Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More beginning

Glorious servants exalting their prince, speaking
willingly his praises, celebrating the Lord of their Life—
they were the most blessed of the Master’s multitudes.
They knew not of sins, the doing of misdeeds:
instead they lived in eternal peace of their Prince.
They raised naught else in the heavens but righteousness and truth,
before that Warden of Angels, out of over-mind, parted them into error.*
They wished to labor no longer to their own profit,
but instead turned themselves from God’s love.
They had a great boast that they could share, by the strength of their soldiers,
with the Lord his glory-bound home, spacious and heaven-bright.
There pain touched them, envy and pride, and the heart of those angels
that first performed that evil advice, to weave and arouse,
then Lucifer spoke a word, thirsting for trouble, that he wished
to possess a home and high-throne in the northern part
of the realm of heaven. (15-34a)

Then was God furious and wrathful against that army
which previously he had honored with beauty and glory.
For the pledge-breakers he shaped an agonizing home,
in recompense for their efforts, out of hell-cries and harsh hatreds.
Our Lord commanded that house of suffering stand ready for its exiles—
deep, joy-lacking—the wardens of souls, then he readily knew it was
surrounded by endless night, filled with torment,
thoroughly filled with fire and a fearful cold—
with fume and crimson flame. Then he ordered terrifying torments
be increased across that damned house. They had grimly amassed myriad wrongs
against God: theirs was a cruel reward achieved afterwards! (34b-46)

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