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Enter the Angel of the LORD.
Angel. Where is thy brother Abel ?

Am I then
My brother's keeper ?

Cain! what hast thou done?
The voice of thy slain brother's blood cries out,
Even from the ground, unto the Lord !—Now thou art
Cursed from the earth, which open'd late her mouth
To drink thy brother's blood from thy rash hand.
Henceforth, when thou shalt till the ground, it shall not
- Yield thee her strength ; a fugitive shalt thou
Be from this day, and vagabond on earth!

Adah. This punishment is more than he can bear.
Behold, thou drivest him from the face of earth,
And from the face of God shall he be hid.
A fugitive and vagabond on earth,
’T will come to pass, that whoso findeth him
Shall slay him.

Cain. Would they could ! but who are they
Shall slay me ? where are these on the lone earth
As yet unpeopled ?

Thou hast slain thy brother,
And who shall warrant thee against thy son ?

Adah. Angel of light! be merciful, nor say
That this poor aching breast now nourishes
A murderer in my boy, and of his father.

Angel. Then he would but be what his father is.
Did not the milk of Eve give nutriment
To him thou now see'st so besmeared with blood ?
The fratricide might well engender parricides.-
But it shall not be so--the Lord thy God
And mine commandeth me to set his seal
On Cain, so that he may go forth in safety.
Who slayeth Cain, a sevenfold vengeance shall
Be taken on his head. Come hither !

Wouldst thou with me?

To mark upon thy brow
Exemption from such deeds as thou hast done.
Cain. No, let me die !

. It must not be.

[The Angel sets the mark on Cain's brow : Cain.

It burns
My brow, but nought to that which is within it.
Is there more ? let me meet it as I may.
Angel. Stern hast thou been and stubborn from the womb,


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As the ground thou must henceforth till; but he
Thou slew'st was gentle as the flocks he tended.

Cain. After the fall too soon was I begotten ;
Ere yet my mother's mind subsided from
The serpent, and my

sire still mourn'd for Eden.
That which I am, I am; I did not seek
For life, nor did I make myself ; but could I
With my own death redeem him from the dust-
And why not so ? let him return to day,
And I lie ghastly! so shall be restored
By God the life to him he loved ; and taken
From me a being I ne'er loved to bear.

Angel. Who shall heal murder? what is done is done.
Go forth! fulfil thy days! and be thy deeds
Unlike the last !

[The Angel disappears.
Adah. He's gone, let us go forth ;
I hear our little Enoch cry within
Our bower.
Cain. Ah ! little knows he what he


for! And I who have shed blood cannot shed tears! But the four rivers * would not cleanse


soul. Think'st thou my boy will bear to look on me?

Adah. If I thought that he would not, I would —
Cain. (interrupting her).

No more of threats : we 've had too many of them :
Go to our children; I will follow thee.

Adah. I will not leave thee lonely with the dead;
Let us depart together.

Oh! thou dead
And everlasting witness ! whose unsinking
Blood darkens earth and heaven! what thou now art,
I know not! but if thou see'st what I am,
I think thou wilt forgive him, whom his God
Can ne'er forgive, nor his own soul.-Fareweil !
I must not, dare not, touch what I have made thee.
I, who sprang from the same womb with thee, drain'd
The same breast, clasp'd thee often to my own,
In fondness brotherly and boyish, I
Can never meet thee more, nor even dare
To do that for thee, which thou shouldst have done
For me-compose thy limbs into their gravem
The first grave yet dug for mortality.
But who hath dug that grave ? Oh, earth! Oh, earth!
For all the fruits thou hast render'd to me, I
Give thee back this.-Now for the wilderness.

[Adah stoops down and kisses the body of ABEL.

* The“ four rivers ” which flowed round Eden, and consequently the only waters with which Cain was acquainted upon the earth.

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Adah. A dreary, and an early doom, my brother,
Has been thy lot! Of all who mourn for thee,
I alone must not weep. My office is
Henceforth to dry up tears, and not to shed them ;
But yet, of all who mourn, none mourn like me,
Not only for thyself, but him who slew thee.
Now, Cain ! I will divide thy burden with thee.

Cain. Eastward from Eden will we take our way; 'T is the most desolate, and suits my steps.

Adah. Lead! thou shalt be my guide, and may our God
Be thine! Now let us carry forth our children.

Cain. And he who lieth there was childless. I
Have dried the fountain of a gentle race,
Which might have graced his recent marriage couch,
And might have temper'd this stern blood of mine,
Uniting with our children Abel's offspring !
O Abel!

Adah. Peace be with him !
But with me!



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