La rebelión de Satanás
Del Génesis B, poema contenido en un manuscrito de hace mil años, el códice anglosajón Junius 11. Hay una edición en red en Project Gutenberg:
(ll. 235-236) "...Eat freely of the fruit of every other tree. From that one tree refrain. Beware of its fruit. And ye shall know no dearth of pleasant things."
(ll. 237-245) Eagerly they bowed them down before the King of heaven, and gave Him thanks for all, for His teachings and counsels. And He gave them that land to dwell in. Then the Holy Lord, the Steadfast King, departed into heaven. And the creatures of His hand abode together on the earth. They had no whit of care to grieve them, but only to do the will of God for ever. Dear were they unto God as long as they would keep His holy word.
(ll. 246-260) The Holy Lord, All-wielding God, with mighty hand had wrought ten angel-orders in whom He trusted well, that they would do Him service, and work His will. Therefore God gave them reason, with His own hands shaped them, and stablished them in bliss. But one He made so great and strong of heart, He let him wield such power in heaven next unto God, so radiant-hued He wrought him, so fair his form in heaven which God had given, that he was like unto the shining stars. He should have sung his Maker's praise, and prized his bliss in heaven. He should have thanked his Lord for the great boon He showered on him in the heavenly light, and let him long enjoy. But he turned him to a worse thing, and strove to stir up strife against the Highest Lord of heaven, who sitteth on the throne of glory.
(ll. 261-276) Dear was he to our Lord. Nor could it long be hid from God that pride was growing in His angel's heart. He set himself against his Leader, scoffed at God with boasting, and would not serve Him. He said his form was beautiful and bright, gleaming and fair of hue. Nor could he find it in his heart to serve the Lord God, or be subject to Him. It seemed to him that he had greater strength and larger following than Holy God might have. Many words the angel spake in his presumption. By his own power alone he thought to build a stronger throne and mightier in heaven. He said his heart was urging him to toil, to build a stately palace in the north and west. He said he doubted in his heart if he would still be subject unto God:
(ll. 277-291) "Why should I slave?" quoth he. "I need not serve a master. My hands are strong to work full many a wonder. Power enough have I to rear a goodlier throne, a higher in the heavens. Why should I fawn for His favour, or yield Him such submission? I may be God as well as He! Brave comrades stand about me; stout-hearted heroes who will not fail me in the fray. These valiant souls have chosen me their lord. With such peers one may ponder counsel, and gain a following. Devoted are these friends and faithful-hearted; and I may be their lord and rule this realm. It seemeth no wise right to me that I should cringe a whit to God for any good. I will not serve Him longer."
(ll. 292-298) Now when God had heard all this, how His angel was beginning to make presumptuous head against his Leader, speaking rash words of insolence against his Lord, needs must he make atonement for that deed, endure the woe of strife, and bear his punishment, most grievous of all deaths. And so doth every man who wickedly thinketh to strive with God, the Lord of might.
(ll. 299-319) Then Almighty God, High Lord of heaven, was filled with wrath, and hurled him from his lofty throne. He had gained his Master's hate, and lost His favour. God's heart was hardened against him. Wherefore he needs must sink into the pit of torment because he strove against the Lord of heaven. He banished him from grace and cast him into hell, into the deep abyss where he became a devil. The Fiend and all his followers fell from heaven; three nights and days the angels fell from heaven into hell. God changed them all to devils. Because they heeded not His deed and word, therefore Almighty God hurled them into darkness, deep under earth, crushed them and set them in the mirk of hell. There through the never-ending watches of the night the fiends endure an unremitting fire. Then at the dawn cometh an east wind, and bitter frost, ever a blast of fire or storm of frost. And each must have his share of suffering wrought for his punishment. Their world was changed when God filled full the pit of hell with His foes!
(ll. 320-322) But the angels who kept their faith with God dwelt in the heights of heaven.
(ll. 322-336) The other fiends who waged so fierce a war with God lay wrapped in flames. They suffer torment, hot and surging flame in the midst of hell, broad-stretching blaze of fire and bitter smoke, darkness and gloom, because they broke allegiance unto God. Their folly and the angel's pride deceived them. They would not heed the word of God. Great was their punishment! They fell, through folly and through pride, to fiery depths of flame in hell. They sought another home devoid of light and filled with fire—a mighty flaming death. The fiends perceived that through the might of God, because of their presumptuous hearts and boundless insolence, they had won a measureless woe.
