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Were your immortal mission safety, 't would
In the decree Be general, not for two, though beautiful;
To us until this moment hidden, And beautiful they are, but not the less
Dost thou not err as we Condemn'd.
In being here? Japh. Oh, father! say it not,
Raph. I came to call ye back to your fit sphere, Noah.
In the great name and at the word of God. If that thou wouldst avoid their doom, forget
Dear, dearest in themselves, and scarce less dear That they exist: they soon shall cease to be;
That which I came to do: till now we trod While thou shalt be the sire of a new world,
Together the eternal space; together And better.
Let us still walk the stars. True, earth must die! Japh. Let me die with this, and them!
Her race, return'd into her womb, must wither, Noah. Thou shouldst for such a thought, but sbalt And much which she inherits: but oh! why Who can redeems thee.
Cannot this earth be made, or be destroy'd, Sam. And why him and thee,
Without involving ever some vast void More than what he, thy son, prefers to both ?
In the immortal ranks? immortal still Noah. Ask Him who made thee greater than myself In their immeasurable forfeiture. And mine, but not less subject to his own
Our brother Satan fell; his burning will Almightiness. And lo! his mildest and
Rather than longer worship dared endure ! Least to be tempted messenger appears!
But ye, who still are pure!
Seraphs ! less mighty than that mightiest one, Enter Raphael the Archangel.(1)
Think how he was undone! Raph. Spirits!
And think if tempting man can compensate
For heaven desired too late?
Long have I warr'd,
Long must I war
With him who deem'd it hard
To be created, and to acknowledge Him
Who 'midst the cherubim
Made him as sun to a dependent star,
I loved him-beautiful he was : oh heaven! Sam. Raphael!
Save his who made, what beauty and what power The first and fairest of the sons of God,
Was ever like to Satan's! Would the hour How long hath this been law,
In which he fell could ever be forgiven! That earth by angels must be left untrod?
The wish is impious: but, oh ye!
Yet undestroy'd, be warn’d! Eternity
With him, or with his God, is in your choice :
He hath not tempted you; he cannot tempt
The angels, from his further snares exempt: His frequent mission with delighted pinions:
But man hath listend to his voice, Adoring him in his least works display'd; And ye to woman's-beautiful she is, Watching this youngest star of his dominions; The serpent's voice less subtle than her kiss.
And, as the latest birth of his great word, The snake but vanquish'd dust; but she will draw
A second host from heaven, to break heaven's law.
Yet, yet, oh fly! And wherefore speak’st thou of destruction near ?
Ye cannot die; Raph. Had Samiasa and Azaziel been
Shall pass away,
While ve shall fill with shrieks the upper sky
For perishable clay,
Whose memory in your immortality
Shall long outlast the sun which gave them day. But ignorance must ever be
Think how your essence differeth from theirs
In all but suffering! why partake
Born to be plough'd with tears, and sown with cares, For Blindness is the first-born of Excess.
And reap'd by Death, lord of the human soil ? When all good angels left the world, ye stay'd, Even had their days been left to toil their path Stung with strange passions, and debased
Through time to dust, unshorten’d by God's wrath, By mortal feelings for a mortal maid:
Still they are Evil's prey and Sorrow's spoil. But ye are pardon’d thus far, and replaced
Let them fly! With your pure equals. Hence! away! away! I hear the voice which says that all must die Or stay,
Sooner than our white-bearded patriarchs died; And lose eternity by that delay!
And that on high Aza. And thou! if earth be thus forbidden
An ocean is prepared, (1) In the original MS. “Michael." -- "I return you," says to Raphael, who was an angel of gentler sympathies." Lord Byron to Mr. M., “the revise. I have softened the part B. Letters, July 6, 1822.-L. E. to which Gifford objected, and changed the name of Michael
While from below
Save in our ark, or let me be no more!
Noah. Peace, child of passion, peace!
If not within thy heart, yet with thy tongue
Do God no wrong!
Live as he wills it-die, when he ordains,
A righteous death, unlike the seed of Cain's.
