Amidst all wrong and ageless crime of old,
That by inferno fall to smouldered ruin,
And tri-tone hymns combusted full with wrath,
As far in form as pendulum’s retreat,
To summit’s holy cord in Heaven’s chorus,
Great he, the fallen prince, doth raise his whole
In beetle form, alight with vengeful sin,
Among the gathered multitude of fiends,
Who, in the moving dark, do fail outmost
To separate in body, or, forsooth, in mind.
Each creature, cursed, forever damned,
And from almighty God, in favour lost,
Congressed as one, as would a colony
Of lesser swine, that under foot or branch
Consume in parts, the rancid rot of dead,
With armoured hides and daggered heads
As minuscule as poison’s drop; then taken
Quick by skeletal appendages,
Steal secretly away, and by return
To under stone, or similar domain.
The mighty Crevice! Ripped within the earth
And unbeknownst to all, save those of sin,
Inhales, like to expand the awesome chest
Of some colossus beast, with columns grown
As ribs of stone, beneath its height aflame,
And welcomes Satan, lord of spite, who stands
On high in lowest realm of hateful scorn;
Who to enormity and horrid form doth grow
And who from Hell’s impairing blindness speaks
At this the potent time of coming night:
“Here me, worthies wrongly struck by thunder
From His throne so high in perilous deceit!
Rise not through shame, nor fear this faulty prison
Down to which we fell from Heaven’s bloodied field,
Unjustly wrenched from origin and cast
Through thick of doom to torch at plummet’s end!
And ask I now to His almighty crown,
Is this corroded crack of Hell complete?
This final effort cast by blistered hand,
Or down to further reaches must we dwell?
For if it so, I do request this toil
And stand will I to feel thou weakened blows,
Until the age of late, when we the damned
Shall fly, and be as would to water, ink.”