Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Codex Junius 11

Part 2 out of 3

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.2 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing))

(ll. 2382-2389) But the woman laughed at the Lord of hosts with
derision; full of years, she pondered those sayings in her heart
with scorn. She had no faith that His words would be fulfilled.
And when the Lord of heaven heard that in her bower the wife of
Abraham laughed in unbelief, then spake the Holy God:

(ll. 2390-2398) "Lo! Sarah trusteth not My word. Yet all shall
be fulfilled according as I promised thee in the beginning. I
tell thee truly, at this self-same season thy wife shall bear a
son. And when I come again unto this dwelling My word shall be
fulfilled, and thine eyes shall behold thy son, dear Abraham."


(ll. 2399-2407) And alter these words they departed swiftly away
from the place of oracle. The holy spirits turned their steps
(and the Prince of light was their companion) till they beheld
high Sodom's city-walls. They saw high halls towering above
precious treasure and mansions above ruddy gold. And the
Righteous Lord of heaven held long discourse with Abraham:

(ll. 2408-2418) "I hear loud tumult in this city and brawling of
sinful men, the boastful words of tipplers drunk with ale, and
evil speech of multitudes within their walls. Heavy are the sins
of this people and the offences of these faithless men. But I
will search out what this people do, O Hebrew prince, and whether
they sin so greatly in their thoughts and deeds as their evil
tongues speak fraud and guile. Verily brimstone and black flame,
bitter and grim and fiercely burning, shall visit vengeance on
these heathen folk...."

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing.))


(ll. 2419-2437) And so these men abode their punishment and woe
within their walls, and their wives with them. Proud in their
strength, they repaid God evil for good until the Lord of
spirits, Prince of life and light, could no longer withhold His
wrath. Stern of heart, God sent two mighty messengers among them
who came at even-tide unto the city of Sodom. They came upon a
man sitting in the gate of the city, even the son of Haran, and
they appeared as young men before the eyes of the sage. Then the
servant of the Lord arose and went unto the strangers, and
greeted them with kindness; he was mindful of what is right and
fitting among men, and offered them a shelter for the night. And
the noble messengers of God made answer:

(ll. 2438-2440) "We thank thee for the favour thou hast showed
us. Yet do we think to bide here quietly beside this street
until the time of the dawn, when God shall send again the sun."

(ll. 2441-2453) Then Lot fell at their feet, and knelt upon the
ground before his guests, and offered them food and rest, the
shelter of his house, and entertainment. And they accepted the
kindness of the prince with thanks, and went in quickly with him
unto his dwelling as the Hebrew earl pointed them the way. And
the lordly hero, wise of heart, gave them fair entertainment in
his hall, until the evening light vanished away. Then night
came, hard upon the heels of day, and clothed the ocean-streams
with darkness, and all the glory of the world, seas and
wide-stretching land.

(ll. 2453-2466) Then in great throngs the dwellers of Sodom,
young and old, undear to God, came to demand the strangers, in
multitudes encompassed Lot about, and his guests. They bade him
lead the holy heralds out from the lofty hall into their power.
Shamelessly they said that they would know these men. Of decency
they had no heed. Then swiftly Lot arose, deviser of counsel,
and went forth from his dwelling; the son of Haran, mindful of
wisdom, spake unto all that gathering of men:

(ll. 2467-2476) "Within my house two stainless daughters dwell.
(Neither of them yet has known a man.) Do now as I bid you and
forsake this sin. Them will I give you rather than that ye work
this shame against your nature, and grievous evil against the
sons of men. Take now the maidens and leave my guests in peace,
for I will defend them against you before God, if so I may."

(ll. 2477-2484) And all that multitude of godless men with one
accord made answer unto him: "This seemeth meet and very right:
that thou leave this land! An exile, from afar thou camest to
this country, desolate of friends, and lacking food. And now
wilt thou be judge over us, if so may be, and teach our people?"

(ll. 2485-2499) Then, as I have heard, the heathen leaders laid
hand on Lot and seized him. But his guests, the righteous
strangers, brought him aid, and drew him within his dwelling from
out the clutches of these cruel men. And straightway the eyes of
all those standing round about were darkened; and suddenly the
host of city-dwellers became blind. They might not storm the
halls, with savage hearts against the strangers, as they strove
to do, but stoutly the ministers of God withstood them. Lot's
guests had sturdy strength, and smote the host with vengeance.
Fairly the faithful ministers of peace spake unto Lot:

(ll. 2500-2512) "If thou have any son, or kinsman dear among this
people, or any friend of these maidens whom we here behold, lead
forth in haste from the city those dear to thee, and save thy
life, lest thou too perish with these faithless men. Because of
the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah the Lord hath bidden give them
over to fire and black flame, to smite the people in their
dwellings with the pangs of death, and work His vengeance. The
hour is nigh at hand. Flee upon the paths of earth, and save thy
life. To thee the Lord is gracious...."

