Thursday, February 28, 2013

Final Judgment XV, 1 of 2

Finally broke through the obscurity surrounding the end of my interminable Beowulf paper, and decided to celebrate with little translation and some Charles Kennedy.


Now must we eagerly and wisely penetrate
with our heart-sight the faults within our breast-coffers.
We cannot with those other eyes, the head-gems,
peer into the soul of our inner thoughts by any means,
whether evil or good abodes therein, so that it may please
God in that grim hour, when he over his every host
shines in splendor from his high-throne with the purest flame. (1327-35)

There, before his angels and before these strangers,
he will speak first to the most blessed of all,
and bid them peace lovingly, heaven’s high-king.
With a holy voice he will comfort them fairly
and command his protection over them,
bidding them to venture forth, sound and sign-blessed,
into the homeland of angels’ pleasures,
and enjoy it delightfully to the width of their life. (1336-43)

“Take up now with friends the realm of my father—
that was joyfully made ready for you since before the ages,
the riches among blisses, the brilliant beauty of this homeland,
when you would be allowed to witness that life-weal
among those most dear to you, and your own skyward delights.
You have earned them when you graciously took in
wretched men, those destitute in the world, with a mild soul.
When they in my name begged you, humble-minded,
for favor for themselves, then you helped them
and gave them shelter, bread to hungering, and clothes to the naked,
and those who lay sick in soreness, abased unsoftly,
bound up in disease, you faithfully supported their hearts
with your mind’s love. You did all these things unto me
when you sought them with peace, and strengthened
their spirits with comfort. Because of this you shall
enjoy fairly your rewards long and fairly with my dear ones.” (1344-61)

Then he begins to speak unto the evil, unlike in words,
who will be there upon his left hand, through a terrible threat,
the All-Wielding God. They need not expect the mercy
of the Measurer at that time, neither life nor leniency,
but there will come their recompense to humankind
according to the results of their words and deeds,
the speech-bearing—they must suffer alone
his righteous doom in the fullness of his terror.
There the mighty mercy of the Almighty
shall be separated from the nation-dwellers on that day,
when he charges that fretted folk with their crimes
with hateful words, ordering them to reveal right now
the rectitude of their life that he granted
to them before, the sinning for their happiness. (1362-76a)

He himself shall begin to speak, the Master Almighty,
as if he were speaking to just one, and yet he intends them all,
these crime-sinning people: “Listen! I first wrought you
with my own hands and gave you understanding.
From clay I set down your limbs, and gave you a living spirit,
honoring you above all creation, giving you a face and figure
like to myself. I gave you as well plenty of might,
weal over all the wide lands, though you knew no part
of the woe or the shadow that you must suffer—
and you understand no gratitude for these things. (1376b-85)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Final Judgment, part XIV (2 of 2)

Then his will shall be recognized as different for those others.
They shall be able see too many woes for themselves—
sins enough, the terrible hardships once committed.
There, sorrowing pain will attach itself to them,
a grievous agony on three sides.
One of them is that they will see for themselves
too many miseries and the grim fire of hell
present and ready as torment, from which they must
eternally suffer damnation, struggling in exile.
The second curse upon them is when
in their disgrace for the guilty, that ruined people
shall endure the greatest shame. In them the Lord sees
not at all a few, but their every crime-bales and hateful deeds,
as well as seeing the all-bright host of heavenly angels
and the children of men, every earth-dweller—
and the terrifying devil shall be able to suss out
in their souls with his dark and powerful skill,
right through their body-homes, their every wicked blemish
and their disgraceful faults. Their sinning flesh
shall be transfixed shamefully just like the shining glass,
so that one can scanned entirely with ease.
Then that third sorrow for the needful, the crying care,
will be that they may observe in the pure
how they exult gladly on account of their good deeds,
which they, miserable, once disdained to perform
as their days lasted, and weeping sorely for their deeds,
that they had freely committed unrighteous acts before. (1262-90)

Then they will see the better ones richly glow—
their miseries will not only be a torment to them,
but the bliss of others will be to their sorrow,
because they abandoned such fair joys in the days of old
and such singular ones, through the frivolous delights of the body,
and the empty lusts of their vile flesh-homes.
Ashamed there and shamefully afflicted,
they will stagger about drunkenly, bearing their sinful burden,
their criminal works where the people will see it.
It would have been better for them at that point
that they blushed in shame earlier for their baleful deeds,
every unrighteous act and vile works before any one man
and spoken before God’s messengers that they knew
to their regret of the sin-deeds upon their shoulders.
The shriver may not see through the flesh into their soul,
whether someone is speaking the truth or a lie upon himself,
when he abases his sins then—even though someone
may be healed of every fault, every unclean evil
if he tells it to one person—but no one can conceal it
on that stern day, the stain unabated, where the host will see it. (1291-1311)

