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)

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