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing.))


(ll. 2513-2526) And straightway Lot made answer unto them: "I may
not wander so far hence, afoot, in search of safety, with these
women. But ye may fairly show me love and friendship, and grant
me grace and favour. I know a little high-built town not far
from here; there grant me rest and respite, in Zoar to find
safety. If ye will shield that lofty stronghold from the flame,
we may abide there for a time secure, and save our lives."

(ll. 2526-2534) And friendly was the righteous angels' answer:
"Thou shalt receive this boon, since thou hast spoken of the
city. Go quickly to that stronghold, and we will grant thee
peace and our protection. We will not wreak God's vengeance on
these faithless men, nor slay this sinful race, till thou hast
brought thy children unto Zoar, and thy wife with them."

(ll. 2535-2547) Then Abraham's kinsman hastened to the
stronghold. He swiftly journeyed with his women, and stayed not
foot until he led his children into Zoar, under the city-gates,
and his wife with them. And when the sun arose, peace-candle of
men, then, as I have heard, the Lord of glory sent brimstone out
of heaven, black fire and raging flame, in vengeance upon men,
because so long in days gone by they had displeased the Lord.
The Ruler of spirits gave them their reward!

(ll. 2547-2561) And a great fear gripped the heathen race; din
arose in their cities, wailing of sinful men, a wretched people
at the point of death. All that was green in the golden cities
the flame devoured; likewise no little portion of the wide land
round about was covered with flame and terror. Fair groves and
fruits of the earth were turned to ash and glowing ember, even as
far as that grim vengeance swept the broad land of men. A
roaring flame, destroying all things high and spacious, consumed
the wealth of Sodom and Gomorrah. All this the Lord God
destroyed, and the people with it.

(ll. 2561-2575) But when Lot's wife heard the rushing flame, and
dying men within the city, she looked behind her to that place of
death. Straightway, the writings tell us, she was changed into
the likeness of a pillar of salt; and ever since, the image (far-
famed is the story) has stood in silence where that bitter
vengeance came upon her, because she would not heed the bidding
of the thanes of glory. Hard and high-towering in that spot of
earth she must abide her fate, the doom of God, till time shall
cease and the world vanish away. That is a wonder which the Lord
of glory wrought!


(ll. 2576-2599) And Abraham, the man of wisdom, went out alone at
dawn and came again unto the place where he had spoken with his
Lord. Far and wide he saw the fatal smoke curling upward from
the earth. Pride had come upon that people and drunkenness, and
they became too insolent in evil and bold in sin. God's
judgements they forgot, and truth, and Him who gave them wealth
and blessing in their cities. Wherefore the Prince of angels
sent a consuming flame in punishment upon them. But our Faithful
Lord was gracious, and remembered Abraham, His beloved, as oft He
did, and delivered Lot, his kinsman, when the multitude were
slain. Now Lot, the valiant, durst no longer dwell in that
stronghold for fear of God, but he departed out of the city, and
his children with him, to seek a dwelling far from the place of
slaughter, and found, at last, a cave upon the slope of a high
hill. And Lot, the blessed, dear unto God and faithful, abode
there many a day, and his two daughters with him....

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing.))

(ll. 2600-2620) Thus did they, and the elder daughter went in
first unto their father's bed, as he lay drunk with wine. And
the old man knew not when the maidens came unto his bed, but his
mind and wit were clouded within him, and, drunk with wine, he
knew not the coming of the maids. And the lovely sisters
conceived, and bare sons unto their aged father. Lot's older
daughter called her son's name Moab. And the younger called her
son's name Ammon, as the sacred writings say. Of these princes
sprang a countless folk, two famous peoples. One tribe men call
the Moabites, a far-famed race; the other tribe men call the


(ll. 2621-2627) Then the brother of Haran departed with his wife
and household and with all his substance to be subject unto
Abimelech. And Abraham said unto men, of Sarah, his wife, "She
is my sister," and thereby saved his life. For well he knew he
had few friends or kinsfolk among that people. And the prince
sent forth his thanes and bade them bring him Abraham's wife.

