595
  • Scene I 595
  • Act II 601
  • Scene I 601
  • Act III 608
  • Scene I 608
  • Act IV 615
  • Scene I 620
  • Scene I 620
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Dramatis Person Æ 627
  • Act II 636
  • Scene I 636
  • Scene II 639
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Heaven and Earth 655
  • Scene II 657
  • Scene II 658
  • Werner; Or, the Inheritance 671
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 683
  • Scene II 688
  • Act III 695
  • Scene I 695
  • Scene II 700
  • Scene III 701
  • Scene IV 701
  • Act IV 704
  • Scene I 704
  • Act V 713
  • Scene II 720
  • The Deformed Transformed 722
  • Scene II 723
  • Scene II 730
  • Part II 735
  • Scene I 735
  • Scene II 737
  • Scene III 738
  • Part III 742
  • Scene I 742
  • Don Juan 744
  • Notes 999
  • Indexes 1045
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