Monday, March 28, 2011

The end of Genesis (B) VI

“Why must I toil,” he asked. “There is no need at all for me to have a master.
I can mold many wondrous things with my own hands.
I have great enough power to make ready a godly throne, to be a master in heaven.
Why must I serve after his favor, bowing to him in such vassalage?
I can be a god just like him—
Strong warriors stand beside me, who will not withdraw from battle,
heroes hard-hearted. They have chosen me as their lord,
these brave warriors. With such allies one could devise a plan
to seize with such comrades-in-arms. These eager friends are mine,
loyal to their hewn hearts. I can be their master,
to rule this realm. And so it does not seem to me right
that I should need to flatter him at all, a god after any god.*
Nor will I for long his be one of his subordinates.” (278-91)

When the All-Ruling heard this, that his angel in great pride
heaved up against his Master and spoke presumptuous words,
foolishly against his Lord. “He must be punished for his deeds,
severed from his works of strife, and must have his punishment,
for the greatest of all deadly sins.” So must every man who strives
against his Sovereign, with evil against the Magnificent Lord.
Then the Mighty grew anger-swollen, the Highest Wielder of Heaven,
and threw that one from the high throne. (292-300)

He had earned hatred from his Master, his grace he had forlorn,
and God grew angry in his heart. For that reason he must seek the abyss
of terrible hell-torments, just as he struggled against the Holder of Heaven.
He exiled him then from his favor and cast him into hell,
into the deep chasm where he changed into a devil,
the enemy with all his allies. They fell down from heaven
a very long time: three nights and days,
those angels from heaven into hell—the Lord debased them all into demons.
Because they did not wish to worthy his deeds and words,
therefore Almighty God routed them into the worse light under the earth,
deprived of victory in dark hell. There each of the fiends possess,
for an immeasurably long night, fire everpresent. Then there comes in the dawn
an eastern wind and frost wickedly cold. Always there was fire and piercing—
each one must have a hard torment, wrought as punishment for them.
Their world was changed and for the first time, hell was filled
with those adversaries. From then on, those angels possessed
the heights of the heaven-realm, who served before in the grace of God. (301-21)

Monday, March 14, 2011

More of Genesis B VI

Here is where the lines get crazy, swelling to enormous lengths, though appearing to be perfectly metrical. I paused over whether to render the long lines into long lines of my own, and have decided against necessitating it, preferring to allow the free verse rhythm to continue to dictate the line breaks. Some are just longer where the sense and sound require it, but it has not been a rule that they must be.


He had established these angels so blessedly—
but one among them he had made so strong, so mighty in his mind-thoughts.
God allowed him to wield such power, highest after himself in heavens’ realm.
He had shaped this one so splendidly—so beautiful was his flowering form
in the heavens granted him by the Lord of Armies. He was like the gleaming stars.
Praises of the Lord he should have wrought—
He should have loved his happiness in the heavens,
and he should have thanked the Lord for the rewards allotted him
in the shine, which he allowed his servant to steward for a long time. (252-58)

But this one turned himself away unto a worse thing.
He thought to heave up a struggle against the highest
Sovereign of Heaven who sits upon the holy throne.
Dear was he to our Lord—this could not be hidden from him
that his angel began to become overly proud,
heaving himself up against his Master, seeking hateful words
and boasting speech against him. He would serve God no longer.
He said that that his body was light and brilliant, beautiful and hue-bright.
Nor could he find it in his heart to serve the Lord as a vassal. (259-68a)

It seemed to this one that he possessed greater power and craft
than Holy God could have at muster. He spoke many words,
that angel over-proud. He pondered through his own skill
how he might create a stronger throne for himself,
higher in the heavens. He said that his mind had urged him
to construct a strengthened stronghold in the west and the north.
He said that it seemed doubtful to him to remain subordinate to God. (268b-77)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

[a short] Genesis V & a bit of VI -- Genesis B starts

[The opening of Genesis B and how Genesis A transitions into the interpolated poem is missing due to several lost pages.]


“… but you both [may] enjoy all of the others, leaving alone
that one tree. Guard yourselves against that fruit.
Nor will there be any lack of desirable things for you.”

Then Adam and Eve bowed down their heads devoutly
to the Heaven-King in reply and spoke all thanks,
for his wisdom and their lessons. God allowed them to dwell in that land.
Then the Holy Lord departed for the heavens, the Strong-minded King.
His handiwork stood together on the sand, knowing nothing of sorrow
to give them lament, if only they should perform the pleasure of God
forever. They were beloved of God so long as they kept his holy word. (235-45)


The All-Wielder, the Holy Lord, through his hand-power
had created ten kindred of angels, in them he trusted well.
so that they wished to pursue his service, working his desires,
therefore he granted them intelligence and shaped them
with his hands, the Holy Lord. (246-51)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A very hacked and mauled Genesis IV

Part four of Genesis A is not even marked as such, since its beginning has been lost. The rest of the section is incomplete due to missing pages as well, though it is not certain how many leaves have been lost. At any rate, what survives I deliver to you.


