A monologue from the play by Lord Byron

download the complete text of Cain

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
  • ADAH: 'Twere better that he never had been born?
    Oh, do not say so! Where were then the joys,
    The mother's joys of watching, nourishing,
    And loving him? Soft! he awakes. Sweet Enoch!
    Oh, Cain! look on him; see how full of life,
    Of strength, of bloom, of beauty, and of joy—
    How like to me—how like to thee, when gentle—
    For then we are all alike; is't not so, Cain?
    Mother, and sire, and son, our features are
    Reflected in each other; as they are
    In the clear water, when they are gentle, and
    When thou art gentle. Love us, then, my Cain!
    And love thyself for our sakes, for we love thee.
    Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms,
    And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine,
    To hail his father; while his little form
    Flutters as winged with joy. Talk not of pain!
    The childless cherubs well might envy thee
    The pleasures of a parent! Bless him, Cain!
    As yet he hath no words to thank thee, but
    His heart will, and thine own too.