Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Final Judgment XI, pt. 2

He shall be glad-hearted in sight to the good:
beautiful and winsome to the holy multitudes,
fair in his rejoicing, pleasant and gracious
it will be for his beloved people to look upon
that shining figure willingly, the sweet arrival
of the Sovereign, the King of Powers,
for those who had previously pleased him well
in mind with their words and their works. (910-17)

To the evil he shall be terrifying and grim to see,
to the sinful men who come forth condemned by their crimes.
This can be a warning of retribution for those who
have sagacious forethought—that he dreads nothing at all
who does not become terrified at that visage,
frightened in his soul, when he witnesses
the presence of the Master of All Creation
faring amid mighty marvels to judge the many,
and on his every side a throng of heaven-angels
revolving about him, a shoal of the ever-brilliant,
armies of the hallowed, flocking in squadrons. (918-29)

The depths of creation shall resound, and before the Lord
the greatest of whelming flame shall flare out
across the broad earth. The heated fires shall crash,
the heavens burst—brilliant and true, the stars will tumble down.
Then the sun will be darkened, turned the color of blood,
which once shone brightly over the world before
for the benefit of the children of men.
And so the moon itself, which lighted mankind before
by night, will fall out of the sky and the stars
just the same will be strewn from the skies
by the strong breezes of a battering storm. (930-40)

The Almighty with his company of angels,
the Measurer of Great Kings, will come to the moot,
a Prince Fast in Majesty. There will be there as well
a triumphant mass of his thanes. The souls of the holy
will fare with their Master, when the Watchman of the People
with a terrible convulsion will seek out the tribes of the earth.
The voice of the heavenly trumpet will be heard
loud across the broad earth, and from seven directions
the winds shall roar, blowing, breaking with the loudest voice,
weakening and enervating the world with its storms,
filling the creatures of the earth with fear.
Then will a terrible crash, loud, measureless,
leaden and powerful, the greatest clamor of noise,
terrifying to the people, be revealed.
There the weary multitude of man-kind
shall turn in their masses into the wide fire,
where the destroying flame meets the living,
some will go up, some down, filled with burning. (941-59)

Doubtlessly then the kindred of Adam will be there,
filled with cares, lamenting, afflicted—a people wretched
not at all on behalf of the small things, but for the greatest
and most powerful miseries instead. Then all three together
shall be widely seized by the whelming of a black fire,
the swart flame: the seas with their fishes, the earth
with its mountains, and upper heaven bright with its stars.
The ravening flame with burn all three together at once,
grimly and powerfully. All middle-earth, pained so sore,
shall lament at that notorious moment. (960-71)

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