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ADAH.

The fruits of the earth, the early, beautiful
Blossom and bud, and bloom of flowers, and fruits;
These are a goodly offering to the Lord,
Given with a gentle and a contrite spirit.

CAIN.
I have toil'd, and till’d, and sweaten in the sun
According to the curse:—must I do more?
For what should I be gentle? for a war
With all the elements ere they will yield
The bread we eat? For what must I be grateful?
For being dust, and groveling in the dust,
Till I return to dust? If I am nothing-
For nothing shall I be an hypocrite,
And seem well pleased with pain? For what

should I Be contrite? for my father's sin, already Expiate with what we all have undergone, And to be more than expiated by The ages prophesied, upon our seed. Little deems our young blooming sleeper, there, The germs of an eternal misery To myriads is within him! better 'twere I snatch'd him in his sleep, and dash'd him 'gainst The rocks, than let him live to

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ADAH

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Oh, my God! Touch not the child-my child! thy child! Oh Cain!

CAIN.
Fear not! for all the stars, and all the power
Which sways them, I would not accost yon infant
With ruder greeting than a father's kiss.

ADAH.
Then, why so awful in thy speech?

CAIN.

I said, ”Twere better that he ceased to live, than give Life to so much of sorrow as he must Endure, and, harder still, bequeath ; but since That saying jars you, let us only say, 'Twere better that he never had been born.

ADAH.

Oh, do not say so! Where were then the joys,
The mother's joys of watching, nourishing,
And loving him ? Soft! he awakes. Sweet Enoch!

[She goes to the child. Oh Cain! look on him ; see how full of life, Of strength, of bloom, of beauty, and of joy,

How like to me-how like to thee, when gentle,
For then we are all alike; is 't not so, Cain?
Mother, and sire, and son, our features are
Reflected in each other; as they are
In the clear waters, when they are gentle, and
When thou art gentle. Lore us, then, my Cain!
And love thyself for our sakes, for we love thee.
Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms,
And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine,
To hail his father; while his little form
Flutters as wing’d with joy. Talk not of pain!
The childless cherubs well might envy thee
The pleasures of a parent! Bless him, Cain!
As yet he hath no words to thank thee, but
His heart will, and thine own too.

CAIN.

Bless thee, boy! If that a mortal blessing may avail thee, To save thee from the serpent's curse!

ADAH.

It shall.

Surely a father's blessing may avert
A reptile’s subtlety.

CAIN.

Of that I doubt; But bless him ne'er the less.

ADAH.

Our brother comes.

CAIN. Thy brother Abel.

Enter ABEL.

ABEL.

Welcome, Cain! My brother, The peace of God be on thee!

CAIN.

Abel, hail !

ABEL.

Our sister tells me that thou hast been wandering,
In high communion with a spirit, far
Beyond our wonted range. Was he of those
We have seen and spoken with, like to our father?

CAIN.

No.

ABEL.

Why then commune with him? he may be A foe to the Most High.

CAIN.

And friend to man. . Has the Most High been so—if so you term him?

ABEL.

Term him! your words are strange to-day, my

brother. My sister Adah leave us for a while We mean to sacrifice.

ADAH.

Farewell, my Cain ;
But first embrace thy son. May his soft spirit,
And Abel's pious ministry, recal thee
To peace and holiness!

[Exit Aday, with her child.
ABEL.
Where hast thou been?

CAIN.
I know not.

ABEL.
Nor what thou hast seen?
CAIN.

The dead,
The immortal, the unbounded, the omnipotent,
The overpowering mysteries of space-
The innumerable worlds that were and are-

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