Hymn to Satan

by Giosue Carducci

Printed by the Nobel Prize Library

This is a poem that can be read at a celebration.

To thee of ALL BEING
The FIRST CAUSE immense
Of matter and spirit,
Of reason and sense

Whilst in the full goblet
Shall sparkle the wine,
So bright the pupil
The souls of men shine,

Whilst earth still is smiling,
And the sun smiles above,
And men are exchanging
Their sweet words of love,

Thrills mystic of Hymen (1)
Through high mountains course,
And broad plains are heaving
With life's fertile force,

On thee in verse daring,
From tight rein released,
On thee I call, Satan,
The King of the feast.

Away aspersorium, (2)
With priest who would bind!
Priest, NOT at thy bidding
Gets Satan behind.

Behold, rust is eating
The edge of the blade
In the hand of great Michael (3)
The faithful displayed.

The displumed Archangel
Descends to the void,
The thunderbolt's frozen
Jehovah employed.

Faint pallid meteors,
Wan stars void of light,
Like rain down from heaven
Fall angels in flight.

In matter aye sleepless
Of forces the spring,
Of FORMS, Lord and King.

Here only LIVES Satan,
His power supreme
In a dark eye flashes
With tremendous gleam,

Whether it languidly
Retreats and rebels, (4)
Or bright and audacious
Provokes and compels. (5)

In gay blood it sparkles
That's pressed from the vine,
Whose gift of swift pleasure
Shall never decline,

Which can to our fleeting
Life new strength impart,
Which puts off our sorrows,
To love gives a Heart.

'Tis thou that inspirest
The song that doth rise
When that god it defies,

On whom guilty pontiffs
And cruel kings call;
Men's minds thou so shakest
As when lightenings fall.

Ahriman and Adonis,
Astarte, to thee,
Canvas, marble and paper
All lived and were free

When Venus new risen
From billowing seas
Serenely made happy
Ionia's breeze.

On Lebanon quivered
The trees at thy name,
When to gentle Cypria
Her risen love came.

Thee chorus and dances
In joy celebrate,
Love pure and virginal (6)
To thee dedicate

Mid the palm-trees fragrant
Of Araby's land,
Where whitens the sea-foam
On Cyprian strand.

What matter if fury
Of fierce Nazarene
From ritual barbaric
Of love-feast obscene

Hath set with blest torches
The temples on fire,
And Argolis' idols (7)
Hath hurled in the mire.

In cottages lowly
A REFUGE dost find,
Amid household Lare
Folk keep thee in mind.

The God and the Lover
A woman's warm breast
With his ardent spirit
Once having possessed,

Thou turnest the witch
Whom long searching makes pale
To lend succor TO NATURE
O'er disease to prevail.

Thou to the motionless
Eye of the alchemist,
In sight of the magus
Who dares to resist,

Beyond the dull cloister
Its gates set ajar,
Revealest in brightness
New heavens afar.

In lonely Thebaid
The wretched monks hide (8)
From thee and THINGS WORLDLY
In safety to bide.

Ah, doubtful soul standing
Where life's roads divide,
See, Satan is kindly,
Heloise at thy side! (9)

In vain with rough sackcloth
Thy flesh dost maltreat,
From Maro and Flaccus (10)
The verse will repeat

Betwixt psalms of David;
'Twixt weeping and dirge
He causes beside thee
Delphic forms to emerge.

Amongst those companions
Though garbed in black weeds
With rosy Lycoris
Glycera he leads. (11)

But other the phantoms
When finer the age,
At times he awakens
From Livy's full page, (12)

When tribunes and consuls
And vast crowds that thrill
With ardor and passion
That sleepless cell fill,

He to the Capitol
Thy land to set free
Of Italic pride dreaming,
Oh monk, urges thee.

And you, Huss and Wycliffe (13)
No fury of flames
Could stifle your voices'
Prophetic acclaims.

Send forth on the breezes
Your watch-cry sublime
"A new age is dawning,
Fulfilled is the time!"

Already are trembling
Both miter and crown,
And cloistered seclusion
Rebellion BREAKS DOWN.

Then fighting and preaching
Under the stola
Comes Fra Girolamo
Savonarola. (14)

The cowl Luther cast off,
And freedom he brought: (15)
So cast off thy fetters,
Be free, human thought!

And shine forth resplendent,
Encircled with FLAMES,
Arise MATTER, Satan
The victory claims.

A beautiful monster,
A terrible birth,
Runs over the ocean,
Runs over the earth.

Volcano like flashes
Through dim smoke it lowers,
It scales lofty mountains
Broad plains it devours.

It spans the abysses,
In caverns it hides
And through the deep cleft ways
Invisible glides;

Then comes forth undaunted,
From coast to coast hies,
As from some fierce whirlwind
It sends forth its cries.

As breath of the whirlwind
Spreads out on the vast
Expanse, O ye nations
Great Satan goes past.

From place to place passes
Beneficient He
On his chariot of fire
Untrammeled and free.

All hail to thee, Satan!
Rebellion, all hail!
Hail, power of reason,
Avenge and prevail!

To thee arise incense
And holy vows paid,
Thou, Satan, hast vanquished
The god by priests made. (16)


Carducci, best friend of Mazzini and Al Pike! Thus, did our Serpent of Wisdom become: SATAN! The banner: THE PALLADIUM (Baphomet), originally Athena's shield engraved on a dolphin bone.


1) God of marriage whose symbols are bridal torch

2) Place where xian-priests sprinkle people

3) Michael is an Arch Angel seen to be a warrior.

4) Think physics.

5) Think chemistry.

6) Virginal, means Innocent and Pure of Heart

7) Argolian Plateau.

8) Region of monks in Egypt, Thebais region.

9) Peter Abelard was a teacher, Heloise was his lover, the story is a tragedy.

10) Maro is Virgil, Flaccus is Horace, 2 Roman poets

11) Lycoris, a woman celebrated in love elegy by Gallus. Glycera: a sacred notorious Greek courtesan, the mistress of Memander and Horace.

12) Livy, Roman historian

13) Hus, student of Wycliffe, forerunners f Protestant Reformation. Hus was burned at the stake.

14) Savonarola was hanged for heresy.

15) Martin Luther was seen as a rationalist at that time.

16) Carducci uses the small "g" when referring to the Catholic God.

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