A monologue from the play by Lord Byron
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|NOTE: Cain is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
- LUCIFER: A superior?! Superior?!
- No! By heaven, which he
- Holds, and the abyss, and the immensity
- Of worlds and life, which I hold with himNo!
- I have a Victortrue; but no superior.
- Homage he has from allbut none from me:
- I battle it against him, as I battled
- In highest Heaventhrough all Eternity,
- And the unfathomable gulfs of Hades,
- And the interminable realms of space,
- And the infinity of endless ages,
- All, all, will I dispute! And world by world,
- And star by star, and universe by universe,
- Shall tremble in the balance, till the great
- Conflict shall cease, if ever it shall cease,
- Which it ne'er shall, till he or I be quenched!
- And what can quench our immortality,
- Or mutual and irrevocable hate?
- He as a conqueror will call the conquered
- Evil, but what will be the Good he gives?
- Were I the victor, his works would be deemed
- The only evil ones. And you, ye new
- And scare-born mortals, what have been his gifts
- To you already, in your little world?
- But few; and some of those but bitter.
- Back with me, then, to thine earth, and try the rest
- Of his celestial boons to you and yours.
- Evil and Good are things in their own essence,
- And not made good or evil by the Giver;
- But if he gives you goodso call him; if
- Evil springs from him, do not name it mine,
- Till ye know better its true fount; and judge
- Not by words, though of Spirits, but the fruits
- Of your existence, such as it must be.
- One good gift has the fatal apple given
- Your reason: let it not be overswayed
- By tyrannous threats to force you into faith
- 'Gainst all external sense and inward feeling:
- Think and endure, and form an inner world
- In your own bosom where the outward fails;
- So shall you nearer be the spiritual
- Nature, and war triumphant with your own.
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