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POEMS OF GEORGE ELIOT.

THE LEGEND OF JUBAL.

WIIEN Cain was driven from Jehovah's land
He wandered eastward, seeking some far strand
Ruled by kind gods who asked no offerings
Save pare field-fruits, as aromatic things,
To feed the subtler sense of frames divine
That lived on fragrance for their food and wine:
Wild joyous gods, who winked at fanlts and folly,
And could be pitiful and melancholy.
He never had a donbt that such gods were ;
He looked within, and saw them mirrored there.
Some think he came at last to Tartary,
And some to Iud; but, howsoe'er it be,
His staff he planted where sweet waters ran,
And iu that home of Cain the Arts began.

Man's life was spacions in the early world :
It pansed, like some slow ship with sail unfurled
Waiting in seas by scarce a wavelet curled ;
Beheld the slow star-paces of the skies,
And grew from strength to strength through centuries ;
Saw infant trees fill out their giant limbs,
And heard a thousand times the sweet birds' marriage hymus

In Cain's young city none had heard of Death
Save him, the founder; and it was his faith
That here, away from barsh Jehovah's law,
Man was immortal, since no halt or flaw
Io Cain's own frame betrayed six hundred years,
But dark as pines that autumn never sears
His locks thronged backward as he ran, his frame
Rose like the orbed sun each morn the same,
Lake-mirrored to his gaze; and that red brand,
The scorching impress of Jehovah's hand,
Was still clear-edged to his unwearied eye,
Its secret firm in time-franght memory.
He said, "My happy offspring shall not know
That the red life from out a man may flow

When smitten by his brother." True, his race
Bore each one stamped upon his new-born face
A copy of the brand no whit less clear;
But every mother held that little copy dear.

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Thus generations in glad idlesse throve,
Nor hunted prey, nor with each other strove ;
For clearest springs were plenteous in the land,
And gourds for cups; the ripe fruits sought the hand,
Bending the laden boughs with fragrant gold;
And for their roofs and garments wealth untold
Lay everywhere in grasses and broad leaves :
They labored gently, as a maid who weaves
Her hair in mimic mats, and panses oft
And strokes across her palm the tresses soft,
Then peeps to watch the poisèd butterfly,
Or little burdened ants that homeward hie.
Time was but leisure to their lingering thought,
There was no need for haste to finish anght;
But sweet beginnings were repeated still
Like infant babblings that no task fulfil;
For love, that loved not change, constrained the simple will.

Till, hurling stones in mere athletic joy,
Strong Lamech strack and killed his fairest boy,
And tried to wake him with the tenderest cries,
And fetched and held before the glazed eyes
The things they best had loved to look upon;
But never glance or smile or sigh he won.
The generations stood around those twain
Helplessly gazing, till their father Cain
Parted the press, and said, “ He will not wake;
This is the endless sleep, and we must make
A bed deep down for him beneath the sod;
Fur know, my sons, there is a mighty God
Angry with all man's race, but most with me.
I fled from out His land in vain !-'lis Ile
Who came and slew the lad, for He has found
This home of ours, and we shall all be bound
By the harsh bauds of His most cruel will,
Which any moment may some dear one kill.
Nay, though we live fur countless moons, at last
We and all ours shall die like summers past.
This is Jehovah's will, and He is strong;
I thonght the way I travelled was too long
For Him to follow me: my thonght was vain !
He walks unseen, but leaves a track of pain,
Pale Death His footprint is, and He will come again"

And a new spirit from that hour came o'er
The race of Cain: soft idlesse was no more,
But even the sunshine had a heart of care,
Smiling with hidden dread-a mother fair
Who folding to her breast a dying child
Beams with feigned joy that but makes sadness mild,
Death was now lord of Life, and at his word
Time, vague as air before, new terrors stirred,

With measured wing now audibly arose
Throbbing through all things to some unknown close.
Now glad Content by clutching Haste was torn,
And Work grew eager, and Device was born.
It seemed the light was never loved before,
Now each man said, “Twill go and come no more.
No budding branch, no pebble from the brook,
No form, no shadow, but new dearness took
From the one thought that life must have an end;
And the last parting now began to send
Diffusive dread through love and wedded bliss,
Thrilling them into finer tenderness.
Then Memory disclosed her face divine,
That like the calm nocturnal lights doth shine
Within the soul, and shows the sacred graves,
And shows the presence that no sunlight craves,
No space, no warmth, but moves among them all;
Gone and yet here, and coming at each call,
With ready voice and eyes that understand,
And lips that ask a kiss, and dear responsive hand.
Thus to Cain's race death was tear-watered seed
Of various life and action-shaping need.
But chief the sons of Lamech felt the stings
Of new ambition, and the force that springs
In passion beating on the shores of fate.
They said, “There comes a night when all too late
The mind shall long to prompt the achieving hand,
The eager thought behind closed portals stand,
And the last wishes to the mate lips press
Buried ere death in silent helplessness.
Then while the soul its way with sound can cleave,
And while the arm is strong to strike and heave,
Let soul and arm give shape that will abide
And rule above onr graves, and power divide
With that great god of day, whose rays must bend
As we shall make the moving shadows tend.
Come, let us fashion acts that are to be,
When we shall lie in darkness silently,
As our young brother doth, whom yet we see
Fallen and slain, but reigning in our will
By that one image of him pale and still."
For Lamech's sons were heroes of their race:
Jabal, the eldest, bore upon his face
The look of that calm river-god, the Nile,
Mildly secure in power that needs not guile.
But Tubal-Cain was restless as the fire
That glows and spreads and leaps from high to higher
Where'er is aught to seize or to subdue;
Strong as a storm he lifted or o'erthrew,
His urgent limbs like rounded granite grew,
Such granite as the plunging torrent wears
And roaring rolls around through countless ycars.
But strength that still on movement must be fed,
Inspiring thought of charge, devices bred,
And urged his mind through earth and air to rove.
For force that he could conquer if he strove,