(ll. 337-355) Then spake their haughty king, who formerly was fairest of the angels, most radiant in heaven, beloved of his Leader and dear unto his Lord, until they turned to folly, and Almighty God was moved to anger at their wantonness, and hurled him down to depths of torment on that bed of death. He named him with a name, and said their leader should be called from thenceforth Satan. He bade him rule the black abyss of hell in place of striving against God. Satan spake—who now must needs have charge of hell and dwell in the abyss—in bitterness he spake who once had been God's angel, radiant-hued in heaven, until his pride and boundless arrogance betrayed him, so that he would not do the bidding of the Lord of hosts. Bitterness was welling in his heart; and round him blazed his cruel torment. These words he spake:
(ll. 355-367) "This narrow place is little like those other realms we knew, on high in heaven, allotted by my Lord, though the Almighty hath not granted us to hold our state, or rule our kingdom. He hath done us wrong to hurl us to the fiery depths of hell, and strip us of our heavenly realm. He hath ordained that human kind shall settle there. That is my greatest grief that Adam—wrought of earth—should hold my firm-set throne and live in joy, while we endure this bitter woe in hell.
(ll. 368-388) "Alas! could I but use my hands and have my freedom for an hour, one winter hour, then with this host I would— But bands of iron crush me down, the bondage of my chains is heavy. I am stripped of my dominion. Firmly are hell's fetters forged upon me. Above me and below a blaze of fire! Never have I seen a realm more fatal—flame unassuaged that surges over hell. Ensnaring links and heavy shackles hold me. My ways are trammelled up; my feet are bound; my hands are fastened. Closed are the doors of hell, the way cut off. I may not escape out of my bonds, but mighty gyves of tempered iron, hammered hot, press hard upon me. God hath set His foot upon my neck. So I know the Lord of hosts hath read the purpose of my heart, and knew full well that strife would grow between our host and Adam over the heavenly realm, had I the freedom of my hands.
(ll. 389-400) "But now we suffer throes of hell, fire and darkness, bottomless and grim. God hath thrust us out into the black mists. He cannot charge upon us any sin or evil wrought against Him in His realm! Yet hath He robbed us of the light and cast us into utter woe. Nor may we take revenge, nor do Him any evil because He stripped us of the light. He hath marked out the borders of the world, and there created man in His own image, with whom He hopes again to people heaven, with pure souls. We needs must ponder earnestly to wreak this grudge on Adam, if we may, and on his children, and thwart His will if so we may devise.
(ll. 401-407) "No longer have I any hope of light wherein He thinketh long to joy, in bliss among His angel hosts; nor may we ever bring this thing to pass, that we should change the purpose of Almighty God. Let us therefore turn the heavenly kingdom from the sons of men, since we may not possess it, cause them to lose His favour and turn aside from the command He laid upon them. Then shall His wrath be kindled, and He shall cast them out from grace. They shall seek out hell and its grim gulf, and in this heavy bondage we may have the sons of men to serve us.
(ll. 408-424) "Begin now and plan this enterprise. If ever in olden days, when happily we dwelt in that good kingdom, and held possession of our thrones, I dealt out princely treasure to any thane, he could not make requital for my gifts at any better time than now, if some one of my thanes would be my helper, escaping outward through these bolted gates, with strength to wing his way on high where, new-created, Adam and Eve, surrounded with abundance, dwell on earth—and we are cast out hither in this deep abyss. They are now much dearer unto God, and own the high estate and rightful realm which we should have in heaven! Good fortune is allotted to mankind.
(ll. 425-437) "My soul is sorrowful within me, my heart is sore, that they should hold the heavenly realm for ever. But if in any wise some one of you could bring them to forsake God's word and teaching, soon would they be less pleasing unto Him! If they break His commandment, then will His wrath be kindled. Their high estate shall vanish; their sin shall have requital, and some grim penalty. Take thought now how ye may ensnare them. I shall rest softly in these chains if they lose heaven. Whoso shall bring this thing to pass shall have reward for ever, of all that we may win to our advantage, amid these flames.
Sigue la tentación de Eva, y la escena de la manzana. El origen del símbolo de Apple. El Satanás del poema anglosajón es un cabecilla rebelde que se ha alzado contra su señor feudal. Pueden compararse los versos del más famoso monólogo de Satanás en el Paríso Perdido de Milton, donde el tono es más subjetivo y existencial, con más énfasis en la interioridad:
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand?
Thou hadst. Whom has thou then, or what, to accuse,
But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accursed, since, love or hate,
To me alike it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threatening to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent! Is there no place
Left for repentence, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the Spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Aye me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan.
Y de ahí a James Joyce: "Non serviam!"
Según Michael Alexander, no es imposible que Milton conociese este texto del Génesis B, pues estudió anglosajón y conocía a Junius, el primer editor del manuscrito.