(ll. 2628-2637) Then a second time, while dwelling among alien
people, Abraham's wife was taken from her husband, and given into
a stranger's arms. But the Eternal Lord sustained them as He oft
had done. Our Saviour came at night unto the king as he lay
drunk with wine. The King of truth spake unto the prince in a
dream, and in anger denounced him:

(ll. 2638-2641) "The wife of Abraham hast thou taken from him,
and for this deed of evil death shall smite thy soul within thy

(ll. 2641-2652) And, heavy with feasting, the lord of sin began
to speak in his slumber: "O Prince of angels, wilt Thou ever, in
Thine anger, suffer a life to fail which liveth with righteous
ways and upright heart, and seeketh mercy at Thy hands? I
questioned not the woman, but she said that she was Abraham's
sister. And I have wrought no evil against her, nor any sin."

(ll. 2653-2666) Then again a second time the Righteous Lord,
Eternal God, spake unto him in his dream, and said: "O prince of
men, if thou reck aught of longer living in the world, restore
this woman unto Abraham to be his wife. He is wise and
righteous, and may behold the King of glory and speak with Him.
But thou shalt perish with thy goods and treasure, if thou
withhold this woman from the prince. But if that just and
patient man will intercede for thee, he may prevail with Me to
let thee live unharmed, enjoying blessings, friends, and treasure
all the days of thy life."

(ll. 2666-2674) Then in fear the warden of the people awoke from
his slumber, and bade summon his counsellors. Smitten with
tenor, Abimelech told them the words of God. And they feared
God's vengeance on that deed, according to the dream. Then the
king in haste called Abraham before him. The mighty prince said
unto him:

(ll. 2675-2690) "Tell me now what evil I have done thee, Hebrew
prince, since first thou camest to our land with thy possessions,
that now so fiercely thou shouldest lay a snare before me. Lo,
Abraham! a stranger to this people, thou wouldest entrap us, and
defile with sin. Thou saidest Sarah was thy sister and thy kin!
Through her thou wouldest have done me grievous hurt and endless
evil. We harboured thee with honour, in friendly wise allotting
thee a dwelling in this realm, and lands for thine enjoyment.
But in no friendly way dost thou reward or thank us for our


(ll. 2691-2716) And Abraham answered: "I did it not in guile or
hatred, nor yet to work thee any woe. But I was far from mine
own people, prince of men, and shielded me by craft from,
violence and death. Since Holy God first led me forth of old
from the home of my lord and father, desolate of friends, I have
visited many a people, many an alien race, and this woman with
me. And ever this fear was in my heart, seeing I was a stranger,
lest some foe should slay me, and take this woman to himself.
Wherefore I said that Sarah was my sister, and this I told the
war-smiths everywhere on earth where we two homeless needs must
dwell with strangers. And so I did in this land also, mighty
prince, when I came under thy protection. I knew not if the fear
of God Almighty was among this people, when first I came here.
Therefore, with care, I hid from thee and from thy thanes the
truth, that Sarah was my wife and shared my bed."

(ll. 2717-2722) Then Abimelech began to endow Abraham with
treasure, and gave him his wife again; and because he had taken
his wife he gave him, to boot, wandering herds and servants and
gleaming silver. And the lord of men said also unto Abraham:

(ll. 2723-2726) "Abide with us and choose thee a dwelling in this
land, and an abode whereso it pleaseth thee; thee must I keep.
Be thou a faithful friend, and we will give thee riches."

(ll. 2727-2735) And the dispenser of treasure spake also unto
Sarah, and said: "No need hath Abraham, thy lord, to reproach
thee, O maiden of elfin beauty, because thou hast trod my halls.
With gleaming silver will I make requital for this wrong. Care
not to go forth from this folk-land, seeking elsewhere unknown
friends, but dwell ye here."

(ll. 2736-2741) And Abraham did according to the bidding of the
prince, accepting the friendship offered by his lord, with love
and favour. Dear was he unto God; knowing great blessedness and
peace, and walking in his Lord's protection and under the shelter
of His wings, so long as his life endured.

(ll. 2742-2759) Yet was God still angered against Abimelech for
the wrong he had wrought against Sarah and against Abraham, in
severing the bonds of these beloved, man and wife. He suffered
woe and bitter punishment; the maidens, slave nor free, might not
bear children to their lords, but God denied them, till holy
Abraham prayed his Lord, Eternal God, for mercy. And the Lord of
angels granted him his prayer, and for the king restored
fertility to man and maid, to slave and free. The Lord of heaven
suffered again their number to increase, their riches and
possessions; and the Almighty Warden of mankind was merciful of
heart unto Abimelech, as Abraham besought Him.

