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)

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