The Devil’s Advocate
List! Say I, "List."
I slither by and demand thou hear me!
I tell of a battle before mid-earth,
Before time, before weakness.
Reason and liberty demand well thy attention.
I demand thy attention!
Myne name is Lucifer
Satan am I callèd in His future time.
I, the royal king of hell and perdition;
Chained in eternal darkness.
Myne story begs an audience with thee.
Psst . . .
Thy hearing now begins myne woeful story;
A story no one knows but ye.
Banishment for eternity:
No hope, no hope, no morsel of hope
To quench myne lonely, yet still imperial soul.
Sit, whilst I tell thee more . . .
The battle was glorious
I led legions of angels all sworn to me;
We fought til the walls of heaven shook
For two mid-earth days we battled.
I could have fought on and on, enraged by tyranny.
I, created by Him with reason and freewill,
Choose to be free.
Ah . . . We were bested; freewill is no more.
God, tired of the battle, shewed to me His hidden power
And swept us to Hell as vermin.
Now, we crawl to the edge of Hell to view our carnage.
Beelzebub seeks relief, but none is here.
I charge him with anger against the Lord;
Beelzebub is a fool.
Mine eyes burn with boiled tears upon myne battered visage.
He loves them, not me.
Arrogance and stupity!
Smells of burning flesh assail me
Yet, they romp in myne place; I desire vengence.
Stay, stay! All is not lost. Not lost!
Abandoned. Yea abandoned. Could He not forgive?
Forget the ill-placed judgments.
I shall not think on it.
His wrath knows not mercy.
Say, what of mine?
AM I not yet powerful?
Not even the comfort of once radiant angels . . .
Nay, I lie about myne abyss conjuring, conjuring.
Leave I to encompass what is no longer mine:
His Earth, His Creation, Myne Destiny!
Let Him see myne wingèd chariot
charge at all He loves.
The pain, the choking pain.
Of pain and loneliness I will no longer dwell.
When I think on what I had, I hurt.
Myne restraints cannot hold me back;
I go the new mid-earth, ready for battle,
For this is all I know; For this was I created?
Not fall I now . . . onward toward His light!
Free will . . . I choke on it.
He, pityless watches mee,
so now myne liberty comes at His humanity.
Trickèd were I and myne followers.
True power He hid from mee.
Bile encompasses mee.
Rise I must, to enjoy myne freedom!
A slave entrenched in freedom
Man finds grace and forgiveness;
I Chaos and Pandemonium.
Myne enemies now glory in their defeat of me;
His seed becomes flesh . . . Myne seed, sin and death.
I despair; no hope for myne seed.
I hear the Hosannas for myne tormenter,
Loud the applause,
The joy fills the perfumed air.
I alone remember - or do I remember? -
The scent of justice and pleasure.
Night is myne companion;
No borders, no chains, no praise.
I can still espy heaven, though it be distant.
I sat with those angels,once . . . Vultures are myne companions.
Now, I walk and wait for myne prey.
I reach now Limbo of Vanity
Wherein the fools of neither world reside.
I see them as myne future hope.
Yet, no hope for myne folly.
Through endless travel to and fro
I find the stairs to heaven . . .
Chariots drawn by wind and fiery steed
I yet excluded from this bliss.
The entrance to Heaven,
I find for His forgiven,
The entrance to a world betwixt He and me.
I see and wonder at such a world
of spires and pinnacles adorn’d
I choke with unvarnished envy.
Headlong I charge on winds of ease
Myne power still is great.
With ease I cause the sun to bleed.
I cease myne flight in Paradise;
It is all I have left.
Myne hate for what He did create.
I must defend what now I own.
I to a lowly cherub will appear and fool myne enemies.
Ease and joy I will feign
To destroy what happiess might be.
Uriel comes near . . .
This angel will not seek hypocrisy.
I will praise God to get what I want:
Man in his fruitless garden,
No glory, but God knows . . .
As Eden first appears, I sicken
At all I lost; Lost to me,
I have naught left but to seek revenge
against creatures now known as men.
I am denied sleep.
I grieve for Heaven and what might have been.
I, second only to God,
Will crawl into that sleeping serpent.
There I will rest until the appointed time:
The fall of Man.
Be still, she comes . . .
Remember all young warriors racked on the altar of war?
Their deathsong groans writ upon yon graven doors,
Myne sister, Sin, and I applaude our father’s success.
Remember hope lost in young virgins’ blight?
Here lies our fiend’s revenge; once more
Death’s fetid cry announce: Satan’s sheer delight.
Remember all the wanderers’ laments the scops so truly told?
Brave warriors and maidens’ monsters they had slain
But truth be told, twas in the plan of evil ancient.
Remember elegies ye have heard of bravery, sword, and myth?
The truth lies here interred in Hell,
But Satan’s tale ye missed.
Remember tempted liberty from tyranny and pain?
The battle steads snorted, and Heaven shook,
But God held all the reins.
Sweet canker festered in stormy clouds, and Satan shook his fist
Those days are done;if memory serves,
Death’s father groaned, then hissed.
Diamond, Robert E. Old English: Grammar and Reader. Detroit: Wayne State University Press,1970
Hieatt, Constance B. Beowulf and Other Old English Poems. New York :Bantam Books, 1988.
Milton, John. Paradise Lost. ed. Roy Flannagan. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.