Page images

But not our own.

There is not one who hath not left a throne

Vacant in Heaven to dwell in darkness here, Rather than see his mates endure alone.

Go, wretch! and give

A life like thine to other wretches-live!
And when the annihilating waters roar
Above what they have done,

Envy the Giant Patriarchs then no more,
And scorn thy sire as the surviving one!
Thyself for being his son!

Chorus of Spirits issuing from the cavern.


No more the human voice

Shall vex our joys in middle air

With prayer;

No more

Shall they adore;

And we, who ne'er for ages have adored

The prayer-exacting Lord,

To whom the omission of a sacrifice

Is vice;

We, we shall view the deep salt sources pour'd Until one element shall do the work

Of all in chaos; until they,

The creatures proud of their poor clay, Shall perish, and their bleached bones shall lurk In caves, in dens, in clefts of mountains, where The Deep shall follow to their latest lair;

Where even the brutes, in their despair, Shall cease to prey on man and on each other, And the striped tiger shall lie down to die

Beside the lamb, as though he were his brother;
Till all things shall be as they were,
Silent and uncreated, save the sky :
While a brief truce

Is made with Death, who shall forbear
The little remnant of the past creation,
To generate new nations for his use;
This remnant, floating o'er the undulation
Of the subsiding deluge, from its slime,
When the hot sun hath baked the reeking soil
Into a world, shall give again to Time
New beings-years-diseases-sorrow-crime-
With all companionship of hate and toil,


JAPHET (interrupting them).

The eternal will

Shall deign to expound this dream
Of good and evil; and redeem

Unto Himself all times, all things;

And, gather'd under his almighty wings,
Abolish hell!

And to the expiated Earth

Restore the beauty of her birth,

Her Eden in an endless paradise,

Where man no more can fall as once he fell, And even the very demons shall do well!


And when shall take effect this wond'rous spell?


When the Redeemer cometh; first in pain,

And then in glory.


Meantime still struggle in the mortal chain,

Till earth wax hoary;

War with yourselves, and Hell, and Heaven, in vain,
Until the clouds look gory

With the blood reeking from each battle plain;
New times, new climes, new arts, new men; but still
The same old tears, old crimes, and oldest ill,
Shall be amongst your race in different forms;
But the same moral storms

Shall oversweep the future, as the waves
In a few hours the glorious Giants' graves.

Chorus of Spirits.

Brethren, rejoice;

Mortal, farewell!

Hark! hark! already we can hear the voice
Of growing Ocean's gloomy swell;

The winds, too, plume their piercing wings!
The clouds have nearly fill'd their springs;
The fountains of the great deep shall be broken,

And Heaven set wide her windows; while mankind
View, unacknowledged, each tremendous token-
Still, as they were from the beginning, blind.
We hear the sound they cannot hear,
The mustering thunders of the threatening sphere;
Yet a few hours their coming is delay'd;

Their flashing banners, folded still on high,
Yet undisplay'd,

Save to the Spirits' all-pervading eye.

Howl! howl! oh Earth!

Thy death is nearer than thy recent birth :

* «And there were Giants in those days, and after; mighty men, which were of old men of renown.»-Genesis.


Tremble, ye mountains, soon to shrink below
The ocean's overflow!

The wave shall break upon your cliffs; and shells,
The little shells of ocean's least things be
Deposed where now the eagle's offspring dwells--
How shall he shriek o'er the remorseless sea!
And call his nestlings up with fruitless yell,
Unanswer'd save by the encroaching swell ;-
While man shall long in vain for his broad wings,
The wings which could not save :—


Where could he rest them, while the whole space brings

Nought to his eye beyond the deep, his grave?

Brethren, rejoice!

And loudly lift each superhuman voice--

All die,

Save the slight remnant of Seth's seed—

The seed of Seth,

Exempt for future Sorrow's sake from death.

But of the sons of Cain

None shall remain;

And all his goodly daughters

Must lie beneath the desolating waters;
Or, floating upward with their long hair laid
Along the wave, the cruel Heaven upbraid,
Which would not spare

Beings even in death so fair.
It is decreed,

All die!

And to the universal human cry

The universal silence shall succeed!

Fly, brethren, fly!

But still rejoice!

We fell !

They fall!

So perish all

These petty foes of Heaven who shrink from Hell!

(The Spirits disappear, soaring upwards.)

JAPHET (solus).

God hath proclaim'd the destiny of Earth;
My father's ark of safety hath announced it;
The demons shriek it from their caves;
The scroll of Enoch prophesied it long


In silent books, which, in their silence, say
More to the mind than thunder to the ear:
And yet men listen'd not, nor listen; but
Walk darkling to their doom; which, though so nigh,
Shakes them no more in their dim disbelief,

Than their last cries shall shake the Almighty purpose,
Or deaf obedient Ocean, which fulfils it.

No sign yet hangs its banner in the air;

The clouds are few, and of their wonted texture;
The sun will rise upon the earth's last day

As on the fourth day of creation, when

God said unto him, « Shine! » and he broke forth
Into the dawn, which lighted not the yet
Unform'd forefather of mankind—but roused
Before the human orison the earlier

Made and far sweeter voices of the birds,
Which in the open firmament of Heaven
Have wings like angels, and like them salute
Heaven first each day before the Adamites!

Their matins now draw nigh—the East is kindling

*The Book of Enoch, preserved by the Ethiopians, is said by them to be anterior to the Flood.

« PreviousContinue »