Orpheus Sings – Harrowing Hell

Hell's Gate

What the Demons Saw

A demon on the walls of hell
Rang hard the fierce alarum bell
“Hell’s invaded!” was its cry
And to the walls all demons fly
“Weapons – ready!” Devils arm
And listen to the grim alarm.

The angel legions march along
They’re thousands, many thousands strong.
“Ballistae!” and then “Mangonel!”
The orders came we loved so well.
We let our stones and missiles fly
And waves of arrows: let them die!
With sword and claw, by demons fell –
We’ll teach them to invade our hell!

Before them marched a bleeding lamb
A funny beast – a little ram.
But like a lion most it walked
As if through glades it calmly stalked.
And of that lamb I was afraid –
What secret strength is there conveyed?
I wondered at their dark design
What could a lamb do here this time?
Some devilry was working here!
I shuddered then with secret fear.

The signal given to engage
We cross the walls, with hate enraged.
I want to claw, to slice, to kill
Like every demon, work my will.
We struck them hard. Their shields held.
We traded blows – their advance quelled.
But then – all fighting sudden ceased
As roared some vicious, maddened beast.

That roar! A dreadful sonic blast
That threw us down and overcast
All demons, devils, everywhere
We could not think! We could not hear!
Except that roaring on and on
Each devil’s ear it touched upon
Sent through his head such searing pain
It felled him – not to rise again
But writhe and twist upon the ground
While still it grew – that dreadful sound!

It stopped. I raise my head to see
While reeling still in misery
The angels freeing souls from hell
That through the aeons here did dwell.
Now gone! Those rescued souls proclaim
And cheer and praise that Highest Name.

What could we do, to prevent rout
When cast down by a single shout?
A roaring lamb! Until that day
I’d sneer the very thought away.
But now – our host is overcome
And by one lamb. We settle, numb,
Do nothing – only wait and see
And grind our fangs in misery.

The angel legions trumpet joy
They march away in victory.
The souls they’ve freed are in their midst
Delivered by unfair conquest.
The lamb leads them. Now they return
To heaven, while down here we burn.

They harrowed hell. We’ll make them pay –
Even if it takes till Judgment Day.


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