Sunday, September 18, 2011

Genesis XXXV (a busy day!)

A busy day of translating. Only six sections to go!


The humans awaited the punishing flames, woe under their walls.
and their women with them. The proud in riches repaid the Lord
wickedness for their many goods, until the Helm of Souls,
the First-Light of Life would no longer endure this scorn,
but the Stern-minded King sent to them two of his own strong messengers.
Then in the evening-time they sought a journey to the city of Sodom. (2409-27)

Then they encountered the warrior, the son of Haran himself
sitting at the city-gates, and they seemed as young to the wise man
before his eyes. Then the Lord’s servant came greeting the messengers
those spirits, coming in a friendly way, mindful of what is proper,
right and suitable, and he offered those men a night’s shelter.
Then the noble emissaries of the Savior answered him:
“You have the thanks for your favors, which you offer us!
We intend to abide still by this street for a spell, until
the Measurer allows the sun to rise again in the morning.” (2428-40)

[an erasure here obscures a line of text in the MS]

Then Lot bowed at the feet of those strangers, and eagerly offered
them rest and food and the shelter of his home and service.
They accepted the mercy of the nobleman, going with him at once,
as the Hebrew man guided them in under the roof of his house.
There the noble one, the wise-souled warrior gave to them
his gracious hospitality in his hall, until the even-shine had gone forth.
Then in the tracks of the day the night came afterwards.
It covered the water-streams, the majesty of this life in shadow,
the seas and the broad lands. Then the dwellers of Sodom came,
young and old, undear to God, they came in a great inquiring band,
and surrounded with the strength of an army Lot with his guests.
They demanded that the holy messengers be lead out of that high house,
those men into their power. They spoke wordfully that they wished
shamelessly to have sex with those men. Of honor they gave no heed. (2441-61)

Then quickly Lot arose, he who often perceived good counsel
and went outside at once, and the son of Haran, mindful
of wisdom, spoke to all that company of noble men: “Here are within
my two daughters unblemished. Do as I ask you—neither of these women
has ever known the company of men through sexual congress—
and give up this sin. I will give them to you all, before you perform shame
against your natures, a most voracious evil against the sons of humanity.
Take these women, and let peace be owned by my guests,
for I will protect them before God, if I must, from you all.” (2462-75)

The multitude, a dishonorable rout, answered him then by one word:
“It seem fitting and very right that you should remove yourself
from our people’s borders. You sought this nation from afar
in the exile’s track, destitute of friends, lacking companions.
Will you, if you may, be our lordly judge here, a teacher of our people?” (2476-84a)

Then, as I have heard, the heathen folk’s band grabbed Lot
with their hands, their cursed hands. Well his guests came to his aid,
coming honor-fast, and they dragged him from the clutches of the hostile
into his house, and then immediately the head-senses of every one
of the Sodomites standing about was obscured. At once the band
of city-dwellers all went blind. They could not storm fierce-minded
Lot's hall after his guests as they had intended to do, but there
God’s bearers of tidings were bold. The guests’ power had firm strength
and it quite restrained that band with bitterness. (2484b-98a)

Then they spoke wordfully, the faithful peace-envoys, fair to Lot:
“If you have any son or dear kinsman, or any other friend
among these folk besides these women who we here look upon,
who be dear to you, then lead them out from these people’s city
in the greatest haste and save your life, lest you perish
with these pledge-breakers. The Wielder ordered for these men’s sins
that Sodom and Gomorrah be given over to the flame, to the black fire
and these people destroyed, these folk in the cities with killing attack
and his scorn avenged. The time has come nigh. Depart now,
saving your life on the earth-way. To you the Lord is merciful.” (2498b-2512)

[Another leaf is missing, containing material from Genesis 19:14-17]

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