Litanies of Satan (Les Litanies Des Satan)

You were most wise and fair of all the Angels young,
O god whom fate betrayed and left unsung,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

O exiled Prince borne down by many lies,
even mighty in defeat he does arise,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

The all-knowing lord of subterranean things,
Who remedies our human sufferings,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

To lepers and lost beggars full of lice,
You teach, through love, the taste of Paradise.

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You who on Death, your old and ever-faithful wife,
Engendered Hope — the sweetest folly of this life —

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You give to men condemned a countenance unbaffled
That they rebuke the thronging mob around the scaffold,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You have seen in darkness and can bring to light
The gems a jealous God has hidden from our sight,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You to whom the secret arsenals are known
Where iron, gold and silver slumber, locked in stone,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

Your enormous hand has hidden the abyss
From the sleepwalkers that skirt the precipice,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You who rescue from the trampling horses’ feet
the poor old drunkard who has fallen in the street,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You, to ease the wanderings of our troubled minds
Taught how sulfur and saltpeter are combined;

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You who form in subtle friendliness
the wealthy and the merciless,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

You pour into the hearts of women
A trifling love of blood full brimming,

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

Step-father of poor bastards robbed of pardon,
God in his anger exiled us from Eden’s garden

O Satan, have pity on my long misery!

Glory and praise to Thee, Satan, on high,
Where You once reigned, in Hell where you now lie,
Vanquished, silent, dreaming eternally.Grant my soul some day to rest close to Thee
Under the Tree of Knowledge which shall spread
Its branches like a golden Temple overhead.

–Translated by Emmy Bean

[See original poem here.]

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