Cease, or be sorrowful in silence; cease
To weary Heaven's ear with thy selfish plaint. For the remission of one hour of woe,
Wouldst thou have God commit a sin for thee? Let us resign even what we have adored,
Such would it be And meet the wave, as we would meet the sword,
To alter his intent If not unmoved, yet undismay'd,
For a mere mortal sorrow, Be a man! And wailing less for us than those who shall
And bear what Adam's race must bear, and can. Survive in mortal or immortal thrall,
Japh. Ay, father! but when they are gone, And, when the fatal waters are allay'd,
And we are all alone, Weep for the myriads who can weep no more. Floating upon the azure desert, and Fly, seraphs! to your own eternal shore,
The depth beneath us hides our own dear land, Where winds nor howl nor waters roar.
And dearer, silent friends and brethren, all Our portion is to die,
Buried in its immeasurable breast, And yours to live for ever:
Who, who, our tears, our shrieks, shall then comBut which is best, a dead eternity,
Can we in desolation's peace have rest? (maud ? Or living, is but known to the great Giver.
O God! be thou a God, and spare
Yet while 'tis time!
Renew not Adam's fall:
Mankind were then but twain,
But they are numerous now as are the waves
And the tremendous rain,
Whose drops shall be less thick than would their graves,
Were graves permitted to the seed of Cain. And as your pinions bear ye back to heaven, Noah. Silence, vain boy! each word of thine's a Think that my love still mounts with thee on high,
Angel! forgive this stripling's fond despair. And if I look up with a tearless eye,
Raph. Seraphs! these mortals speak in passion: Ye! 'Tis that an angel's bride disdains to weep Who are, or should be, passionless and pure, Farewell! Now rise, inexorable deep!
May now return with me. Anah. And must we die?
It may not be:
We have chosen, and will endure.
Raph. Say'st thou?
He hath said it, and I say, Amen!
Then from this hour,
And aliens from your God.
Japh. Alas! where shall they dwell? My pangs can be but brief; but thine would be Hark, hark! Deep sounds, and deeper still, Eternal, if repulsed from heaven for me.
Are howling from the mountain's bosom:
There's not a breath of wind upon the hill,
Yet quivers every leaf, and drops each blossom: Our doom is sorrow: not to us alone,
Earth groans as if beneath a heavy load. But to the spirits who have not disdain'd
Noah. Hark, hark! the sea-birds cry! To love us, cometh anguish with disgrace.
In clouds they overspread the lurid sky, The first who taught us knowledge hath been hurld And hover round the mountain, where before From his once archangelic throne
Never a white wing, wetted by the wave,
Yet dared to soar,
Even when the waters wax'd too fierce to brave.
Soon it shall be their only sbore, For me. Away! nor weep!
And then, no more! Thou canst not weep; but yet
The sun! the sun! Mayst suffer more, not weeping: then forget He riseth, but his better light is gone; Her, whom the surges of the all-straugling deep
And a black circle, bound Can bring no pang like this. Fly! fly!
His glaring disk around, Being gone, 't will be less difficult to die.
Proclaims earth's last of summer days bath shone! Japh. Oh say not so!
The clouds return into the hues of night,
Save where their brazen-colour'd edges streak
The verge where brighter morns were wont to break That pure severe serenity of brow:
Noah. And lo! yon flash of light,
It cometh! hence, away!
How vain to war with what thy God commands. Leave to the elements their evil prey!
Thy former force was in thy faith.
Enter Mortals, flying for refuge.
Chorus of Mortals.
Noah. Must we not leave all life to such? Begone! | What have we done? Yet spare!
Hark! even the forest beasts bowl forth their prayer!
The dragon crawls from out his den,
To herd, in terror, innocent with men;
And the birds scream their agony through air. And seek to save what all things now condemn, Yet, yet, Jehovah! yet withdraw thy rod In overwhelming unison
Of wrath, and pity thine own world's despair ! With just Jehovah's wrath!
Hear not man only, but all nature plead! clay! Japh. Can rage and justice join in the same path? Raph. Farewell, thou earth! ye wretched sons of Noah. Blasphemer! darest thou murmur even now? I caunot, must not, aid you. 'Tis decreed! Raph. Patriarch, be still a father! smooth thy brow:
[Exit RAPHAEL Thy son, despite his folly, shall not sink :
Japh. Some clouds sweep on as vultures for their He knows not what he says, yet shall not drink
prey, With sobs the salt foam of the swelling waters; While others, fix'd as rocks, await the word But be, when passion passeth, good as thou,
At which their wrathful vials shall be pour'd. Nor perish like heaven's children with man's daugh- No azure more shall robe the firmament, ters.
