Friday, January 11, 2013

Christ II, Section VI (part one)

With Christ I finished, now it is time to move on to Cynewulf's Christ II.


Seek now eagerly into the secret mysteries
of the soul, reputable man, by the skill of your mind
and the wisdom of your heart, so that you will know
the truth about how it happened—when the Almighty,
became conceived through the state of virginity,
after he selected the safe have within Mary,
greatest of maidens, most famous of womankind—
that angels did not show themselves there,
wearing brilliant raiment when that nobleman arrived,
the boy in Bethlehem. Heralds were ready,
who revealed by the cry of their voices to the shepherds,
speaking of true rejoicing, that the Son of the Measurer
was made flesh in middle-earth, in Bethlehem. (440-53a)

However, it does not record in books how they revealed
themselves there in shining garb in that perfect moment,
as they soon did when the famous Lord, the Glory-Fast Prince
assembled his body of thanes to Bethany, the dearest band.
They did not depise the teacher’s words on that precious day,
their Giver of Treasure. At once they made themselves ready,
heroes with their lord, unto the holy city, where
the Dispenser of Glory made manifest many tokens,
the Helmet of Majesty, in wordful mysteries
before he mounted up, the Only-Begotten Son,
Child evenly eternal with his own Father,
after forty counts of days then he arose
out of death from the earth. (453b-67)

Then he had fulfilled, as was sung before,
the words of the prophets throughout the world,
by his sufferings. His thanes praised him,
celebrating dear-worthily the Owner of Life,
the Father of First-Creation. He gave them
fair rewards after that, his beloved companions,
and spoke these words, the Wielder of Angels,
hurrying, Mighty Lord, to his father’s realm: (468-75)

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