Saturday, January 19, 2013

Christ II part IX (first half)

I'm back from vacation, but it is uncertain whether posts will be more frequent, at least until I get my pre-semester things taken care of. Here's the first part of section IX of Christ II (The Ascension).


Thus Almighty God, the King of All Creatures craftily
honors the stock of the earth with bountiful gifts—
likewise he gives the fruits to the blessed in heaven,
rearing eternal peace for angels and men forever.
So he worthies his workmanship.
So the prophet spoke about this, saying that
the holy gems were heaved up on high,
the bright stars of heaven, the sun and the moon.
What may those gems so splendid be but God himself?
He is the sooth-fast rays of the sun, a noble burning
for both angels and the dwellers on the earth.
Over middle-earth the moon radiates, a ghostly light,
so the church of God brightly shine through
truth and righteousness united.
So it says in the book, after the God-Child ascended
from the earth, the King of All Cleanness,
then the church of the law-dutiful here endured
persecution within the power of heathen princes.
Those sin-scathers heeded not the truth,
the requirements of the soul, yet they broke and burned
the temple of God, wreaking bloodshed, hating and slaying. (686-709a)

Still the glory of thanes of God was realized
through the soul’s grace, after the mounting up
of the Eternal Lord. Solomon sang about this,
the son of David, readily wise in verses,
the sovereign of human nations, and spoke
these words of spiritual mystery: “It is known
that it shall come to pass—that the King of Angels,
the Measurer of such great power, shall jump the mountains,
leaping the tall hills, surmounting the heights and knolls
with his glory, loosing the world and all
its inhabitants, by those noble springings.” (709b-19)

The first leap was when he went inside that woman,
the virgin undefiled, and there took on mannish shape
without marring so that he could become a comfort
to all earth-dwellers. The second leap was his birth
as a child, when he was placed in a manger,
in the form of a baby wound up in cloth,
majesty of all majesties. The third leap was
the rushing of the Heavenly King, when he climbed
onto the Cross, the Father, the Comfort of Souls.
The fourth leap was into his grave, when he gave up
that tree, fast in his earthen hall. The fifth leap
was when he humiliated the heap of hell-dwellers
in the living torment, bound the king within,
the enemies’ intercessor, in flaming fetters,
malignant, where he lies to this day fastened
with chains incarcerated and sealed in his sins.
And the sixth leap was the Holy One’s playing of hope,
when he ascended into the heavens into his ancient people.
Then was the thronging of angels become blithe
with jubilant celebrations in that holy season.
They saw then Glory Majestic, the Origin of Noblemen,
seeking his homeland, the brilliant halls.
Then the games of that Noble Son became
a perpetual delight to the dwellers of the blessed city. (720-43)

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