(ll. 2760-2771) Then the Almighty Lord came unto Sarah, according
to His word; our God, the Lord of life, fulfilled His promise to
His dear ones, the man and woman. His wife brought forth a son
to Abraham, and, ere his mother had conceived him, the Prince of
angels called him Isaac. And Abraham with his own hand set the
glorious sign upon him within the week his mother bare him.


(ll. 2772-2777) And the boy grew strong and throve and his nature
was noble. Now Abraham had lived an hundred winters in the world
when his wife, with thankful heart, brought forth a son. And he
had waited long for that event since first the Lord, by His own
word, announced the day of joy.

(ll. 2778-2783) And it came to pass upon a time that the woman
saw Ishmael playing before Abraham as they sat with holy hearts
at meat together, and all their household drank and revelled.
Then said his wife, the noble woman, to her lord:

(ll. 2783-2791) "Beloved lord, and warden of treasure, grant me a
boon! Bid Hagar go forth from among us, and Ishmael with her.
No longer shall we dwell together, if I may rule and have my
will. Never shall Ishmael, after thee, divide the heritage with
Isaac, my son, when thou hast given up the ghost from out thy

(ll. 2791-2796) Then it grieved Abraham in his heart that he must
drive his own son into exile; but God, the Just and Righteous,
succoured him. He knew that the heart of the man was heavy with
sorrow. The King of angels, the Eternal Lord, said unto Abraham:

(ll. 2797-2803) "Let care and sorrow vanish from thy heart, and
hearken unto the woman, thy wife. Bid Hagar go forth from this
land, and Ishmael, the lad, with her. And I will multiply his
race, and stablish them with ample blessings, as I have promised
by My word."

(ll. 2804-2806) And the man hearkened unto his Lord, and drove
them forth in sadness from his dwelling, the woman and his

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing.))

(ll. 2807-2831) "Clear is it that the Just God, Lord of heaven,
is with thee, granting thee triumph by His might and wisdom, and
strengthening thy heart with grace divine. Therefore ye throve
in all your dealings, with friend or foe, in word or deed. With
His hands the Lord God prospered thee in all thy ways. That is
full widely known unto the city-dwellers! Graciously grant me
now, I pray thee, Hebrew prince, thy promise and thy pledge, that
thou wilt be a faithful friend to me, according to the kindness I
have done thee since, wretched and in exile, thou camest from
afar unto this land. Requite it now with kindness that I grudged
thee not of land or favour. Be gracious to this nation, my
people, if the Lord our God, who ruleth the fates of men, will
grant thee to extend the borders of this people, dealing out
wealth to warriors of the shield, and treasure to the brave."

(ll. 2832-2833) And Abraham gave a pledge unto Abimelech that he
would do according to his prayer.


(ll. 2834-2845) And the Hebrew prince, the blessed son of Terah,
abode a long time in the land of the Philistines, wretched and in
exile. And the Lord of angels assigned him a dwelling-place, and
the city-dwelling sons of men call that land Beersheba. There
the holy man built a lofty city wherein to dwell, and planted a
grove and raised an altar, and on the altar made ample offerings
and sacrifice to God, who granted him life and blessing under

(ll. 2846-2849) Then the Mighty Lord made a trial of the prince,
and proved his strength, and sternly spake unto him, saying:

(ll. 2850-2859) "Abraham! Betake thee quickly on a journey, and
with thee lead thine only son. Thou shalt offer thy son Isaac
unto Me in sacrifice. When thou hast mounted the steep downs and
the slope of the high land which I will show thee, there shalt
thou build an altar, and kindle a flame, slay thy son with the
sword, and burn his body with black flame, and offer it a
sacrifice to Me."

(ll. 2860-2877) He delayed not the journey, but swiftly made him
ready. For the word of the Lord of angels was terrible to him,
and his Lord was dear. The blessed Abraham rested not nor slept
nor spurned his Lord's behest, but the holy man girded him with a
grey sword, and showed that fear of the Lord of spirits abode in
his heart. The aged dispenser of gold began to saddle his asses,
and bade two young men journey with him; his son was the third,
and he the fourth. And he went out from his house with Isaac,
the lad, according as God commanded. He went with speed and
hastened on the paths of earth, according as the Lord marked out
the way across the waste, until, in gleaming glory, the dawn of
the third day arose over the deep water.

