Saturday, March 2, 2013

Final Judgment XVI, pt. 1

“It was not for pride, but I endured in my youth
misery and merciless body-pain, so that through it
I would be more like you, and you could become
more like my image, separated from evil.
And for the love of humankind my head suffered
harmful blows, my cheek and face often endured
the spit spat from the mouths of pitiless wicked-doers.
Likewise they blended together for me
a bitter drink, unsweet, of vinegar and gall.
Then before the people I received the malice of my foes,
they persecuted me with sins, they recked not of their feud,
and they beat me with scourges. All that pain I suffered for you
with a humble mind, the scorn and the sharp words.
Then they ringed my head about with a hard, sharp wreath,
cruelly they crammed it on—it was wrought of thorns.
Then I was hanged upon a lofty tree, fixed upon the rood.
Next they poured out blood from my side with a sharpened spear,
gore upon the ground, so that you may be delivered
from the constraining power of the devil.
Then I, without sin, suffered torment and evil affliction,
until alone I gave up my living soul from my body-home. (1428-53)

“Now see these mortal wounds that you inflicted before
into my hands and my feet just the same, through them
I hung, severely fastened—you can see here, manifest to this day,
in my side this bloody wound. How there was
an uneven account made between us there!
I took on your agony so that you would be allowed
to enjoy my native realm, blessed and prosperous.
And in my death I dearly purchased you enduring life
so that you would be allowed to abide afterwards,
free from blemish, and beautiful in that light.
My flesh-home lay, engraved into the earth,
hidden down below in burial, that which never harmed a soul,
so that you would be able to exist upwards,
brightly in the heavens, mighty among the angels. (1454-68)

“For what reason did you abandon that shining life
that I bargained for faithfully and lovingly with my own body,
downcast as a help to you? Why did you become
so bereft of sense that you knew no thankfulness
to the Wielder for your redemption?
I shall ask nothing for my bitter death
which I suffered for you, but repay me your life,
because I once gave you mine in ransom
through brutal torment. I remand your life
which you have criminally killed off
with wicked deeds, much to your own shame. (1469-79)

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