Cain & Abel


CAIN & ABEL – The first recorded murder

He was but just a lamb fluffed in a coat of soft white wool.

While his shepherd watched with care the brother cried,

“Abel, you fool! Why do you dare?”

But, Abel bowed to God in prayer, then went to seek the lamb so fair.

Upon an altar laid the lamb, sacrificed to God, no questions asked.

Vowed to be faithful to the God he loved Abel carried on with all his tasks.

Off to the side of the hill upon an altar lay harvested crop.

As it burned, so did resentment, consumed with hatred, it would not stop.

Cain shouted, “Here God! Are you not satisfied?

Mine is just as well as the lamb that has died.”

In return to Cain, God replied,

“Love and honor are the fruits Abel doth bear.”

“Yours are of hatred and malice; the sins you wear.”

“They are the traits you possess instead.”

Jealous and bitter, Cain stalked after Abel.

Anger rose up within; now a brother lay dead.

A father was saddened. A mother knelt to weep,

for now her son’s soul does the Lord watch and keep.

God will not justify the taking of one’s life.

He could not tolerate Cain’s malice and strife.

If only Cain had obeyed then as he should,

but his meager sacrifice lay in vain.

Now he’d remember, forever he would

the brother once loved, the one he had slain.

God had to punish him, for what he’d done.

He sent Cain Away; from all, he would run.

But, God gave comfort to Eve for her grief, 

for in her heart, there was still belief.

And so brother against brother, 

hatred was born in this way.

Much the same is repeated to this day.


References to this true story can be found in Genesis, chapter four of the Old Testament Bible. The poetic portrayal here of Cain & Abel is a poem I wrote back in 1990. It was published in the above poetry anthology, Warm Thoughts, produced by The American Arts Association in Gulfport, MS, and was the first of several published poems through the years.

Joyce E. Johnson © (Sept. 1990)

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