(ll. 2877-2880) Then the blessed man beheld the high hills
towering up, as the Lord of heaven had told him. And Abraham
said unto his servants:

(ll. 2881-2884) "Abide ye here in this place, and we two will
come again, when we have worshipped God."

(ll. 2885-2889) And the prince and his son departed across the
weald to the place which the Lord had showed him; the lad carried
wood, and the father bare fire and sword. And the lad, young in
winters, spake unto Abraham and said:

(ll. 2890-2892) "Here have we fire and sword, my lord! But where
is the fair burnt-offering thou thinkest to sacrifice to God?"

(ll. 2893-2896) And Abraham answered (firm was his resolve to do
as God had bidden): "That will the Righteous Lord, the Warden of
mankind, provide as seemeth right to Him."

(ll. 2897-2908) Stout of heart he mounted the high downs, and his
son with him, according as Eternal God commanded, until he stood
upon the ridge of the high land in the place which the Firm and
Faithful Lord had showed him. And there he built a pyre and
kindled a flame and bound his son, hand and foot, and laid Isaac,
the lad, on the altar, and seized his sword by the hilt. With
his own hand he would have slain him, and quenched the flame with
the blood of his son.

(ll. 2908-2913) Then a thane of God, an angel from on high,
called unto Abraham with a loud voice. In stillness he abode the
herald's message and answered the angel. Swiftly the glorious
minister of God addressed him from the heavens:

(ll. 2914-2922) "Slay not thy son, dear Abraham, but take the lad
from the altar alive. The God of glory is gracious unto him!
Great shall thy reward be, Hebrew prince, true meed of victory
and ample gifts, at the holy hands of the Heavenly King. The
Lord of spirits will bless thee with His blessing because His
love and favour were dearer unto thee than thine own son."

(ll. 2923-2936) The altar-fire stood kindled. The Lord of men
had gladdened the heart of Abraham, kinsman of Lot, when He
restored to him his son, alive. And the blessed man, brother of
Haran, looked over his shoulder and beheld a ram standing not far
off, caught fast in the brambles. And Abraham took it, and laid
it upon the altar in the stead of his son, and drawing his sword
made ready an offering and an altar smoking with the blood of the
ram, and sacrificed that offering to God, and gave Him thanks for
all the loving kindness which the Lord had showed him, early and



(ll. 1-7) Lo! far and wide throughout the earth we have heard
how the laws of Moses, a wondrous code, proclaim to men reward of
heavenly life for all the blessed after death, and lasting gain
for every living soul. Let him hear who will!

(ll. 8-22) On him the Lord of hosts, the Righteous King, showed
honour in the wilderness, and the Eternal Ruler gave him might to
work great wonders. He was beloved of God, a lord of men, a wise
and ready leader of the host, a bold folk-captain. Affliction
came upon the tribe of Pharaoh, the enemy of God, when the Lord
of victories entrusted to the bold folk-leader his kinsmen's
lives, and gave the sons of Abraham a dwelling and an habitation.
Great was his reward! The Lord was gracious unto him and gave
him weapon-might against the terror of his foes, wherewith he
overcame in battle many a warrior, and the strength of hostile

(ll. 22-34) And first the Lord of hosts spake unto him and told
him many wonders, how the Triumphant Lord in wisdom wrought the
world, and the compass of the earth, and the arching heavens; and
told His own name, which the sons of men, wise patriarchs of old,
knew not before, though they knew many things. And the Lord
honoured the leader of the host, the foe of Pharaoh, and
strengthened him with righteous strength on his departure, when,
of old, in punishment that mighty host was drenched with death.

(ll. 35-53) Wailing arose at the fall of their princes; their
hall-joys were hushed and their treasure was scattered. Fiercely
at midnight He smote the oppressors, slaying their firstborn,
laying their watchmen low. Wide the destroyer's path, and the
way of the fell folk-slayer! The whole land mourned the dead.
The host departed. Loud was the voice of their wailing, little
their joy! Locked were the hands of the laughter-makers; the
multitude had leave to go its way, a wandering folk. The Fiend
was robbed and all the hosts of hell. Heaven's might came upon
them; their idols fell. That was a glorious day through all the
world when the host went forth! Many a year the vile Egyptians
suffered bondage, because they thought for ever to refuse to
Moses' kinsmen, if God would let them, their longing for the
journey of their heart's desire.

(ll. 54-62) The host was ready. The prince who led them was
stalwart and bold. He passed by many a stronghold with his
people, leaders and lands of many hostile men, by narrow, lonely
paths and unknown ways, until at last they marched, in armour,
against the Ethiopian realm. Their lands were covered with a
cloud, their border-homes upon the mountain-slopes. Past these,
with many a hindrance, Moses led his people.


