Saturday, 11 April 2015

Vondel's Lucifer (Act I, lines 27-49) - Joost van den Vondel

I have, Lord Belzebub,
The low terrene observed with keenest eye.
And now I offer thee the fruits grown there
So far below these heights, 'neath other skies
And other sun: now judge thou from the fruit
The land and garden which even God Himself
Hath blessed and planted for mankind's delight.

I see the golden leaves, all laden with
Ethereal pearls, the sparkling silvery dew.
What sweet perfume exhale those radiant leaves
Of tint unfading! How alluring glows
That pleasant fruit with crimson and with gold!
'Twere pity to pollute it with the hands.
The eye doth tempt the mouth. Who would not lust
For earthly luxury! He loathes our day
And food celestial, who the fruit may pluck
Of Earth. One would for Adam's garden curse
Our Paradise. The bliss of Angels fades
In that of man.

Too true. Lord Belzebub,
Though high our Heaven may seem, 'tis far too low,
For what I saw with mine own eyes deceives
Me not. The world's delights, yea, Eden's fields
Alone, our Paradise excel.

Joost van den Vondel (1587 – 1679) The Netherlands
Translated by Charles Leonard van Noppen
Act I, lines 27-49 | Source: Project Gutenberg
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