Adam, who thought himself immortal still,
Though cast from Eden, not knowing yet of death,
Nor guessing that what has beginning ends,
Nor that the life goes also with the breath,
Wandering in empty fields one day,
Pushing the grass aside, finds Abel slain,
His arms thrown out, his head with briars twined,
And on the ground beside a dull red stain.
“Abel, it is not time for sleeping now;
Have you forgot the curse upon us put?”
So, standing by his side, he gazes down.
Thinking he jests, he stirs him with his foot.
Silence, no sound at all, a breathless calm;
The warm day sighs; its sighing does not last.
The grass-tops quiver slightly; through the grass
A small field-mouse, disturbed, goes hurrying past.
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Then, seized with sudden fear, he flings himself
Beside the corpse, cries, “For your mother’s sake
Give me an answer,” Still no answer comes,
Only the cry, “Abel, awake, awake!”