Thursday, June 28, 2012

Christ and Satan II

The prince of fiends spoke soon a second time.
Then was he affrighted after feeling many
of these torments. He sparked with flame and venom
when he began to speak. There was no pleasant joy
when he spoke wordfully in his wracking pains: (75-80)

“I was formerly in heaven a holy angel,
dear to the Lord. I had great delight in God
on account of the Measurer, and so did this host united.
At that time I conceived in my brain
a wish to cast down the Radiance of Glory,
the Child of the Savior, to own for myself
the power over the Celestial Cities,
every one as my possession, and this miserable faction
which I have led to a home in hell.
Consider this obvious token that I was banished below
into this accursed state, under the headlands,
into the bottom of the abyss. (81-90)

“Now I have conducted you all from your native land
into a home of captivity. There is no glory of the blessed here,
no wine-halls of the proud, nor the delights of the world,
no company of angels, nor may we possess
upper heaven again. This is a terrible house,
kindled with fire. I am hostile to God.
Eternally at hell’s door dwell dragons,
heated in their terror. They cannot help us.
This is a woeful house, replete with torment.
We have no right to this darkness, in which we can hide ourselves
in its abysmal shadow. Here is the voice of serpents,
here worms dwell. Here is the chain of torture
firmly bound. The fiends are fearsome,
dim and dark. Nor does day light this place,
the light of the Shaper, for the gloom of shadows. (91-105)

“Once I held power of all glory
before I must await what Lord God wished
to adjudge me in this awful place,
stained upon the floor. Now I come faring
with a host of devils to this darksome house.
Yet I shall upon wing and flight at times
seek many places and more of you as well,
you who performed the start of these proud deeds.
Nor need we believe this, that the Glory-King
will ever grant us another home,
a native land to own. The Son of the Sovereign
possesses for himself all the power
to glory and torment. (106-18)

“Therefore I must, abject and wretched, wander the wider,
voyage on the paths of exile, deprived of glory,
bereaved of riches, keeping nothing of the joys
upwards among the angels, when I had earlier said
that I was the Dispenser of the Sky myself,
the Wielder of All Creatures. Yet something worse befell me!” (119-24)

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