Litanies Of Satan

A poem by Charles Baudelaire

O Angel, the most brilliant and most wise,
A God betrayed by fate, deprived of praise,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

O Prince of exile, you who have been wronged,
Who, even conquered, rises yet more strong,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Great king who knows the lore the earth imparts,
Intimate healer of our anguished hearts,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who, even to the leprous, the despised,
Can teach by love the taste for Paradise,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who with your old and hardy mistress, Death,
Breeds Hope, a charming lunatic at best,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who gives the prisoner his calm disdain,
Who damns the crowds around the guillotine,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who knows which comers of the envious lands
The jealous God has picked to hide his gems,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Whose clear eye sees the deepest-lying stores
Where, buried, sleep the metals and the ores,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Whose large hand overrides the sudden edge
For the somnambulist who walks the ledge,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Whose magic gives a strength to ancient bones
Of drunkards trampled on the cobblestones,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who, to console us in our fearful lot,
Taught us the mysteries of shell and shot,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Whose mark, astute accomplice, will be found
On Croesus' mean and unforgiving brow,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Who sees that women's hearts and eyes sustain
The love of rags, the cult of wounds and pain,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Staff of the exiles, the inventor's lamp,
Confessor of the hanged, plotters and tramps,

Satan, take pity on my misery!

Adoptive father of those ostracized
By God, and banished from his paradise,

Satan, take pity on my misery!


Prayer
Glory and praise to Satan, where you reigned
In Heaven, and in depths of Hell the same,
Where now you dream in silent reverie!
And may my soul take rest beneath the Tree
Of Knowledge with you, when above your head
Like a new Temple, those great branches spread!

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