Monday, March 4, 2013

Closing in on Christ III

He shall swing the victory-blade with his right hand
so that into the deep dale the devils shall fall
into the darksome flame, a host of the sinful
under the lap of the earth, the fated ghasts
into that stead of the wrathful, a shoal of the stained,
the ruin of the accursed in that house of suffering,
the death-hall of demons. None of them will seek
the Lord’s memory afterwards, nor will they break
from their sin where they are stained with crimes,
bound up in flame, enduring death. The penalty for sin
shall be manifestly present—that is an eternal death. (1530-40)

Nor can the hot portion burn away the sins
from the kindred of the damned in eternity,
to the width of life, the stain from their souls
but there the deep, bottomless pit shall be fed
and fostered by the dreary spirits in the shadows,
and it will kindle them with an olden flame, and with the terrible frost,
and with angry worms and with torments innumerable,
and with fearsome deadly jaws, it shall destroy these people. (1541-48)

We can appreciate this and pronounce at once
speaking the truth, that he has lost the Warden of Souls,
the Wisdom of Life, he who cares not now whether
his soul be wretched or blessed, where he must
eternally be home-fixed after its hence-going.
Nor is he anxious about committing a sin,
this fool-headed man, nor does he have any regret at all
in his heart that the Holy Spirit is lost to him
through his crimes in this loaned time. (1549-58)

Then the evil-doer will stand, fearful before the Lord,
darkened at his doom, and guilty to death,
cursed for his stains—the pledge-breaker
will be filled with fire. Unworthy of life,
menaced with terror, in the presence of God
pale and without beauty, he has the hue of the damned,
the living symbol of evil. Then the children of crimes
will shed their tears and cry out for their sins—
when the time for that is no more—
yet they do their spirits aid too late,
after the Wielder of Multitudes no longer
wishes to be concerned how these sin-scathers
grieve sorely their formerly treasured possessions
in that patent hour. That hour of suffering
is not granted to those people so that they might
locate their leechdom there, who does not wish
to obtain the cure for their health now
so long as they are living here. (1559-74)

There will be no sorrow shown there by any good man,
in no evil man well-being, but everyone present there
will be weighed according to their singular desert.
Therefore he must hurry, who wishes to own
life before the Lord, while light and soul
are seen together in him. Let him attend eagerly
to the appearance of his soul in the desire of God,
and be aware of his words and deeds,
practices and thoughts, so long as thus world,
hurrying through the shadows, is allowed to shine for him,
so that he does not lose it in this loaned time,
his joyous profit and the count of his days,
and the beauty of his works and the reward of glory
that the Heaven-King in that holy hour,
truth-fast, will grant as the recompense of victory
to those who have assiduously obeyed him in their souls. (1575-90)

Then heaven and hell will be filled
with the children of men, the souls of humankind.
The bottom shall swallow up the enemies of God,
the flickering flame shall torment hate-minded men,
the greatest scathers, and will never let them
go from there into joy as a soul-saving,
yet the burning shall bind them into a fixed mob,
torturing the children of crime. Wicked it seems to me
that these soul-bearing men did not wish to care for
in their hearts, when they performed evil acts,
what the Sovereign had established as an punishment
for that hateful people. Then life and death shall swill down souls. (1591-1603a)

The house of torturing shall be opened and revealed
against the oath-breakers; crime-eager men must fill it
with their swart souls. Then as punishment for sins,
the school of the guilty shall become separated,
the humiliated from the holy, in that harmful inferno.
There thieves and mighty offenders, liars and rapists
must never expect life, and ill-swearers shall observe
the deserts of their crime, harsh and deadly fierce.
Then hell shall pluck the pledge-less pack
the Wielder shall grant them guilty to the fiends—
they shall suffer a deadly bale, stained and terrifying. (1603b-15a)

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