Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Genesis A XV

Then at once God answered him: “Say to me, my son,
why do you say that you are shaming in the shadows?
You never received shame from me, but joy instead in all things.
For what reason do you know misery and cover yourself in shame,
you sigh in sorrow,* and you conceal your own body
with leaves? You say that life-care, that misery sad at mind,
tells you that you need clothing,* unless you ate the one apple
from that tree that I wordfully forbade you.” (872-81)

And then Adam answered him again:
“The woman gave to me that fruit in my hand,
the beautiful woman, my Lordly God,
which I accepted in insult to you. Now I bear the token
plainly upon my self. I know the more sorrow for it.” (882-86)

Then unto Eve asked the Almighty God: “What have you done,
my daughter, endowed with sufficient glory, of the new creation
of Paradise-plain and its growing gifts, when you coveting grasped
that wood, seized the fruit upon the branch of that tree,
and to my injury ate that harmful thing, gave it to Adam,
that fruit when it was firmly forbidden to you both by my words?” (887-95a)

Him the beautiful woman answered then,
the lady ashamed: “The serpent beguiled me and eagerly
he urged me to a malformed deed and to a sinful greed,
the stained worm through his fair words, until I wickedly
did the enemy’s work, worked a hostile act, and then reft it—
it was not right—the tree in the forest and then ate its fruit.” (895b-902)

Then the serpent was condemned by our Savior,
the Almighty Lord to the banded worm* to the far-flung ways
and he spoke then a word: “You shall forever tread the broad earth
upon your belly, accursed upon your breast,* faring footless,
so long as your life endures, your soul within you.
You shall eat the dust your life-days.
So you have accomplished a hateful work, so that the woman will despise you,
hate you under the heavens and tread upon your guilty head
with her foot. You shall await her heel for a battle renewed.
The enmity of war will ever be mutual for your progeny
while this world stands under the skies. Now you know,
hated harmer of folk, how you shall exist.” (903-17)

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