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NOAH AND HIS SONS.
_Chorus of Spirits of the Earth.--Chorus of Mortals_.
HEAVEN AND EARTH.
SCENE I.--_A woody and mountainous district near Mount Ararat.--Time, midnight_.
_Enter_ ANAH _and_ AHOLIBAMAH.
_Anah_. OUR father sleeps: it is the hour when they Who love us are accustomed to descend Through the deep clouds o'er rocky Ararat:-- How my heart beats!
_Aho._ Let us proceed upon Our invocation.
_Anah_. But the stars are hidden.
_Aho._ So do I, but not with fear Of aught save their delay.
_Anah_. My sister, though I love Azaziel more than----oh, too much!
What was I going to say? my heart grows impious.
_Aho._ And where is the impiety of loving 10 Celestial natures?
_Anah_. But, Aholibamah, I love our G.o.d less since his angel loved me: This cannot be of good; and though I know not That I do wrong, I feel a thousand fears Which are not ominous of right.
_Aho._ Then wed thee Unto some son of clay, and toil and spin!
There's j.a.phet loves thee well, hath loved thee long: Marry, and bring forth dust!
_Anah_. I should have loved Azaziel not less were he mortal; yet I am glad he is not. I cannot outlive him. 20 And when I think that his immortal wings Will one day hover o'er the sepulchre Of the poor child of clay which so adored him, As he adores the Highest, death becomes Less terrible; but yet I pity him: His grief will be of ages, or at least Mine would be such for him, were I the Seraph, And he the perishable.
_Aho._ Rather say, That he will single forth some other daughter Of earth, and love her as he once loved Anah. 30
_Anah_. And if it should be so, and she loved him, Better thus than that he should weep for me.
_Aho._ If I thought thus of Samiasa's love, All Seraph as he is, I'd spurn him from me.
But to our invocation!--'Tis the hour.
From thy sphere!
Whatever star contain thy glory; In the eternal depths of heaven Albeit thou watchest with "the seven," 40 Though through s.p.a.ce infinite and h.o.a.ry Before thy bright wings worlds be driven, Yet hear!
Oh! think of her who holds thee dear!
And though she nothing is to thee, Yet think that thou art all to her.
Thou canst not tell,--and never be Such pangs decreed to aught save me,-- The bitterness of tears.
Eternity is in thine years, 50 Unborn, undying beauty in thine eyes; With me thou canst not sympathise, Except in love, and there thou must Acknowledge that more loving dust Ne'er wept beneath the skies.
Thou walk'st thy many worlds, thou see'st The face of him who made thee great, As he hath made me of the least Of those cast out from Eden's gate: Yet, Seraph dear! 60 Oh hear!
For thou hast loved me, and I would not die Until I know what I must die in knowing, That thou forget'st in thine eternity Her whose heart Death could not keep from o'er-flowing For thee, immortal essence as thou art!
Great is their love who love in sin and fear; And such, I feel, are waging in my heart A war unworthy: to an Adamite Forgive, my Seraph! that such thoughts appear, 70 For sorrow is our element; Delight An Eden kept afar from sight, Though sometimes with our visions blent.
The hour is near Which tells me we are not abandoned quite.-- Appear! Appear!
My own Azaziel! be but here, And leave the stars to their own light! 80
Wheresoe'er Thou rulest in the upper air-- Or warring with the spirits who may dare Dispute with him Who made all empires, empire; or recalling Some wandering star, which shoots through the abyss, Whose tenants dying, while their world is falling, Share the dim destiny of clay in this; Or joining with the inferior cherubim, 90 Thou deignest to partake their hymn-- Samiasa!
I call thee, I await thee, and I love thee.
Many may worship thee, that will I not: If that thy spirit down to mine may move thee, Descend and share my lot!
Though I be formed of clay, And thou of beams More bright than those of day On Eden's streams, 100 Thine immortality can not repay With love more warm than mine My love. There is a ray In me, which, though forbidden yet to shine, I feel was lighted at thy G.o.d's and thine.
It may be hidden long: death and decay Our mother Eve bequeathed us--but my heart Defies it: though this life must pa.s.s away, Is _that_ a cause for thee and me to part?
Thou art immortal--so am I: I feel-- 110 I feel my immortality o'ersweep All pains, all tears, all fears, and peal, Like the eternal thunders of the deep, Into my ears this truth--"Thou liv'st for ever!"
But if it be in joy I know not, nor would know; That secret rests with the Almighty giver, Who folds in clouds the fonts of bliss and woe.
But thee and me he never can destroy; Change us he may, but not o'erwhelm; we are 120 Of as eternal essence, and must war With him if he will war with us; with _thee_ I can share all things, even immortal sorrow; For thou hast ventured to share life with _me_, And shall _I_ shrink from thine eternity?
No! though the serpent's sting should pierce me thorough, And thou thyself wert like the serpent, coil Around me still! and I will smile, And curse thee not; but hold Thee in as warm a fold 130 As----but descend, and prove A mortal's love For an immortal. If the skies contain More joy than thou canst give and take, remain!
_Anah_. Sister! sister! I view them winging Their bright way through the parted night.
_Aho._ The clouds from off their pinions flinging, As though they bore to-morrow's light.
_Anah_. But if our father see the sight!
_Aho._ He would but deem it was the moon 140 Rising unto some sorcerer's tune An hour too soon.
_Anah_. They come! _he_ comes!--Azaziel!
_Aho._ Haste To meet them! Oh! for wings to bear My spirit, while they hover there, To Samiasa's breast!
_Anah_. Lo! they have kindled all the west, Like a returning sunset;--lo!
On Ararat's late secret crest A mild and many-coloured bow, 150 The remnant of their flashing path, Now shines! and now, behold! it hath Returned to night, as rippling foam, Which the Leviathan hath lashed From his unfathomable home, When sporting on the face of the calm deep, Subsides soon after he again hath dashed Down, down, to where the Ocean's fountains sleep.
_Aho._ They have touched earth! Samiasa!