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)

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