Sunday, October 3, 2010

Elene XII

Then was famous in that folk's borders through that human nation
widely brought, the renowned morning-news—it was a vexation
to many who wished to conceal the law of the Lord—
proclaimed through the cities, embraced by the seas, in every town,
that the Cross of Christ, long since buried in the earth, had been discovered,
the greatest sign of triumph was heaved up before or since
holy under the heavens—and it was the most wretched of sorrows
to the Jews, men accursed, most despised of fates, for they could not
turn it away for the world—a joy to all Christians. (967-79)

Then throughout her noble forces the queen commanded messengers
to hasten quickly to the journey. They must seek the lord of the Rome-dwellers
themselves across the low-bottomed seas and speak to that warrior
of the greatest of joyous news, that that victory’s token was found
through the grace of the Maker, discovered in the earth,
that had been hidden many seasons, to teen blessed Christian folk. (980-88a)

Then the mind of that king was elated by that famous word,
rejoicing in spirit. There was no lack in the cities
of questioning men in gold-shirts carried from afar.
For Constantine the greatest of comforts in the world was his
at that joyous news, which the war-counselors, the messengers
had brought across the east-ways—how they had made safe journey
over the swan-road, the warriors with their triumphant queen into Grecian lands.
The Caesar ordered them to ready themselves for the journey again
with great haste. The men delayed not after hearing his prompt answer,
the word of the noble man. (988b-1002a)

He ordered that greeting be offered to war-renowned Elene,
if they survived the ocean and were allowed to make safe passage,
those heroes active-minded, to that holy city.
Constantine also commanded the messengers to order her
to build a church there on that hilly slope on the advice of them both,
the temple of the Lord on Calvary for Christ’s sake,
as an assistance to men where the holy cross was discovered,
the most famous of trees which ground-dwellers had asked about upon the earth-way.
Elene performed such, after her kinsmen brought these glad tidings
from the west across the fastness of the waves. (1002b-16)

Then the queen ordered them separately to seek out those best
schooled in their craft, those that knew how to work most wondrously
in the stone-cutter’s art, to build the temple of God in that place,
just as the Ward of Souls had spoken to her from the heavens.
She then commanded the cross to be adorned with gold
and the kindred of gems, with the most noble of precious jewels
surrounded with crafty skill and locked up with a clasp
inside a silver vessel. That Tree of Life, best of the Victory-beams,
afterwards it abode there inviolable* in its excellence.
There it will be always a ready support for the weak of health,
for all torments, conflict and sorrow. Immediately they there
through that holy creation will find help and the divine grace. (1017-32a)

Likewise Judas took on after an appointed period of time
the bath of baptism, and was cleansed, faithful to Christ,
the beloved Life-Guardian. His belief grew fast in his heart,
after the Spirit of Comfort inhabited the house within that man’s breast,
encouraging him to repentance. He chose the better, the joy of glory,
and forsook the worse, the worship of idols, and gave over heresy,
the unrighteous law. For him was the eternal Rex,*
the mild Creator, God, the Wielder of Might. (1032b-42)