Poem 217 – To Match and Excel

To me shall be the glory sole among
The infernal powers; in one day to have marred
What he almighty styled six nights and days
Continued making

Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IX, 135-138

To match and excel at last,
Against the omnipotent master?
To lead my army as he leads all heaven,
Sole glory and sovereign king?
Almost a week it took him to form this world
And I can destroy with silver words
So at last I shall be greater than God;
And destroy what my maker hath made.


Dear readers,

Book IX is where Milton’s Satan becomes the mad thing that we might associate more with the name – he realises that only destruction will ease his desire to be greater than God and reign in hell.

The Hapless Neo-Romantic


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