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When these small arms, with pliant thews filled out,

Shall at my side break up the fruitful glebe,

And aid the cheery labours of the year-
Aid, or, in feebler wearier years, replace,
And leave me longer hours for home and love.

SCENE IV.

Adam and Eve.

Eve. O Adam, it was I was godless then; But you were mournful, heavy, but composed. At times would somewhat fiercely bite your lip And pass your hand about your brow; but still Held out, denied not God, acknowledged still Those glories that were gone. No, I never Felt all your worth to me before; I feel

You did not fall as I did.

Adam.

Nay, my child,

About our falls I don't profess to know.
I know I ne'er was innocent as thou;

I only know, as you will have it so,

Were your descent more lengthy than was mine,
It is not that your place is lower now,

But that first 'twas higher up than mine;

It is, that I being bestial, you divine,
We now alike are human beings both.
About our fall I won't profess to know,
But know I do,

That I was never innocent as thou.

Moping again, my love; yes, I dare swear,
All the day long while I have been at work,
With some religious folly in your head.

Eve. No, Adam, I am cheerful quite to-day;
I vary much, indeed, from hour to hour,

But since my baby's birth I am happier far;
And I have done some work as well as you.
Adam. What is it tho' for I will take my oath
You've got some fancy stirring in your brain.
Eve. Nay, but it vexes me for evermore
To find in you no credence to my thought.

Adam. What is it then you wish me to subscribe to ?
That we were in a garden put by God,
Allowed to eat of all the trees but one.

Somehow I don't know how-a serpent tempted us, And eat we did, and so were doomed to die; Whereas before we were meant to live for ever. Meantime, turned out

Eve.

You do not think then, Adam,

We have been disobedient unto God?

Adam. My child, how should I know, and what do

you mean?

Your question's not so simple as it looks;

For if you mean that God said this or that—

As that 'You shall not touch those apples there,'

And that we did—why, all that I can say
Is, that I can't conceive the thing to be.
But if it were so, I should then believe
We had done right-at any rate, no harm.

Eve. O Adam, I can scarcely think I hear;
For if God said to us- -God being God-

'You shall not,' is not His commandment His?

And are not we the creatures He hath made?

Adam. My child, God does not speak to human minds

In that unmeaning arbitrary way.

God were not God if so, and good not good.

Search in your heart, and if you tell me there

You find a genuine voice-no fancy, mind you—
Declaring to you this or that is evil,

Why, this or that I daresay evil is.
Believe me, I will listen to the word;
For not by observation of without

Cometh the kingdom of the voice of God:

It is within us-let us seek it there.

Eve. Yet I have voices, surely, in my heart.

Often

you say I heed them over much.

Adam. God's voice is of the heart: I do not say

All voices, therefore, of the heart are God's;

And to discern the voice amidst the voices

Is that hard task, my love, that we are born to.

Eve. Ah me, in me I am sure the one, one voice Goes somehow to the sense of what I say

The sense of disobedience to God.

O Adam, some way, some time, we have done wrong, And when I think of this, I still must think

Of Paradise, and of the stately tree

Which in the middle of the garden grew,
The golden fruit that hung upon its boughs,
Of which but once we eat, and I must feel
That whereas once in His continual sight
We lived, in daily communing with Him,
We now are banished, and behold not Him,
Our only present communing, alas!
Is penitential mourning, and the gaze
Of the abased and prostrate prayerful soul;
But you, yourself, my Adam, you at least

Acknowledge

Adam.

some time somehow we did wrong. My child, I never even granted that.

Eve. Oh, but you let strange words at times fall

from you.

They are to me like thunderbolts from heaven ;
I listen terrified and sick at heart,

Then haste and pick them up and treasure them.
What was it that you said when Cain was born :
'He's born of us and therefore is not pure.'
O, you corrected well, my husband, then
My foolish, fond exuberance of delight.

Adam. My child, believe me, truly I was the fool; But a first baby is a strange surprise.

I shall not say so when another comes;

And I beseech you treasure up no words.

You know me: I am loose of tongue and light.

I beg you, Eve, remember nought of this;

Put not at least, I pray you-nay, command—

Put not, when days come on, your own strange whim And misconstruction of my idle words

Into the tender brains of our poor young ones.

Adam.

SCENE V.

Adam with Cain and Abel.

Cain, beware!

Strike not your brother! I have said, beware!

A heavy curse is on this thing, my son.

With doubt and fear,

Terror and toil and pain already here,

Let us not have injustice too, my son.
So Cain, beware!

And Abel, too, see you provoke him not.

Abel.

SCENE VI.

Abel alone.

At times I could believe

My father is no better than his son :

If not as overbearing, proud and hard,
Yet prayerless, worldly, almost more than Cain.
Enlighten and convert him ere the end,

My God! spurn not my mother's prayers and mine.
Since I was born, was I not left to Thee,
In an unspiritual and godless house,

Unfathered and unbrothered-Thine and hers?
They think not of the fall: e'en less they think
Of the redemption, which God said should be;
Which, for we apprehend it by our faith,
Already is-is come for her and me.
Yea, though I sin, my sin is not to death;
In my repentance I have joy, such joy
That almost I could sin to seek for it-
Yea, if I did not hate it and abhor,

And know that Thou abhorr'st and hatest it,

And will'st, for an example to the rest,

That Thine elect should keep themselves from it.
Alas!

My mother calls the fall a mystery;
Redemption is so too. But oh, my God,
Thou wilt bring all things in the end to good.
Yea, though the whole earth lie in wickedness, I
Am with Thee, with Thee, with Thee evermore.
Ah, yet I am not satisfied with this!
Am I not feeding spiritual pride,
Rejoicing over sinners, inelect

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