Sunday, December 23, 2012

Daniel LII, cont'd

Here is the continuation and end of section LII of Daniel:

When the stiff-minded king saw all this, trusting his senses,
the wonder occurring in torment, it seemed amazing to him.
The young men went forth whole in the hot oven,
all three law-fast men, and one more was seen in there,
an angel almighty. It had not damaged them any bit,
but there inside that oven it was pleasant, much like
when in the summer the sun is shining,
when the dew is dried in the day, strewn by the wind.
It was the God of Glory who had saved them
from that hot hatred. (268-78)

Then Azarias from his inmost thoughts
sang a holy song through the heated flame,
enduring, eager of deeds, praising his Lord,
a mna without sins and then spoke these words: (279-82)

“All-creating Lord, listen! You are greatly powerful,
saving mankind. Your name is well-known,
radiant and glory-fast throughout the races of man.
Your decrees in every day are true and strong
and triumphant, just as you yourself are.
Your will is a success in this world,
righteous and roomy, Ruler of the Skies.
Shaper of Souls, eagerly grant us your comfort
and aid through your grace, Holy Lord—
now, enwrapped in fire, we entreat you
in this compulsion and captivity
for the favor of your grace. (283-95a)

“We have wrought in this world, as we have lived,
even as our ancestors have committed sin—
the city-dwellers have broken your commandments
out of over-pride, and despised the state of holy living.
We have been scattered across the broad earth,
dispersed in bands, without your grace—
our lives are useless and disreputable
throughout many lands and among many peoples.
We are banished us as thralls into the power
of the worst of the earthly kings, into the slavery
of savage men, and now we suffer
the captivity of heathens. Thanks be you,
Glory-King of Armies,
that you have ordained this wrack upon us. (295b-308)

“Do not forsake us alone, Eternal Lord,
for the mercy that men attribute to you,
and for the troth that you, fixed in glory,
Savior of Mankind, have granted to Abraham
and to Isaac and to Jacob, Shaper of Spirits! (309-14)

“You promised them through your speech
that you would increase their first-kin
in days gone past, so that there would be born
a great multitude in the generations after them
and they would become famous, a family
to be exalted as the heavenly stars that enclose
a broad orbit, or as the seashore, the sands
of the strand across the salty waves that grind
in the ocean, so that they must become innumerable
down a multitude of years. (315-24)

“Fulfill now your ancient word, though few of them
are living! Magnify in us your statements
and your glory! Reveal your craft and might
so that the Chaldeans and many other folk
who live as heathens under the heavens
might learn that you are alone the Eternal Lord,
the Sovereign of Armies, of all the worldly creation,
the Ordainer of Victories, the Measurer Sooth-fast!” (325-332)

So was the blessed man praising the mercy of the Maker
and relating the power of his might through his voice.
At that moment from the heavens was sent
from above an all-bright angel, a beautiful human
in his glorious garments who was come to them
as a comfort and a life-saving, with love and with kindness.
He, holy and heaven-lustrous, scattered the flames, the hot fires,
sweeping them away and swinging them through his great might,
the illuminated tongues, so that their bodies were not
any bit troubled, but he smote their enemies,
with fire upon their foes for their sinful deeds. (333-44)

Then the furnace became, where the angel had come,
breezy and beautiful, much like the weather
when in the summertime a shower of raindrops is sent
during the spaces of the day, a warm falling from the skies.
Such is the best of weather, and such was in that fiery place
as an aid to those holy men by the blessed power of the Lord.
The heated flames were driven out and washed away
wherever the deed-brave men went within that oven,
and the angel with them preserving their lives,
who was the fourth in there with Annanias and Azarias
and Misael. There the three mind-brave men praised
their Lord in their thoughts, calling upon the sons of Israel
and every land creature to bless the Eternal Lord,
the Sovereign of Nations. So these three called out,
quick of their wits, through one common word: (345-61)

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