NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Lord Byron: Six Plays. Lord Byron. Los Angeles: Black Box Press, 2007.
RAPHAEL: I came to call ye back to your fit sphere,In the great name and at the word of God.Dear, dearest in themselves, and scarce less dearThat which I came to do: till now we trodTogether the eternal space; togetherLet us still walk the stars. True, earth must die!Her race, return’d into her womb, must wither,And much which she inherits: but oh! whyCannot this earth be made, or be destroy’d,Without involving ever some vast voidIn the immortal ranks? immortal stillIn their immeasurable forfeiture.Our brother Satan fell; his burning willRather than longer worship dared endure!But ye who still are pure!Seraphs! less mighty than that mightiest one,Think how he was undone!And think if tempting man can compensateFor heaven desired too late?Long have I warr’d,Long must I warWith him who deem’d it hardTo be created, and to acknowledge himWho midst the cherubimMade him as suns to a dependent star,Leaving the archangels at his right hand dim.I loved him—beautiful he was: oh, heaven!Save his who made, what beauty and what powerWas ever like to Satan’s! Would the hourIn which he fell could ever be forgiven!The wish is impious: but, oh ye!Yet undestroy’d, be warn’d! EternityWith him, or with his God, is in your choice:He hath not tempted you; he cannot temptThe angels, from his further snares exempt:But man hath listen’d to his voice,And ye to woman’s—beautiful she is,The serpent’s voice less subtle than her kiss.The snake but vanquish’d dust; but she will drawA second host from heaven, to break heaven’s law.Yet, yet, oh fly!Ye cannot die;But theyShall pass away,While ye shall fill with shrieks the upper skyFor perishable clay,Whose memory in your immortalityShall long outlast the sun which gave them day.Think how your essence differeth from theirsIn all but suffering! why partakeThe agony to which they must be heirs—Born to be plough’d with years, and sown with cares,And reap’d by Death, lord of the human soil?Even had their days been left to toil their pathThrough time to dust, unshorten’d by God’s wrath,Still they are Evil’s prey, and Sorrow’s spoil.