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To the most gross and petty paltry wants,
To lure thee on to the renewal of
Fresh souls and bodies, all foredoom'd to be
Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thing
Thou canst not All die-there is what must survive.
Lucifer. I am angelic: wouldst thou be as I am?
Although inferior still to my desires
And my conceptions.
What are they which dwell
So humbly in their pride, as to sojourn
And what art thou who dwellest
So haughtily in spirit, and canst range
I seem that which I am;
And therefore do I ask of thee, if thou
Thou hast said, I must be
Lucifer. By suffering.
And must torture be immortal? Lucifer. We and thy sons will try. But now, behold! Is it not glorious?
And still increasing lights! what are ye? what
Air, where ye roll along, as I have seen
O God! O Gods! or whatsoe'er ye are !
Lucifer. Art thou not nearer? Look back to thine
Cain. Where is it? I see nothing save a mass Of most innumerable lights.
Cain. I cannot see it.
Yet it sparkles still.
Cain. Show me.
And wilt thou tell me so? Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks In the dim twilight, brighter than yon world Which bears them.
Lucifer. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds,
Must both be guided.
But by whom or what?
I dare behold? As yet thou hast shown nought
Dar'st thou behold?
Sit next thy heart?
Sate nearest it?
The things I see.
How know I what
Both partly; but what doth
Lucifer. What, if I show to thee things which have died,
As I have shown thee much which cannot die?
Cain. Do so.
Away, then, on our mighty wings.
Cain. Oh, how we cleave the blue! The stars fade
The earth! where is my earth? Let me look on it,
For I was made of it.
'Tis now beyond thee, Less, in the universe, than thou in it; Yet deem not that thou canst escape it: thou Shalt soon return to earth and all its dust: 'Tis part of thy eternity, and mine.
Cain. Where dost thou lead me?
To what was before thee
What is it not then new?
Lucifer. No more than life is; and that was ere thou
No end; and some, which would pretend to have
And such they are.
Cain. And Edens in them?
Lucifer. Yea, or things higher.
It may be.
Ay! and serpents too? Lucifer. Wouldst thou have men without them? must no reptiles
Breathe save the erect ones?
Where fly we ?
Are beings past, and shadows still to come.
Cain. But it grows dark, and dark-the stars are gone! Lucifer. And yet thou seest. Cain. 'Tis a fearful light! No sun, no moon, no lights innumerable. The very blue of the empurpled night Fades to a dreary twilight, yet I see Huge dusky masses: but unlike the worlds We were approaching, which, begirt with light, Seem'd full of life even when their atmosphere Of light gave way, and show'd them taking shapes Unequal, of deep valleys and vast mountains; And some emitting sparks, and some displaying Enormous liquid plains, and some begirt With luminous belts, and floating moons, which took, Like them, the features of fair earth :—instead, All here seems dark and dreadful.
How the lights recede !
To the world of phantoms, which
But distinct. Thou seekest to behold death and dead things? Cain. I seek it not: but as I know there are Such, and that my sire's sin makes him and me, And all that we inherit, liable
To such, I would behold at once, what I
Must one day see perforce.