Alas! There can we now see these wrathful crimes
in our souls, the wounds of sin, and in the eyes
of our body-houses, the diseased ponderings,
these unclean thoughts! No one can speak to another
how with great vigor anyone would strive after
life and spirit by every art fearfully, to endure longer,
to cleanse the smut of sin and castigate himself,
and heal the wound of that prior fault,
within that brief space that there is in life here,
so that he can, before the eyes of earth-dwellers,
unashamed, brook his abode among mortal men,
free from corruption, so long as body and soul
are allowed to dwell together, two as one. (1312-26)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Christ III, section xiv, part 1

What are they thinking who will not remember
in their wits the mild teachings of the Measurer,
and all the miseries that he endured for the benefit
of mankind, because he wished that we might be allowed
to possess a glorious home for all eternity?
So it will be forlorn for them on that forbidding day
of mighty doom, for them who must, undone by their deadly crimes,
be shown the scars of the Lord, the wounds and the torments.
In their sorry souls they will see the greatest of sorrows,
how the King himself released them from their crimes
with his own body’s house, by the mercy of his mind,
so that they might live on liberated from their wicked works
and possess the eternal fruits of glory. Thanks for this homeland
they knew not to give unto the torments of their Sovereign.
Therefore to punish them, they will see manifest markings there
upon the body of God, unblissful people, when Christ sits
on his majestic throne, his high seat, God of Heaven’s Powers,
the Father Almighty. Unto every one of his peoples
the shining Shaper shall inscribe each of them
by their deeds, according to justice, the Ruler of the Skies. (1199-1220)

Then shall be gathered on the right hand of Christ himself
the pure folk, chosen for their excellence,
those who had earlier followed his teachings
eagerly and with delight in their life-days,
and there the stain-scathers into the worse half
before the Shaper shall be ordained,
ordering them to depart onto his left hand,
the True-King of Victories and the multitude of the sinful.
Judged truly there, they shall weep and quiver
before the fear of the Lord, as foul as goats,
a filthy folk—they should not expect any mercy. (1221-31)

Then shall the judgment of souls be decided before God
upon the generations of humankind, just as they had
previously merited—there will be readily visible to the blessed
three tokens together, because they kept the Lord’s will
well by their words and their works.
The first one manifest there is that they will glisten
with light before their people, splendid and shining
over the houses in the city. Their earlier deeds will sparkle
in every one of them more brightly than the sun.
What’s more, the second is highly visible as well—
that in glory they will know in themselves
the Sovereign’s grace and see it in their eyes joyfully
that they may possess the clear pleasures
of Heaven’s realm, blessed among the angels.
Then the third will be: how, in the bale of darkness,
the blessed multitude shall see the corrupted
suffer pain, as torment for their sins,
the welling flame and the attacks of worms
with bitter jaws, the shoal of the burning. (1232-51)

From these three a winsome joy will grow
when they observe the second part suffer that evil
which they, through the Measurer’s mercy, have been spared.
Then they will thank God all the more eagerly
for both the fruits and blisses that they will see,
that he saved them from the malice-killing
and gave to them eternal pleasures.
Hell will be locked off for them, and heaven’s kingdom
granted them. So must it be exchanged between them—
those who previously kept well the Lord’s will through heart-love. (1253-61)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

More Christ III.xiii

All this they will be able to see for themselves then,
open and plain to perceive, that for the love of humankind,
of crime-workers, he suffered many things.
The sons of men will be able to understand clearly
how destitute they denied him in their thoughts,
taunting him with harmful words and also spat their spittle
into his face. They spoke their scorn against him
and also struck, the hell-hurrying men, his blessed countenance
with their hands, with fingers outstretched and fist as well—
and about his head bent a harsh and thorny ring,
blind in their thinking, foolish and led astray.
They observed mute creation, the ever-greening earth
and the high-heavens, feel the sufferings of the Lord
fearfully, and mournfully pronounce, though they lived not,
when the harmers seized the Shaper with sinful hands. (1115-32a)

