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Lucifer in Starlight
George Meredith (1828–1909)

ON a starr’d night Prince Lucifer uprose.
Tir’d of his dark dominion swung the fiend
Above the rolling ball in cloud part screen’d,
Where sinners hugg’d their spectre of repose.
Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.
And now upon his Western wing he lean’d,
Now his huge bulk o’er Africa careen’d,
Now the black planet shadow’d Arctic snows.
Soaring through wider zones that prick’d his scars
With memory of the old revolt from Awe,
He reach’d a middle height, and at the stars,
Which are the brain of heaven, he look’d, and sank.
Around the ancient track march’d, rank on rank,
The army of unalterable law.

We all know of a little disowned Lucifer, once and angle, but banished from Heaven to the deep pits of Hell. This poems refers to the devil as "in starlight", meaning he must raise to the place where stars are visible--earth. He delights in the vast mistakes of his future inhabitant, minions, whispering in their ears tales of evil. We all feel that tug to do wrong, some stronger than others, that is what George Meredith meant by in the starlight. Humans walk the earth and though Satan can't physically step foot on our ground he works through us and our know vices. This poem paints the picture of the devil as a fiend and plotter, you can almost see him salivating over the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve (the first sinner, therefore their children are also born into sin) as they live their lives. Towards the end it states that while peering through the "black planet" at the inhospitable places in the world, the barren desert and frozen tundra, he is reminded of what he can no longer have, life in Heaven. He knows his place is in hell and any attempt to ascend would be pointless, however as he gazes at his old home Lucifer desires it, so close but just out of reach. As he starts to rises he feel the strength of "unalterable law", a force of good blocking him, sending he back to the fiery depths of the underworld.
While this poem is erratic, it shows the Devil has only one home...Hell. Forgive the doom topic of the devil, but my High School Lit book almost killed me today, this was the poem it opened to. I think that Monsignor Carroll would be proud of my grasp of this poem, give me a break-- I went to Catholic school.
Have a lovely Saturday!

"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool."- William Shakespeare


"...the stars, Which are the brain of heaven"

That's a neat turn of phrase...

I hope the book didn't hit you on the head and make you see either stars.. or brains...


June 4th... The Lakers and the Magic... Should be exciting!

May 31, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

It did hit my head.
I know I can hardly wait!!!

May 31, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

I need to come back and read this again. So amazing and thought provoking and this weekend has been such bullshit that I am fried and I want to give it the attention it deserves...soooooo bookmarked for the AM.
I adore you chika!


May 31, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

I love Shakespeare too but Romeo wouldn't be as 'likable' if he wasn't so fickle. :P

Wasn't Meredith to poet who advised Hardy not to publish his book The Poor Man & The Lady (random thing to remember, I know)?


June 1, 2009 at 7:40 AM  

Random and truely trivial pursuit queen!

"Meredith felt Hardy's book was too bitter a satire on the rich."

Make you want to go read it just to be contrary.

June 1, 2009 at 1:23 PM  


Hey there, I like your blog : )
I know this is a bit like a chain letter (albeit lacking the foreboding curse)

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, & their blog link.

Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you have just discovered! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen.

June 4, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

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