Sunday, March 3, 2013

Almost done with Christ III!

Just one more section of the Final Judgment to go, about 135 lines left. Whew! Won't this world end already?


“For what reason did you besmirch uncleanly
with wicked lusts and foul sins that tabernacle,
that beloved house that I hallowed inside you as my joy?
Why did you sully with shame by sin-working
the body-home which I released for myself
from the embrace of enemies, and forbad it crime?
For what reason do you hang me more heavily
with your hands upon the cross than you once hanged me?
Listen! This seems more severe to me! (1480-88)

“Now it is more grievous to me, the cross of your sins,
which I am unwillingly affixed upon, than the other was
which I once ascended, of my own desire—
when your woe most forpined me at heart,
then I tugged you out from hell, provided that
you would afterwards keep yourself out—
I was a beggar in this world so that you would have plenty in heaven.
I was miserable in your homeland so that you would be blessed in mine.
For these things you knew not any thanks in your heart to your Savior. (1489-98)

“I entrusted you to cheer my brothers well
in this worldly realm with the plenty that I gave
to you on this earth, to help the destitute.
You have followed that feebly, forbidding
the needy from being allowed to come inside
under your roof, and you drew away every bit
through the hardness of your heart, of garment
from the naked, or food from the meatless.
Although in my name they begged for water,
for themselves, weary and poor in health,
tormented for a drink, without means,
eaten up with thirst, you boldly withdrew it from them.
You did not seek out the suffering, or one sweet word
did you speak to them in comfort, so that they might
take up a state of mind more free. All those things you did to me,
as an injury to the Heaven-King. For that you must suffer
severely torment forever, enduring an exile among devils.” (1499-1514)

Then over all those there, a terrifying sentence
filled with pain, the Warden of Victories himself,
will pronounce forth over that fated folk,
saying unto that horde of sinful souls:
“Begone now, accursed, shorn by your will
from the pleasures of angels, into the eternal fire
that was made ready for Satan and his siblings,
for the Devil and his dark school, hot and fearsome.
In that terrible place you must tumble!” (1515-23)

They will not be able to ignore the command
of the Heaven-King then, deprived of their powers.
They must fall quickly into the grim ground,
those who struggled before against God.
The guard of the realm will be savage then and mighty,
wrathful and terrifying. Nor can any enemy
abide, present on these earthly ways. (1524-29)

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