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)

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