For lurking forms that might new tasks fulfil
And yield unwilling to his stronger will.
Such Tubal-Cain. But Jubal had a frame
Fashioned to finer senses, which became
A yearning for some hidden soul of things,
Some outward touch complete on inuer springs
That vaguely moving bred a lonely pain,
A want that did but stronger grow with gain
Of all good else, as spirits might be sad
For lack of speech to tell us they are glad.

Now Jabal learned to tame the lowing kine,
And from their udders drew the snow-white wine
That stirs the innocent joy, and makes the stream
Of elemental life with fulness teem;
The star-browed calves he nursed with feeding hand,
And sheltered them, till all the little band
Stood mustered gazing at the sunset way
Whence he wonld come with store at close of day.
He soothed the silly sheep with friendly tone
And reared their staggering lambs that, older grown,
Followed his steps with sense-taught memory:
Till he, their shepherd, could their leader bo
And guide them through the pastures as he would,
With sway that grew from ministry of good.
He spread his tents upon the grassy plain
Which, eastward widening like the open main,
Showed the first whiteness 'neath the morning star ;
Near him his sister, dest, as women are,
Plied her quick skill in sequence to his thonght
Till the hid treasures of the milk she canght
Revealed like pollen 'mid the petals white,
The golden pollen, virgin to the light.
Even the she-wolf with young, on rapine bent,
He caught and tethered in his mat-walled tent,
And cherished all her little sharp-nosed young
Till the small race with hope and terror clung
About his footsteps, till each new-reared brood,
Remoter from the memories of the wood,
More glad discerned their common home with man.
This was the work of Jabal : he began
The pastoral life, and, sire of joys to be,
Spread the sweet ties that bind the family
O'er dear dumb souls that thrilled at man's caress,
And shared his pains with patient helpfulness.

Bat Tubal-Cain had canght and yoked the fire,
Yoked it with stones that bent the flaming spire
And made it roar in prisoned servitude
Within the furnace, till with force snbdued
It changed all forms he willed to work upon,
Till hard from soft, and soft from hard, he won.
The pliant clay he moulded as he would,
And laughed with joy when 'mid the heat it stood
Shaped as his hand had chosen, while the mass
That from his hold, dark, obstinate, would pass,

He drew all glowing from the busy heat,
All breathing as with life that he could beat
With thundering hammer, making it obey
His will creative, like the pale soft clay.
Each day he wrought and better than he planned,
Shape breeding shape beneath his restless hand.
(The soul without still helps the sonl within,
And its deft magic ends what we begin.)
Nay, in his dreams his hammer he would wield
Aud seem to see a myriad types revealed,
Then spring with wondering triumphant cry,
And, lest the inspiring vision should go by,
Wonld rush to labor with that plastic zeal
Which all the passion of our life can steal
For force to work with. E:ach day saw the birth
of various forms which, flung upon the earth,
Seemed harmless toys to cheat the exacting hour,
Bnt were as seeds instinct with hidden power.
The axe, the club, the spiked wheel, the chain,
Held silently the shrieks and moans of pain ;
And near them Jatent lay in share and spade,
In the strong bar, the saw, and deep-curved blade,
Glad voices of the hearth and harvest-home,
The social good, and all earth's joy to come.
Thus to mixed ends wrought Tubal; and they say,
Some things he made have lasted to this day;
As, thirty silver pieces that were found
By Noah's children buried in the ground.
He made them from mere hunger of device,
Those small white disks; but they became the price
The traitor Judas sold his Master for ;
And men still handling them in peace and war
Catch fvul disease, that comes as appetite,
And lurks and clings as withering, damning blight.
But Tubal-Cain wot pot of treachery,
Nor greedy lust, nor any ill to be,
Save the one ill of siuking into nought,
Banished from action and act-shaping thonght.
He was the sire of swift-transforming skill,
Which arms for conquest man's ambitious will ;
And round him gladly, as his hammer rung,
Gathered the elders and the growing young:
These handled vaguely and those plied the tools,
Till, happy chance begetting couscious rules,
The home of Cain with industry was rife,
And glimpses of a strong persistent life,
Panting through generations as one breath,
And filling with its soul the blank of death.

Jubal, too, watched the hammer, till his eyes,
No longer following its fall or rise,
Seemed glad with something that they could not see,
But only listened to—some melody,
Wherein dumb longings inward speech bad funnd,
Won from the common store of struggling sound.
Then, as the metal shapes more various grew,
And, hurled upon each other, resonance drew,

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