|Cain Monologue by Lord Byron|
- CAIN: And this is Life? Toil!
- And wherefore should I toil? because
- My father could not keep his place in Eden?
- What had I done in this? I was unborn:
- I sought not to be born; nor love the state
- To which that birth has brought me. Why did he
- Yield to the Serpent and the woman? or
- Yieldingwhy suffer? What was there in this?
- The tree planted, and why not for him?
- If not, why place him near it, where it grew
- The fairest in the center? They have but
- One answer to all questions, "'Twas his will,
- And he is good." How know I that? Because
- He is all-powerful, must all-good, too, follow?
- I judge but by the fruitsand they are bitter
- Which I must feed on for a fault not mine.
- Why do I exist? Why art all things wretched?
- Ev'n he who made us must be, as the maker
- Of things unhappy! To produce destruction
- Can surely never be the task of joy,
- And yet my sire says he's omnipotent:
- Then why is Evilhe being Good? I asked
- This question of my father; and he said,
- Because this Evil only was the path
- To Good. Strange good, that must arise from out
- Its deadly opposite. I lately saw
- A lamb stung by a reptile: the poor suckling
- Lay foaming on the earth, beneath the vain
- And piteous bleating of its restless dam;
- My father plucked some herbs, and laid them to
- The wound; and by degrees the helpless wretch
- Resumed its careless life, and rose to drain
- The mother's milk, who o'er it tremulous
- Stood licking its reviving limbs with joy.
- Behold, my son! said Adam, how from Evil springs Good!
- But I thought, that 'twere a better portion for the animal
- Never to have been stung at all than to
- Purchase renewal of its little life
- With agonies unutterable, though
- Dispelled by antidotes.
Credits: Reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.