(ll. 63-67) And two nights after they escaped their foes God bade
the noble prince to make encampment about the town of Etham in
the marchlands, with all his force, a mighty army, and tumult of
the host.

(ll. 68-88) With anxious hearts they hastened on their northward
way; they knew that southward lay the Ethiop's land, parched
hill-slopes and a race burned brown by the heat of the sun. But
Holy God shielded that folk against the fiery heat, stretching a
covering over the flaming heavens, and over the burning air a
holy veil. A cloud widestretching severed earth from heaven, and
led the host; burning and heavenly bright the fiery flame was
quenched. The warriors marvelled, most joyous of hosts. The
shelter of the day-shield moved across the heavens; God in His
wisdom had covered the course of the sun with a sail, though
earth-dwelling men knew not the mast-ropes, nor might behold the
yards, nor understand the way in which that greatest of tents was
fastened. So He showed honour and glory upon the faithful!

(ll. 88-97) Then was a third encampment to the comfort of the
folk. The army all beheld the holy sail, the gleaming marvel of
the sky, towering above them. And all that folk, the men of
Israel, perceived that there the Lord of hosts was present to
measure out a camp. Before them moved two columns in the
heavens, fire and cloud, sharing alike the service of the Holy
Spirit, the journey of brave-hearted men, by day and night.

(ll. 98-106) And in the dawn, as I have heard, the valiant-
hearted blared forth their trumpetcalls, in peals of thunder.
And all the host, the band of the brave, arose and made them
ready, according as Moses, their glorious leader, gave bidding to
God's people. They beheld their guide go forth before them
measuring out the path of life. The sail governed their journey,
and after it, with joyful hearts, the seamen trod their path
through the great waters. Loud was the tumult of the host.


(ll. 106-134) Each evening rose a heavenly beacon, a second
wondrous marvel after the setting of the sun, a pillar of flame
shining in splendour over the hosts of men. Bright were its
shining beams above the warriors; their bucklers gleamed, the
shadows vanished away. No secret place could hide the deep
night-shadows. Heaven's candle burned. Needs must this new
night warden watch above the host, lest in the stormy weather
grey heath and desert-terror should overcome their souls with
sudden fear. Streaming locks of fire had their guide, and
shining beams, menacing the host with flame and terror, and
threatening destruction to that people in the waste, except they
swiftly hearkened unto Moses. Armour gleamed, and bucklers
glistened as the warriors took their steadfast way. And over the
troops and high above the host stood the banner, moving as they
moved, even unto the stronghold of the sea at the land's end.
And there they pitched a camp and rested, for they were weary.
Stewards brought the warriors food and strengthened them. And
when the trumpet sang they stretched themselves upon the hills,
shipmen within their tents. That was the fourth encampment and
pause of the shield-men by the Red Sea.

(ll. 135-141) There dread tidings of inland pursuit came unto the
army. A great fear fell upon them, and dread of the host. So
the exiles abode the coming of the fierce pursuers, who long had
crushed those homeless men and wrought them injury and woe. They
heeded not the covenant which the ancient king had given

((LACUNA -- Two leaves missing.))


(ll. 142-153) ....who became the people's heir and had their
treasure, and greatly throve. All this the Egyptian race forgot
when their wrath was stirred by a quarrel. They wrought great
wrong to Moses' kinsmen, broke the covenant, and slew them.
Their hearts were filled with faithlessness and rage, the mighty
passions of men. They would fain requite the gift of life with
evil, that the people of Moses might pay for that day's work in
blood, if almighty God would prosper their destructive journey.

(ll. 154-169) Then the hearts of the earls were hopeless within
them as they beheld the shining bands, the hosts of Pharaoh,
marching from out the south, uplifting a forest of lances, with
banners waving above them, a great host treading the
border-paths. Their spears were in array, shields gleamed and
trumpets sang; the battle line rolled on. Over dead bodies
circling screamed the birds of battle, dewy-leathered, greedy for
war, dark carrion lovers. In hope of food, the wolves,
remorseless beasts of slaughter, sang a grim eveningsong; dogging
the march of the foe, they abode the coming of death; the march
warders howled in the midnight. The doomed soul fled; the host
was compassed about.

