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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Meredith 1828–1909

Lucifer in Starlight


ON a starr’d night Prince Lucifer uprose.

Tir’d of his dark dominion swung the fiend

Above the rolling ball in cloud part screen’d,

Where sinners hugg’d their spectre of repose.

Poor prey to his hot fit of pride were those.

And now upon his Western wing he lean’d,

Now his huge bulk o’er Africa careen’d,

Now the black planet shadow’d Arctic snows.

Soaring through wider zones that prick’d his scars

With memory of the old revolt from Awe,

He reach’d a middle height, and at the stars,

Which are the brain of heaven, he look’d, and sank.

Around the ancient track march’d, rank on rank,

The army of unalterable law.