Sunday, December 23, 2012

Daniel LIII

Got a lot done today! Here is the hymn of praise spoken by the Three Youths in the fiery furnace:

“May you be blessed, Merciful Lord by the beautiful
creation of the world and by all your works!
The heavens and the angels and the pure waters
which abide in glory across the skies
in righteous creation, may they honor you! (362-66)

“And may you, Almighty, be praised
by all created things, the sky-bright stars
which hold your course, the sun and the moon,
each one sundered alone, in their degree. (367-72)

“May the burning fire and the bright summer
celebrate the Savior! Night together with day,
and each and every land, light and shadow both,
heat along with the cold, may they praise you in their degree! (373-76)

“Mighty Lord, may you be loved in the winds,
by the frost and the snow, the winter-bitter weather
and the swirl of the clouds! And may the lightning,
shining, bright and blazing, bless you! (377-80)

“May all the earthly ground, Eternal Lord,
hills and fields and the high mountains,
the salty sea-waves, Soothfast Lord,
the waves of the water-stream and the welling
of the watery springs, may all these worthy you!” (381-85)

“May the great whales praise you, and the skyward birds,
bouncing on the breeze, which are stirred
by the sea-currents and the watery tides!
And may the wild beasts and all cattle bless your name! (386-89)

“And may the children of men love you in their hearts,
and all Israel, your servants, Shaper of All,
praise you according to their degree! (390-92)

“And may the hearts’ craft of the holy,
the souls and the spirits of every soothfast man,
love you, Author of Life, who gives recompense
to all the blessed-minded, O Eternal Lord! (393-96)

And may Annanias and Azarias and Misael
glorify the Measurer in the breast-thoughts!
We bless you, Lord of All Peoples, Father Almighty,
True Son of the Maker, the Preserver of Souls,
the Helper of Heroes, and may you, Holy Ghost,
be honored in glory, Wise Lord! (397-403)

“We praise you, Holy Lord and extol your commandments!
You are blessed, worthied always across the roof of the world,
High-King of Heaven, with your holy power,
Light-Start of Life across every land!” (404-8)

Then Nebuchadnezzar, prince of his people,
consulted his closest folk-chieftains:
“Many of you, my people, have witnessed
that we delivered three men, deliberated
to death in the burning of the fire’s light.
Now I see truly there are four men there,
unless my senses betray me.” (409-15)

Then replied the king’s counselors,
wise and handy with words: “That is some miracle
that we can look upon them with our eyes.
Consider, my prince, what is fitting!
Know eagerly who has imparted this grace
upon these young gadlings! They praise their god,
singular and eternal, and all of them
speak upon his every name in earnest zeal,
praising his majesty with bold words,
stating that he is alone the Almighty God,
the Wise Glory-King of heaven and earth.
Call forth these children, lord of Chaldea,
out of the oven. It is not in any way good
that they remain in the hateful longer than you need.” (416-29)

At that moment the king ordered those boys to come out.
The young men heard these instructions,
the nobles coming forth as they were bidden,
the youths turning towards that heathen king before them.
Their bands were burned away which once lay on their bones,
the hateful devices of the people’s king, and their lives were delivered.
Nor was their beauty blemished, nor any hurt upon their garb,
nor was their hair singed by the fire, but they in the peace of the Lord
had tread forth from that grim terror gladly,
the wise-minded men, in custody of their souls. (430-39)

Then the angel departed upwards, seeking eternal joys
in the highest roofs of heaven’s realm,
a lofty and loyal servant of the Holy Measurer.
By that miracle he had honored those who deserved it. (440-43)

The young men praised before that heathen folk,
teaching them true precepts and saying many true tokens,
until that one believed himself that he was the sovereign of might
who had delivered them from the darkness.
Then the brazen warden of Babylon, proud among his people
decreed that anyone would be guilty of his life
who argued the truth that it was the famous Ruler of Powers
who had set those young men free from their deaths. (444-51)

Then the king gave back to them the heirlooms of their people
which had been taken there into the keeping of the olden foe,
so that they had their honor again. Dignity was theirs again
in Babylon, since they had been tried in the fire,
their glory was revealed to that nation, after they had obeyed the Lord.
Their counsel was great, after the Sovereign of the Skies,
the Holy Warden of Heaven’s Realm, had shielded them from harm. (452-57)

Then, as I have heard in true words, the guardian of Babylon
sought, after perceiving that miracle through the burning of flames,
how those three youths had passed through the heated oven
and its fear-terrible fire. They waded through the welling,
as if the hate of the grim gledes, had hurt them not a bit,
the messengers of God in the wicked flames,
but the Lord’s peace had shielded them against gruesome terror.
Then the prince called a council, ordering together his people,
and proclaimed to that meeting the event that had happened
and the miracle of God that had been revealed in those youth: (458-71)

“Consider now the holy might and the wise wonder of God!
We have seen that he sheltered these young men
against the killing in the furnace, the flickering flame,
who have borne his praise. Therefore he is alone the Eternal Lord,
the Deemer Almighty, who granted them glory and a thriving triumph,
to those who carry his message. Therefore they have prophesied
through many miracles from their holy spirits that have chosen
his protection. It is known to me that Daniel spoke truly
of my secret dream, that had earlier greatly perplexed
many of my people in their minds, because the Almighty
had sent a soul ample in his senses, wise in his crafts.” (472-85)

So spoke the leader of armies wordfully, the warden of Babylon,
after he understood the signs, the patent token of God.
It made him no better, for over-pride harmed that noble yet,
it grew higher in his mind and in the thoughts of his heart,
greater in his mind-sense that should be appropriate,
until the Almighty Measurer thrust him down with compulsion,
just as he does to many who are mounted up by pride. (486-94)

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