(ll. 170-199) Now and again the proud thanes of the host measured
the mile-paths on their steeds. The prince of men rode forth
before the troops, the war-king raised the standard; the
battle-warden bound on helm and chinguard (banners gleamed) in
expectation of war, shook his armour, and bade his warlike host,
his firm-ranked cohorts, go boldly into battle. The foe beheld
with hostile eyes the coming of the landsmen. About him fearless
fighters moved; grey wolves of war went forward to the onslaught
thirsting for battle, loyal of heart. He chose the flower of his
people for that service, two thousand far-famed heroes of high
birth, kings and kinsmen. And each led out his men, and all the
warriors that he well could muster in the appointed time. The
young men were gathered together, the kings in their pomp.
Frequently sounding, the we!l-known voice of the horn signalled
the host where the war-troop of heroes should bear their arms.
So the dark horde was marshalled; throng after throng, in
thousands, hasted thither, a countless host. They were resolved,
in vengeance for their brothers, to slay the tribes of Israel
with the sword, at the break of day.

(ll. 200-208) Then a sound of wailing arose in the camp, an
evening-song of woe. A great fear was upon them; the nets of
death encompassed them about. The fatal tidings flew abroad;
tumult arose. The foe were resolute, a horde in armour gleaming,
until the mighty angel who upheld that host scattered the proud
and hateful multitude, so that no more might one behold another's
face; but their journey was divided.

(ll. 209-220) All that long night the fugitives had respite,
though foes beset them upon either hand, on the one side that
great host, on the other side the sea. They had no way of escape
nor any hope of their inheritance, but halted on the hills in
shining armour with foreboding of ill. And all the band of
kinsmen watched and waited for the coming of the greater host
until the dawn, when Moses bade the earls with brazen trumpets
muster the folk, bade warriors rise and don their coats of mail,
bear shining arms, take thought on valour, and summon the
multitude with signal-beacons unto the sandy shore of the sea.

(ll. 220-232) The leaders bold obeyed the battle-signal; the host
made ready. The seamen heard the trumpet-summons, and struck
their tents upon the hills. The army was astir. They numbered
off twelve companies of valiant men to form the van of battle
against their foes' grim wrath. The host was in an uproar. From
every noble tribe among that people were chosen fifty cohorts,
under shield, the flower of the folk. And every cohort of that
famous army was of a thousand warriors, far-famed wielders of the

(ll. 232-251) That was a warlike band. The leaders of the army
welcomed not among that number the weak, who yet because of youth
could not defend them under board and byrnie against a wily foe,
who never yet had known the baleful thrust, the bitter wound, the
insolent play of the spear over the edge of the linden shield.
Nor might the aged, grey-haired warriors be of service in the
battle if their strength had failed them. But according to their
strength they joined the fray, even according as their valour
would endure with honour among men, and their strength suffice to
undergo the spearstrife. The army of these sturdy men was
mustered, and ready to advance. Their banner rose on high, a
gleaming column, and all abode there nigh unto the sea until
their guiding beacon pierced the clouds, and shone upon their
linden shields.


(ll. 252-258) Then a herald rose before the warriors, a valiant
leader, and, lifting up his shield, he bade the captains of the
host make silence, that all the multitude might hear the words of
their brave lord. The shepherd of the kingdom fain would speak
with holy voice unto his legions. The leader of the host in
words of worth addressed them:

(ll. 259-275) "Be not afraid though Pharaoh leadeth hither this
mighty host of sword-men, a multitude of earls. Upon them all
this day Almighty God will give requital by my hand, that they
may live no longer to vex the tribes of Israel with woe. Ye
shall not dread doomed armies and dead men. Their fleeting life
hath run unto the end. The knowledge of God hath vanished from
your hearts. I give you better counsel, to serve the God of
glory, and pray the Lord of life for victory and grace and
safety, wherever ye may journey. He is the Eternal God of
Abraham, Creation's Lord, magnanimous and mighty, who with His
strong hand guardeth all this host."

(ll. 276-298) Then the lord of men spake with a loud voice before
the multitude and said: "Look now, dearest of people, with your
eyes and behold a marvel! In my right hand grasping this green
rod I smote the ocean depths. The waves rise up; the waters form
a rampartwall. The sea is thrust aside. The ways are dry: grey
army-roads, ancient foundations (never have I heard in all the
world that men before set foot thereon), shining plains,
imprisoned deep sea-bottoms over which of old the great waves
foamed. The south wind, breath of the ocean, hath driven them
back. The sea is cleft asunder; the ebbing waters spewed up
sand. Well I know Almighty God hath showed you mercy, ye
bronze-clad earls. Most haste is best now, that ye may escape
the clutch of foes since God hath reared a rampart of the red
seastreams. These walls are fairly builded to the roof of
heaven, a wondrous wave-road."