The sun was washed out, smothered with sorrows—
when the folk in Jerusalem were looking up the best
of good weaving that once must be looked upon
as decoration in that holy house—it burst apart from above
and lay upon the earth in two patches. The sails of that temple,
wrought in wondrous hue to beautify that house,
rent itself in two, as if the sharp blade of a dagger
had passed through it. The glistening walls and many stones
burst apart across the earth and upon the ground as well,
wasted in terror, trembling at the sound of the voice,
and the broad sea revealed the power of its skill
and broke its bonds, angry, rising up from the embrace of the earth,
and in their shining orbit, the stars let go of their proper beauty.
In that same moment, the clear heavens understood him
who had loftily established the brightness
in the gems of heaven—therefore he had sent his herald,
when the shining king born first of all creation. (1132b-52a)

Listen as well! Guilty men have seen as a true token,
upon the same day that he suffered, a great miracle,
that the earth gave up those who lay within her.
Living again, they stood up, the ones who had been swallowed
up fast inside her, the buried dead, who kept in their breast
the Lord’s commandment. Hell also understood,
the wreaker of sin, that the Shaper had come,
the Wielding God, when the earth had given up that throng,
its spoils, from its fiery bosom. The hearts of many
were blessed, and sorrows slid away from their souls. (1152b-63a)

Listen as well! The sea revealed who established it
on its broad basin, the glory-mighty king—
therefore it made itself firm to walk upon,
when God wished to go across its waves.
The watery streams dared not submerge the Lord’s feet
in its flood. And the trees as well announced who
had shaped them with their fruits—many of them,
not just a few—when Mighty God mounted upon
one of them, where he suffered miseries
for the sake of the nation-dwelling,
a loathsome death as a help to humankind.
Then many trees became bedewed with bloody tears
beneath their bark, red and thick, their sap turned to gore. (1163b-76a)

This fact no earth-dweller can speak through wise understanding,
how many things, which cannot perceive, became aware
of the suffering of the Lord, these inanimate creations.
Those that are the most ennobled of the earth’s kindred,
and also the high-timbers of the heavens were fearful
because of that lone man, and seized by fright.
Although from their innate virtues they knew nothing
of spiritual understanding, even so they knew by a miracle
when their Sovereign journeyed from his body-house. (1176b-86a)

The people did not know how to perceive,
their Measurer, these mind-blinded men,
harder than flints, that the Master had saved them
from a hell-death by his holy powers,
the All-Wielding God. This fact, at the earliest,
forward-thinking men from the first of the world,
through their wise perception, the prophets of the Lord,
holy through their heart’s insight, have spoken to men
often—not just once—about that noble child,
that the dearest gemstone must enter into the world
as a shelter and comfort to all of the kindred of men,
the Driver of Glory, the Start of Blessings, by way of that noble queen. (1186b-98)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Christ III, section xii, pt. 1

These sections have gotten really long, so it seems good practice to break them into two for ease of use.

In other news, I have started cobbling together a twin book proposal for the ASNPP translations to be shopped around to various publishers.


There these sin-flecked men will see themselves,
with sorrowful spirits, the greatest of pains.
It will be no favor to them who stand in the presence
before those strangers, of the Cross of our Lord,
the brightest of beacons, steaming with blood,
the pure gore of the Heavenly King,
looking out with the life-sweat that shines clearly
across this broad creation. The shadows
shall be concealed where the radiant tree
glows over the nations. Yet that will be ordained
a shame and a threat upon these sin-working peoples
who knew not how to thank God for his torments,
when he was hanged on the Holy Tree
for the wicked crimes of mankind.
There he purchased dearly our lives,
the Prince of Mankind, on that day
and by that price—he whose body-house
was never stained by blameworthy crimes,
and through this he ransomed us. (1081-99a)

Afterwards he will earnestly admonish
all of us for repayment, when that ruddy cross
blazes in the sky over all, rather than the golden sun.
Upon that signal those seduced by sins,
the darkened wicked-workers, shall look upon
sorrowfully and with great fear—
they will see for themselves to their suffering
what has come forth to their best end,
were they willing to perceive it to their good.
And also the ancient scars and the open wound
they shall witness, dreary-souled, in their Lord,
just as malice-minded men had impaled
those white hands and holy feet with nails,
and also caused blood to flow from his side,
where blood and water together both emerged
before the sight of their eyes, running out
in front of the warriors, when he was on the Rood. (1099b-1114)

All this they will be able to see for themselves then,
open and plain to perceive, that for the love of humankind,
of crime-workers, he suffered many things.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Final Judgment XII, pt. 2

Then Mighty God shall come into the famous mountain
the King of the Heaven-Angels, and shine out holy
amid the greatest host of majesty, wonderfully
across the armies, the Sovereign God—
and the best of noble multitudes shall sparkle
clearly about him, a holy massed infantry,
a blessed battalion of angels. Within our inmost thoughts
we shall be shivering with fear before the terror of the Father.
It is no wonder therefore that the unclean family
of worldly-men, sorrowing with their cares,
will harshly dread when the family of the holy,
white and heaven-bright, a power of high angels,
are fearful for the terror of that face.
His bright creation trembling shall await the Lord’s doom. (1007-21a)

