Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 110. From ‘Ormuzd and Abriman’
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
110. From ‘Ormuzd and Abriman’
By Christopher Pearse Cranch  (1813–1892)
Satan speaks

THERE were no shadows till the worlds were made;
No evil and no sin till finite souls,
Imperfect thence, conditioned in free-will,
Took form, projected by eternal law
Through co-existent realms of time and space.        5
Naught evil, though it were the Prince of evil,
Hath being in itself. For God alone
Existeth in Himself, and Good, which lives
As sunshine lives, born of the Parent Sun.
I am the finite shadow of that Sun,       10
Opposite, not opposing, only seen
Upon the nether side.
No personal will am I, no influence bad
Or good. I symbolize the wild and deep
And unregenerated wastes of life,       15
Dark with transmitted tendencies of race
And blind mischance; all crude mistakes of will—
Proclivity unbalanced by due weight
Of favouring circumstance; all passion blown
By wandering winds; all surplusage of force       20
Piled up for use, but slipping from its base
Of law and order; all undisciplined
And ignorant mutiny against the wise
Restraint of rules by centuries old endorsed,
And proved the best so long it needs no proof;—       25
All quality o’erstrained until it cracks:—
Yet but a surface crack; the Eternal Eye
Sees underneath the soul’s sphere, as above,
And knows the deep foundations of the world
Will not be jarred or loosened by the stress       30
Of sun and wind and rain upon the crust
Of upper soil. Nay, let the earthquake split
The mountains into steep and splintered chasms—
Down deeper than the shock the adamant
Of ages stands, symbol no less divine       35
Of the eternal Law than heaven above.



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