Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Vondel's Lucifer (Act I, lines 192-222) - Joost van den Vondel

It seems that passion for
This feminine creature hath thy heart inflamed.

In that delightful blaze, my great wing-plumes
I singed. Most hard it was for me to rise
And wheel my way to this our high abode.
I parted, though with pain, and thrice turned back
My gaze. There shines no Seraph in the courts
Celestial, here on high, as she amid
Her hanging hair, that forms a golden niche
Of sunbeams that in beauteous waves roll down
From her fair head, and flow along her back.
So, even as from a light, she comes to view,
And day rejoices with her radiant face.
Though pearl and mother-o'-pearl seem purity,
Her whiteness even theirs surpasses far.

What profits human glory, if even as
A flower of the field it fades and dies?

So long their garden fruit doth give, shall this
Most happy pair live by an apple sweet,
Grown on the central tree, that nurture finds
Beside the stream that laves its tender roots.
This wondrous tree is called the tree of life.
'Tis incorruptible, and through it man
Joys life eterne and all immortal things,
While of his Angel brothers he becomes
The peer, yea, and shall in the end surpass
Them all, until his power and sway and realm
Spread over all. For who can clip his wings?
No Angel hath the power to multiply
His being a thousand thousand times, in swarms
Innumerable. Now do thou calculate
What shall from this, in time, the outcome be.

Joost van den Vondel (1587 – 1679) The Netherlands
Translated by Charles Leonard van Noppen
Act I, lines 192-222 | Source: Project Gutenberg
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