Friday, July 6, 2012

Christ/Satan VII

Alas it is so! The accursed thought in his anger
that he wished to obey no longer the Heaven-King,
the Comforting Father. The bottom of hell boiled with venom,
hot under the captives. The devils howled widely
throughout their windy hall, bewailing their woes,
their wickedness and deadly sin. There was a multitude there
so immolated—that was all a very strong fate.
Then was their lord, who had come first
forth among the foot-soldiers, bound fast
in fire and licking flame. That was an unceasing calamity.
His thanes must also dwell there
in that terrible homeland, not at all up there
hearing in heaven that holy delight
where they had often a lovely following
upwards among the angels. They were not allowed to dwell
with any of the good things, except for the fires of the abyss,
and that cursed hall where there are woes and cries
widely heard, and a gnashing of teeth,
and the lamentations of men. (315-33)

Nor had he any hope except for chill and fire,
woe and torment, and a mass of serpents,
dragons and adders—and that darksome abode.
Therefore one could hear, he who was
twelve miles from hell, there was a grinding of teeth,
loud and miserable. The adversaries of God
traveled throughout hell, kindled in heat
from above and without—their woe was everywhere—
wearied with torture, beshorn of glory,
deprived of delights. They heaved up profound thoughts,
when they had established their homes in heaven,
that they wished to seize from the Savior Christ
the kingdom of heaven, yet he had rightfully maintained
the heavenly household and that holy throne. (334-47)

There is no one so wise nor so crafty,
nor so knowledgeable except God himself
that could speak of the light of heaven;
how its rays shone there from all about
by the might of the Measurer, throughout that famous kin,
there the angels hold blessed delights
and the saints sing before God (that is he himself). (348-54)

Then there are the blessed, who have come from earth,
bearing in their bosoms blossoms of sweet smell,
the pleasant herbs that are the word of God.
Then the Father of Mankind embraces them
and he blesses them with his mightier hand,
leading them into the light where they have life,
always and forever, in the lofty home,
that bright city-stead. Prosperity shall belong to all
who think to obey the Savior,
and it is well for them who can perform it. (355-64)

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