Nor spangled stars be glorious: Death hath risen : Aho. The tempest cometh; heaven and earth unite in the sun's place a pale and ghastly glare For the annihilation of all life.
Hath wound itself around the dying air. (1) Unequal is the strife
Aza. Come, Anah! quit this chaos-founded prison, Between our strength and the Eternal Might! To which the elements again repair,
Sam. But ours is with thee; we will bear ye far To turn it into what it was: beneath
The shelter of these wings thou shalt be safe, Where thou and Anah shalt partake our lot: As was the eagle's nestling once within
And if thou dost not weep for thy lost earth, Its mother's.-Let the coming chaos chafe Our forfeit heaven shall also be forgot.
With all its elements! Heed not their din!
These darken’d clouds are not the only skies.
[Azaziet and Samcasa fly off, and disappear Fear not; though we are shut from heaven,
with Anah and ABOLIBAMAH. (2) Yet much is ours, whence we can not be driven.
Japh. They are gone! They have disappear'd amidst
Now near its last, can aught restore
Chorus of Mortals.
What! wilt thou leave us all-all-all behind?
(1) "In his description of the deluge, which is a varied Superior and unmoved. Here only, weak and recurring master-piece,-(we hear it foretold, and we Against the charins of Beauty's powerful glance.' see it come,)-Lord Byron appears to us to have had an eye The angel rebukes him for yielding to a subjection unworthy to l'oussin's celebrated picture, with the sky hanging like a the perfection of his nature, and warns him of the debase. weight of lead upon the waters, the sun quenched and ment and disgrace in which it might involve him. This lurid, the rocks and trees, with fugitives upon them gloomily produces a question from the man, whether sexual love watching their fate, and a few figures struggling vainly with made no part of the happiness of the blest abode? To wbog the overwhelming waves.” Jeffrey.-L. E.
the angel (with a smile that glowed celestial rosy red, love's (2) “The elopement of spirits with children of dust
proper hue',) answeredis an incident that wants the sanction of reason, good-taste,
• Let it suffice thee, that thou know'st popular opinion, history, or tradition. It is only counte
Us happy; and without love no happiness! nanced by the mythology which school-boys learn from their
Whatever pure thou in thy body enjoy'sh, pantheons, and, when endowed with natural good sense,
And pure thou wert created, we enjoy learn to despise before they cease to be boys; and by the
In eminence.' romances, which the good sense of later ages has discarded
What Adam says, on another occasion, may be applicd to from their literature, although the superior sense of this en. these unnatural conjunctions:lightened age seems willing to restore them to favour. Milton Is so far from countenancing any thing so monstrous and
. Among unequals, what society
Can sort, what harmony, and true delight." inconceivable as sexual love between spiritual and material creatures, that his Adam speaks to Raphael of the passion to In Lord Byron's poem, they are censured by Noah, as impro. which he was too much enthralled by female charms, even per and unlawful; but this does not lessen tbc absurdity of where it was properly and naturally placed, as a weakness supposing them possible.” Anon.-L.E. of which he seems to be half ashamed
(3) "The despair of the mortal lovers for the loss of their Here passion first I felt
mortal mistresses is well and pathetically expressed." omn otion strange! In all enjoyments else,
Jesji - L.E.
And though the waters be o'er earth outspread,
Yet, as his word
Be the decree adored : He gave me life-he taketu but
The breath which is his own :
Nor longer this weak voice before his throne
Still blessed be the Lord,
For what is past,
From first to last-
The vast known and immeasurable unknown.
Blaspheme and groan ?
Chorus of Mortals.
Not to the mountains high;
To meet the ocean, which, advancing still, Already grasps each drowning hill,
Nor leaves an unsearch'd cave.
While safe amidst the elemental strife,
this child embark!
But thought it joy
Why was he born?
My unwean'd son-
Chorus of Mortals.
For prayer !!!
Shall prayer ascend,
But as we know the worst,
To make a world for torture.-Lo! they come, The loathsome waters, in their rage! And with their roar make wholesome nature dumb!