…Nor did it seem suitable to the Guardian of the Skies
that Adam should be alone for long in Paradise-plain,
that recent creation, as its shepherd and keeper.
Therefore the High-King, the Lord Almighty,
produced a help for him; a woman wrought and a support given,
the Light’s-Origin of Life, to that beloved man. (169-75)

God pulled out some material from Adam’s body,
and artfully extracted a rib from his side. Adam was fast at rest,
and sleeping softly, he knew neither pain, no deal of trouble,
nor did there come any blood from the wound,
but the Lord of Angels drew forth that burgeoning bone
from his body, the man unwounded, and from that God
created a beautiful woman. A spirit was formed inside her,
a perpetual soul. She was like an angel, and that Eve,
Adam’s wife,* was imbued with spirit. They were both
brightly beautiful in their youth, brought forth into the world
by the might of the Maker. They knew how to do nothing evil
nor how to accomplish it, but the love of the Lord
was burning in both their breasts. (176-91)

Then the Blithe-Hearted King blessed them, the Maker of All Creation,
those first two, the mother and father, the woman and weaponed man.*
God spoke to them by word: “Thrive and multiply,
fill the ever-greening earth with your offspring,
your family, your sons and daughters.
The salt waters must remain in both your power
as well as all this world’s creation. Brook these blessed days
and the ocean’s bounty and the birds of heaven.
You are given dominion over the wild beasts
and the clean cattle and all things living,
those that tread upon the land, imbued with life,
and those that the flood rouses throughout the whale-road—
all shall heed you.”(192-205)

[at least one page is missing here]

Then our Shaper observed his lovely work
and the fruit of his blossoms of this recent creation.
Paradise-plain stood good and ghostly,
filled with the enduring goods of grace.
Flowing waters from gushing springs
beautifully irrigated that pleasant land,
The heavens did not yet carry the rains
across the spacious earth, black upon the wind,
however the earth stood adorned with blooms. (206-15a)

Four noble rivers held their outward course
from that youthful Paradise. These were parted
by the power of the Lord, all from one source,
waters beauty-bright, when he wrought the earth,
and sent them into the world. Men of nations
dwelling on the earth called one of these Phison.
It enfolds broadly that portion of the earth about,
Havilah with bright streams. In that homely ground,
men, the children of human nations, discover near and far
gold and the best kinds of gemstones, just as books say to us.
Then the second river flows around the rim of Ethiopian land
and possessions, that enormous kingdom, that one is named the Gihon.
The third is the Tigris, that one along the nation, a river overflowing,
surrounding Assyria. Likewise is that fourth, which now among
many peoples and men widely name it the Euphrates. (215b-34)

[at least one page is missing here]

Saturday, March 5, 2011

[a very curtailed] Genesis III is done!

I'm making good time with Genesis, it seems.


Then time passed, hurrying across the structure
of middle-earth, the Maker pushed on the brilliant light,
our Shaper, and that first evening afterward.
Shadowy darkness pressed on after it, hastening along its trail—
that Prince himself created the name “night” for it.
Our Savior sundered them apart; they have ever since
accomplished and performed the desire of the Lord,
eternally over the earth. Then came the second day,
a light after darkness. Then the Warden of Life ordered that
a winsome sky-structure be made in the midst of the watery flood.
Our Sovereign divided the waters and then created
the fastness of the skies; so that the All-powerful heaved
up from the earth through his own word, the Lord Almighty.
The ocean was parted under the high-heavens with holy might,
water from those waters that abide under the firmament of the mortal-roof.

Then the third lovely morning came over the earth
in swift journey. Neither the broad lands nor the waves
were useful yet to the Maker, but the ground stood covered
fast by the waters. The Lord of Angels commanded by word
that the waters that kept their course under the skies
be held in common, their place now fixed. Then quickly there stood
the broad sea beneath the heavens, just as the Holy One ordained
at once, and then was separated the water from the land.
The Ward of Life then saw this dry place, the Herdsman of Hosts,
was revealed wide, then that Glory-King named it the earth.
The proper course of their waves was established
and fettered there… (154-68)

[one or more leaves are missing here, containing the rest of the account of the days of Creation]