Sunday, 7 September 2014

Vondel's Lucifer (Act I, lines 1-26) - Joost van den Vondel

My Belial hence hath sped on aery wings
To see where lingers our Apollion,
Whom for such flight most fit Chief Lucifer
Hath sent to Earth that he might gain for him
A better sense of Adam's bliss, the state,
Where placed by Powers Omnipotent he dwells.
And lo! the time draws nigh that he return
Unto these courts. He cannot now be far.
A watchful servant heeds his master's glance
And, faithful, stays his throne with neck and shoulder.

Lord Belzebub, thou Privy Councillor
Of Heaven's Stadtholder, he riseth steep
And wheels from sphere to sphere into our view;
The wind he passes by and leaves a track
Of light and splendor in his wake, where cleave,
His speedy wings the clouds; and now our air
He scents in other day and brighter sun,
Whose glow is mirrored in the crystal blue.
The heavenly globes beneath behold his flight,
As up he mounts, and each with wonder sees
His speed and godlike grace. He seems to them
No more an Angel but a flying fire.
No star so swiftly shoots. Behold him now,
Here upwards soaring, and within his hands
He bears a golden bough. The steep incline
He hath accomplished happily.

Joost van den Vondel (1587 – 1679) The Netherlands
Translated by Charles Leonard van Noppen
Act I, lines 122-172 | Source: Project Gutenberg
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