The forest's trees (coeval with the hour
Ere Eve gave Adam knowledge for her dower,
They meet the seas,
Fly, son of Noah, fly! and take thine ease
Then to Jehovah raise
Thy song of praise!
Who die in the Lord!
Enter a Woman.
My father and my father's tent,
The pleasant trees, that o'er our noonday bent
Our pastures green,
No more are to be seen.
I turn'd to bless the spot,
And now they are not !---
Japh. To die! in youth to die;
[The waters rise: Men fly in every direction;
many are overtaken by the waves; the Chorus of Morlals disperses in search of safety up the mountains : Japhet remains upon a rock, while the Ark floals towards him in the distance.
(1) “This poem, or rather first part of a poem, for so it is aid as possible. Nothing is circumlochtory: there is no stated to be, carries with it the peculiar impress of the going about and about to enter at length upon his object, writer's genius. It displays great vigour, and even a sever: but he impetuously rushes into it at once. All over the poem ity of style, throughout; which is another proof, if proof there is a gloom cast suitable to the subject: an ominous were needed, that elevation of writing is to be obtained only fearful hue, like that which Poussin has fluog over his in. by a rigid regard to simplicity. It may be perused without imitable picture of the Deluge. We see much evil, but we shocking the feelings of the sensitive, or furnishing au ob. dread more All is out of earthly keeping, as the events of ject for the discriminating inorality of any Lord Chaucellor. the time are out of the course of nature. Man's wickedness, Lord Byron has evidently endeavoured to sustain the interest the perturbed creation, fear-struck mortals, demons passing of this poem, by depicting natural but deep-drawn thoughts, to and fro in the earth, an overshadowing solemnity, and in all their freshness and intensity, with as little fictitious unearthly loves, form together the materials. That it has faults is obvious: prosaic passages, and too much tedious incongruity, the most insignificant vulgarism, or moderuisin, soliloquising: but there is the vigour and force of Byron to or even too great similarity to the ordinary featares of fling into the scale against these : there is much of the sub- nature, breaks the charm at once, and destroys the cha lime in description, and the beautiful in poetry. Prejudice, racter of the picture, as a faithful representation of the pri. or ignorance, or both, may condemn it; but while true meval earth, and the mighty race which nature bore while poetical feeling exists amongst us, it will be pronounced not yet in her prime of youth. Among all the wonderful curel. unworthy of its distinguished author."- Campbell.
lencios of Milton, nothing surpasses the pure and undis“It appears that this is but the first part of a poem; but turbed idealism with which he has drawn our first parents, it is likewise a poem, and a fine one too, within itself.' We so completely human as to excite our most ardent sympa. confess that we see little or nothing objectionable in it, thies, yet so far distinct from the common race of men as either as to theological orthodoxy, or general human feeling. manifestly to belong to a higher and uncorrupted state of It is solemn, lofty, fearful, wild, tumultuous, and shadowed being. In like manner, his Paradise is formed of the uni. all over with the darkness of a dreadful disaster. Of the versal productions of nature--the flowers, the fruits, the angels who love the daughters of men we see little, and trecs, the waters, the cool breezes, the soft and sunny slopes, know less—and not too much of the love and passion of the the majestic hills that skirt the scene; yet the whole is of fair lost mortals. The inconsolable despair preceding and an earlier, a more prolific, a more luxuriant vegetation : it accompanying an incomprehensible catastrophe, pervades fully comes up to our notion of what the earth might have the whole composition; and its expression is made sublime been before it was 'cursed of its Creator.' This is the by the noble strain of poetry in which it is said or sung. more remarkable, as Milton himself sometimes destroys, or Sometimes there is heaviness-adulness—as if it were pressed at least mars, the general effect of his picture, by the introin on purpose; intended, perhaps, to denote the occasional duction of incongruous thonghts or images. It has, not stupefaction, drowsiness, and torpidity of soul produced by without justice, been said, that sometimes the impending destruction upon the latest of the antedilu.
