Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Daniel LI concluded

Here is the rest of Daniel LI:

Nor might the multitude then at the moot
through their clever craft conceive
or contrive anything, when it was denied them
that they could speak of the dream of the king
or the mysteries of fate, until the wise man came,
Daniel at his decree—he was chosen by the Lord,
witty and truth-fast, and he went into that palace.
He was the best of that wretched remnant
who were forced to obey the heathens.
God had given him a heavenly gift
through the prophecies of the holy spirit,
so that an angel of God told him all
just as the wicked king had dreamed it. (145-57)

The Daniel went to him, at dawn light,
to relate the dream to his lord,
speaking sagely of the ends of nations,
that the haughty king understood at once
the start and the conclusion which was revealed to him.
Daniel had great glory then, and splendor
among the scholars of Babylon,
after he narrated the dream to the king,
which because of his crimes the warden of Babylon
could not previously remember in his breast-hoard. (158-67)

No matter what Daniel could do so that the king
would believe in the might of the Measurer—
instead the king began to create an idol on the plain
which the over-bold men named Dira,
that was there among those people who were called
the mighty Babylonians. The guardian of the city,
one nefarious above the mercy of the Lord,
reared among men this image of gold
because he was not wise, this warden of men,
fierce and rash, not right… (168-77)

[Leaf missing from the manuscript]

And then a listening came across the warriors
when the voice of the trumpet was heard by the city-dwellers.
Then they fell to their knees before that symbol,
that heathen people worshipping in that temple,
praising that golden idol, they knew no stronger course.
They raised up unrighteousness, just as they lord did,
mixing up wickedness, emboldening their minds.
The folk-army was estranged, just as their lord was first,
establishing their folly—an evil conclusion
was to befall them afterwards—and doing ill. (178-87)

There were three in their lord’s city, men of Israel,
who would never submit to the prince’s decree,
so that they did not rear up their prayers to that idol,
even though the trumpets sang its praises there.
They were good sons of Abraham by descent,
pledge-fast, knowing the Almighty Lord eternally above. (188-95)

These noble children made it known that they
would not take nor keep that golden image for god,
except for the High King, the Warden of Souls,
who had given grace to them.
Often they spoke in boldness to redeem men
that they cared not for that graven image,
nor could the heathen leader of armies
compel them to make their prayers,
so that they would turn to that place,
men to that gilded statue which the king had ordained
for himself as a god. These thanes said to their lord
that they were of one mind in this; servants of a higher being
in that high city, “who do not wish to exalt nor to worthy
this idol which you have wondrously appointed to your glory.” (196-208)

Then the warden of Babylon answered them
in rage and a boiling mind, speaking to those young earls
grimly and harshly saying to them they must
immediately be punished and suffer a great constraint,
the whelming of wicked flames unless they would
beg for mercy from that worst of all things,
these Hebrew men from that golden object,
which the king had ordained himself as a god. (209-16)

Though these young men would not heed
in their hearts that heathen instruction.
They eagerly conceived that the law of the Lord
would endure all things nor would they abandon
the Lord of Hosts, and turn towards paganism any more,
nor would they beg for shelter from the sinful
even though a bitter death be commanded them. (217-223)

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