Theatre: Lord Byron - Heaven and Earth - Part I - Scene I - Closet Drama - Links

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 16:39







       HEAVEN AND EARTH:
            A MYSTERY,

FOUNDED ON THE FOLLOWING PASSAGE
        IN GENESIS, CHAP. VI.

"And it came to pass . . . . that the sons of God
saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; and
they took them wives of all which they chose."

         ________________

"And woman wailing for her demon lover." -- COLERIDGE.


DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

    ANGELS.
SAMIASA.
AZAZIEL.
RAPHAEL, the Archangel.

     MEN.
NOAH and his SONS --
IRAD
JAPHET.

    WOMEN.
ANAH.
AHOLIBAMAH.

/Chorus of Spirits of the Earth. --
Chorus of Mortals./


HEAVEN AND EARTH.


PART I.

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 accustom'd 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.
I tremble.

/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
Celestial natures?

/Anah./            But, Aholibamah,
I love our God 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 Japhet 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 can not outlive him.
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.

/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.






/Anah./           Seraph!
             From thy sphere!
   Whatever star contain thy glory;
     In the eternal depths of heaven
     Albeit thou watchest with "the seven," [1]
   Though through space infinite and hoary
     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,
    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 seest
      The face of Him who made thee great,
    As he hath made of me the least
      Of those cast out from Eden's gate:
              Yet, Seraph, dear!
                  Oh, hear!
For thou hast loved me, and I would not die
  Until I know what I must die in knowing,
That thou forgett'st in thine eternity
  Her whose heart death could not keep from o'erflowing
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,
    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 abandon'd quite --
            Appear! appear!
                 Seraph!
     My own Azaziel! be but here,
  And leave the stars to their own light.




/Aho./           Samiasa!
               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,
   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,
      Descent and share my lot!
      Though I be form'd of clay,
          And thou of beams
      More bright than those of day
          On Eden's streams,
      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 God's and thine.
      It may be hidden long: death and decay
        Our mother Eve bequeath'd us -- but my heart
      Defies it; though this life must pass away,
        Is /that/ a cause for thee and me to part?
     Thou art immortal -- so am I: I feel --
        I feel my immortality o'ersweep
     All pains, all tears, all time, 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
     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
     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
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-colour'd bow,
The remnant of their flashing path,
Now shines! and now, behold! it hath
Return'd to night, as rippling foam,
 Which the leviathan hath lash'd
From his unfathomable home,
When sporting on the face of the calm deep,
 Subsides soon after he again hath dash'd
Down, down, to where the ocean's fountains sleep.

/Aho./  They have touch'd earth! -- Samiasa!

/Anah./                                      My Azaziel!
                                    [Exeunt.]






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Theatre: Lord Byron - Heaven and Earth - Part I - Scene I - Closet Drama - Links





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