. God the Father turns a school divine;" vians. But, on the whole, it is not unworthy of Lord Byron." -Vilson.
and it is impossible, now and then, not to regret the intru. “Lord Byron's Mystery, with whatever crudeness and de. sion of the religious controversies of modern days. 'The fects it is chargeable, certainly has more poetry and music poet's passions are, on occasions, too strong for his imaginain it than any of his dramatic writings since Manfred; and tion, drag him down to earth, and, for the sake of some illhas also the peculiar merit of throwing us back, in a great timed allusion to some of those circumstances which had degree, to the strange and preternatural time of which it taken possession of his mighty mind, he runs the bazard of professes to treat. It is truly, and in every sense of the breaking the solemn enchantment withi which he has spell. word, a meeting of Heaven and Earth; angels are scen bound our captive senses. Perhaps, of later writers, Lord ascending and descending, and the windows of the sky are Byron alone has caught the true tone, in his short drama opened to deluge the face of nature. We have an impas. called Heaven and Earth. Here, notwithstanding that we sioned picture of the strong and devoted attachment inspired cannot but admit the great and manifold delinqueucies into the daughters of men by angel forms, and have placed against correct taste, particularly some perfectly ludicrous before us the emphatic picture of 'woman wailing for her metrical whimsies, yet all is in keeping-all is strange, podemon lover.' There is a like conflict of the passions as of etic, oriental; the lyric abruptness, the prodigal accumulathe elements--all wild, chaotic, uncontrollable, fatal; but tion of images in one part, and the rude simplicity in others there is a discordant harmony in all this-a keeping in the -above all, the general tone of description as to natural colouring and the time. In handling the unpolished page, objects, and of language and feeling in the scarcely mortal we look upon the world before the Flood, and gaze upon a beings which come forth upon the scene, seem to throw us doubtful blank, with only a few straggling figures, part hu. upward into the age of men before their lives were shortman and part divine; while, in the expression of the former, cued to the narrow span of three-score years and ten, and we read the fancies, ethereal and lawless, that lifted the eye when all that walked the earth were not born of woman." of beauty to the skies, and in the latter, the human passious - Milman. that .drew angels down to earth.'"-- Jeffrey.
“From the Loves of the Angels, we turn to a “strain of “ According to that vague and mysterious conception of higher mood;' with feelings much like those which would grandeur which religious or poetic minds associate with the arise on leaving the contemplation of a Holy Family' by ! antediluvian ages of the world, there were giants in those Carlo Dolce, to behold the Last Judgment' of Michel Aa. days:' the face of nature, the animal and vegetable produc- gelo. The Mystery of Hearen and Earth is conceived in the tions, the stature, the longevity, the passions of men, were best style of the greatest masters of poetry and painting. of a rasi and majestic growth, unknown in the later and It is not unworthy of Dante, and of the mighty artist to more feeble days of our ordinary world. Hence, from a whom we have alluded. As a picture of the last deluge, it poet who throws himself back into those times, we make is incomparably grand and awful. The characters, too, are the unreasonable demand, that he should keep the scenes invested with great dignity and grace. Nothing can be and persons whom he introduces to our notice sufficiently more imposing and fascinating than the haughty, and imallied to our common sympathies to excite our interest; while, perious, and passionate beauty of the daughter of Cain; por at the same time, they must appear as almost belonging to any thing more venerable than the mild but inflexible dig. another earth, and a different race of beings. We impe- nity of the patriarch Noah. We trust that no one will be riously require that degree of reality, without which no found with feelings so obtose, with taste so perverted, or poetry can become lastingly popular: yet that reality must with malignity so undisguised, as to mar the beauties of picbe far removed from all our ordinary nations; the region tures like these, by imputing to their author the cool profes. visited by angels must be formed of the same elements, yet sion of those sentiinents which he exbibits as extorted from possess a totally distinet charioter from that which we in- perishing mortals, in their last iustants of despair and death. babit: the sous and daughters of inen, who enjoyed familier Such a poem as this, if read aright, is calculated, by its intercourse with a higher race of beings, while we are to lofty passion and sublime conceptions, to exalt the mind feel for them as akin to ourselves, must partake in some de and to purify the heart beyond the power of many a sober gree of the unearthly nature of their celestial visitants. To homily. It will remain an imperishable monument of the this at once real and unreal world, among this human yet transcendent talents of its author; whom as raised
in at the same time almost preterhuman race, we must be trans- our estimation, to a higher pitch of pre-emipeuce than he ported by the imagination of the poet; and the slightest ever before attained.” N. Mag.-L. E.