The most terrifying of days shall come into the world,
when the Glory-King in his majesty chastises
every nation, commanding the speech-bearing to arise
from their earth-graves, and every single person,
each one of mankind to muster at the moot.
Then all of the kindred of Adam shall quickly
take up their flesh, which has come to the end
of this earthly pause and habitation.
Then every one must rise up alive before the coming of Christ,
assume their limbs and bodily home, and become rejuvenated.
They shall have all upon them, which he once weighted upon his soul
in bygone days, all of the good and the folly,
over the course of the year—they shall hold both together,
body and soul. Everything must come into the light,
the face of their own deeds and the memory of their words
and the thoughts in their hearts before the King of Heaven. (1021b-38)

Then shall mankind be increased and renewed
through their Measurer. A mighty host of men
shall be risen to judgment, after the Life-Origin
looses the bonds of death. The breezes will scorch,
the heavenly stars will tumble to the earth, widely
will the glutton flame lay waste, and souls will depart
into an eternal home. Open shall the deeds of man
be made throughout middle-earth. Nor can the hoard
of humans, the thoughts of their hearts
be concealed one whit before the Wielding God.
Nor shall their deeds be kept secret from him,
but will be known there by the Lord
on that greatest of days—how every man
had before earned eternal life, and all will be present
which they, early or late, had wrought in the world.
Nor shall be there anything concealed of the minds of men,
but that famous day shall reveal all the hoards
of breast-locks, and the thoughts of the heart.
One must consider the needs of the soul before,
who intends to bring before God a clear face,
when the burning, hot and greedy for blood,
shall prove how preserved the soul has been
against its sins before the Deemer of Victory. (1039-60)

Then the voice of the trumpet and the bright symbol,
and the heated flame and the high multitude,
and the majesty of angels and the threat of terror,
and the severe day and the high cross
rightfully reared as a beacon to the realm,
shall summon the human hosts before him,
every soul which has, early or late,
taken up limbs into its body-home.
Then the greatest of armies, eternal and ever-young,
shall go into the presence of the Sovereign,
by desire or constraint. Called forth by name,
they will bear their breast-hoard before the Child of God,
the adornments of their soul. The Father will judge
how many sound souls his sons have brought
from their homeland where they have lived.
Then they shall be bold who bring a clear face
unto their Measurer. Their power and joy
shall be so blessed as a repayment to their souls
a glorious recompense for their deeds. It will be well
for those who are allowed to be pleasing to God
in that most grim of seasons. (1061-80)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Christ III, section XII, part 1

Going a bit more slowly now that the semester is in full swing -- here are the first two stanzas of section 12 of Christ III (The Final Judgment). Hope you enjoy the end of the world as much as I have!


So the greedy spirit shall search out the world,
the ravaging flame felling the tallest buildings
on the fields of the earth with the terror of fire,
and the widely-known blast, hot and hungry for blood,
in the entire world. The city-walls shattered
shall tumble to the ground at once.
The mountains shall be melted, and the high cliffs as well,
which previously shielded the land firmly
against the waves, against the flood,
firm and shore-fast, a foundations against the tide,
the bouncing waters. Then shall every creature,
beast and fowl, be taken by the deathly flame,
the darkened fire shall be ferried across the earth,
a welling warrior. As before the waters flowed,
the agitated tides, at that moment in the fiery bath
the sea-fishes shall be burned—deprived of their swimming,
every weary wave-beast shall be wasted,
the water burning like wax. (972-88a)

There shall be more marvels than any man in his mind
can imagine: how the collision and the storm
and the strong winds shall break this broad creation.
The warriors will wail, weeping, roaring with weary voices,
humbled, heart-sick, and humiliated with lamentations.
The swarthy flame will seethe the sins of the perished,
and glowing coals swallow up their adornments of gold,
all of the ancient treasures of the tribal kings.
There will be outcry and sorrow, a struggle for life,
weeping and loud cries by the heavenly clatter,
a miserable tumult of mortal men.
Thenceforth no one stained by their sinful deeds
shall be able to struggle to gain sanctuary,
or escape the burning fire in any land,
but that flame shall seize through whatever nation,
grimly dig up and eagerly root out the regions
of the earth, both inside and out,
until the limbs of fire have burned up in its welling
all of the smirches of this worldly impurity. (988b-1006)