Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Phoenix VIII and complete

Here is the conclusion to The Phoenix. Most challenging is this final stanza, which presents macaronic alliterative verse in both Latin and Anglo-Saxon. Still chewing on what to do there, but my interim lines are presented below.


Then holy Christ, high over its roofs, will shine
upon the sooth-fast souls. Brilliant birds follow him,
brightly renewed, exultant in bliss in the gladsome home,
selected spirits, eternal forever. There evil cannot
do him injury, the stained fiend with malicious crimes,
yet there an illuminated host lives forever,
just as that bird the Phoenix, in the peace of the Lord,
lovely in glory. The deeds of each one sparkles
brightly in that blissful home ever in concord,
before the face of the Eternal Lord, just like the sun.
There the brightest bracelet, set with wondrous
precious stones, each one blessed, towering overhead.
Their heads glisten, covered by majesty.
The wonderful crown of the Prince graces each one
of the sooth-fast, light in their life, where that lengthy joy,
eternal and forever young, will never diminish,
but they will abide in beauty, arrayed in glory,
with lovely ornaments, by the Father of Angels. (589-610)

Nor will there be anything in that place to sorrow them
evil nor poverty nor days of struggle, burning hunger
nor severe thirst, misery nor old age. The Noble King
shall grant them every good thing. There the flock of souls
shall exalt the Savior and shall celebrate the power
of the Heaven-King, mounting praises to the Measurer.
The heavenly host shall sing the greatest of songs,
clear about the holy throne of God, blessing the best
and joyous Lord, abounding amid the angels,
speaking thus in harmonious voices:
“Peace be to you, true God, and your wisdom-craft,
and thanks be to you sitting in majesty for these fresh gifts,
each one good! Great strength and unmatched in power,
high and holy! The heavens are filled with your fairness,
Father Almighty, majesty of all majesties, with your glory
up among the angels and upon the earth at the same time.
Protect us, Shaper of Beginnings! You are our Father
Almighty in your heights, the Warden of Heaven!” (611-31)

Thus regale the right-doing, cleansed of their evils,
in the famous city. They proclaim the kingly majesty,
singing the praises of the Emperor in the skies,
the multitude of the truth-fast, for whom alone
is their honor perpetual forwards without end.
There was never a start, a beginning of his blessing.
Though he was conceived in childhood here on earth,
in the middle-land, yet the bounty of his power,
holy and high over heaven, remains, a glory unending.
Though he must suffer the blow of death on the rood tree,
that terrible torment, by the third day after his body’s fall
he assumed life again through the help of the Father.
So the Phoenix signifies, fresh in the fold, the might
of the God-child, when he rises once more from the ashes
into the life of lives, equipped with his limbs.
So the Savior effected us aid, through the parting
of his life, life without end, so the bird lades
his two wings with sweet and pleasant herbs,
with fair earth-fruits, when he becomes incited. (632-54)

Those are the words, just as the books say to us,
the speech of the sainted, whose heart will be kindled
to heaven, to the merciful God, into the joy of joys,
where they bring to their Lord, to their Measurer,
the wholesome scent of their words and deeds
as a gift into that famous creation, into that light life.
May their praises to him be enduring through this world of worlds,
and the fruit of glory, power and honor,
in the lofty kingdom of heaven. He is by rights
the King of middle-earth and the power majestic,
wound about with glory in that beautiful city. (655-66)

The Author of Light
has granted us
that we may here obtain
attain with good deeds joy in heaven
that we may in the greatest kingdom
seek out and occupy in that high seat,
live in the delight of light and peace
possess a home of pleasant gladness
enjoy fruiting days gracious and mild
see the Lord of Victories with everlasting praise
blessed amid the angels. Hallelujah! (667-77)

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