A monologue from the play by Lord Byron
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
AHOLIBAMAH: Let them fly!
I hear the voice which says that all must die,
Sooner than our white-bearded patriarchs died;
And that on high
An ocean is prepared,
While from below
The deep shall rise to meet heaven’s overflow.
Few shall be spared,
It seems; and, of that few, the race of Cain
Must lift their eyes to Adam’s God in vain.
Sister! since it is so,
And the eternal Lord
In vain would be implored
For the remission of one hour of woe,
Let us resign even what we have adored,
And meet the wave, as we would meet the sword,
If not unmoved, yet undismay’d,
And wailing less for us than those who shall
Survive in mortal or immortal thrall,
And, when the fatal waters are allay’d,
Weep for the myriads who can weep no more.
Fly, seraphs! to your own eternal shore,
Where winds nor howl nor waters roar.
Our portion is to die,
And yours to live for ever:
But which is best, a dead eternity,
Or living, is but known to the great Giver.
Obey him, as we shall obey;
I would not keep this life of mine in clay
An hour beyond his will;
Nor see ye lose a portion of his grace,
For all the mercy which Seth’s race
And as your pinions bear ye back to heaven,
Think that my love still mounts with thee on high,
And if I look up with a tearless eye,
‘Tis that an angel’s bride disdains to weep,—
Farewell! Now rise, inexorable deep!