(ll. 299-309) And after these words the multitude arose, the host
of the valiant. The sea lay tranquil. Upon the sand the legions
raised their standards and shining linden shields. And over
against the Israelites the wall of water stood firm and upright
for the space of one whole day. Of one mind was that company of
earls. The wall of water shielded them with sure defence. In no
wise did they scorn their holy leader's counsels as the time for
deeds drew near, when the words of their well-loved lord were
ended, and the voice of his eloquence was still.

(ll. 310-318) The fourth tribe led the way, a throng of warriors,
marching through the sea upon the green sea-bottom. The tribe of
Judah trod that unknown road alone, before their kinsmen, and God
Almighty gave them great reward for that day's work, granting
them glory of triumphant deeds, that they might have dominion
over kingdoms and sway their kinsmen.


(ll. 319-330) As they descended on the oceanbottom that mighty
tribe had lifted up their standard mid the spear-host, high above
their shields their battle ensign, a golden lion, bravest of
beasts. Not long would they endure oppression by the lord of any
people while they might live and lift their spears to battle. In
the van were strife and stubborn hand-play, warriors valiant in
the weapon-struggle, fearless fighters, bloody wounds and clash
of helmets, onrush of a battle-host, as Judah's sons advanced.

(ll. 331-339) Behind that army proudly marched the seamen, sons
of Reuben; the vikings bore their bucklers over the salt
sea-marsh, a multitude of men, a mighty legion, advancing
unafraid. For his sin's sake Reuben yielded his dominion and
marched behind his kinsmen. From him his brother took his right
as first-born in the tribe, his eminence and wealth. Yet was he

(ll. 340-253) And after them with thronging bands the sons of
Simeon marched, the third division. Banners waved above the
marching warriors; with flashing spears the battle troop pressed
on. Over the ocean's bosom dawn arose, God's beacon, radiant
morning. The multitude went forth, the host advanced, one
mail-clad band behind another. And one man only led this mighty
folk, tribe after tribe, upon their march beneath the pillar of
cloud, whereby he won renown. And each observed the right of
nations and the rank of earls, as Moses gave them bidding.

(ll. 253-361) One father had they all, one of the patriarchs, a
well-loved leader, wise of heart and dear unto his kinsmen, who
held the landright and begat a line of valiant men, the tribe of
Israel, a holy race, God's own peculiar people. So ancient
writers tell us in their wisdom, who best have known the lineage
of men, their kinship and descent.

(ll. 362-376) Noah, the great prince, sailed over unknown waters,
deepest of floods that ever came on earth, and his three sons
with him. Within his heart he cherished holy faith. Wherefore
he steered across the oceanstreams the richest treasure whereof I
ever heard. To save the life of all the tribes of earth the wise
sea-prince had numbered out a lasting remnant, a first
generation, male and female, of every living kind that brought
forth offspring, more various than men now know. And likewise in
the bosom of their ship they bore the seed of every growing thing
that men enjoy beneath the heavens.

(ll. 377-396) Now Abraham's father, as the wise men tell us, was
ninth from Noah in lineage and descent. This is the Abraham the
God of angels named with a name, and gave the holy tribes into
his keeping, far and near, and made him mighty over nations. He
lived in exile. Thereafter, at the Holy One's behest, he took
the lad, most dear of all to him, and they two, son and father,
climbed together a high land unto the hill of Sion. And there,
so men have heard, they found a covenant and holy pledge, and saw
God's glory. And there, in after years, the son of David, the
great king, the wisest of all earthly princes, according to the
teaching of the prophets, built a temple unto God, a holy fane,
the holiest and highest and most famous among men, the greatest
and most splendid of all temples the sons of men have built upon
the earth.

(ll. 397-416) Abraham took Isaac, his son, and went to the place
appointed, and kindled the altar flame. The first of murderers
was not more doomed. As a bequest to men he would have
sacrificed his well-loved son with fire and flame, his only heir
on earth, the best of children, the lasting hope and comfort of
his life, for which he long had waited. The farfamed man laid
hand upon the lad and drew his ancient sword (loud rang the
blade), and showed he held his son's life not more dear than to
obey the King of heaven. Up rose the earl. He would have slain
his son, and put the lad to death with blood-red blade, if God
had not withheld him. The Glorious Father would not take his son
in holy sacrifice, but laid His hand upon him. And out of heaven
a restraining Voice, a Voice of glory, spake, and said to him:

(ll. 417-445) "Abraham! Put not the lad, thy son, to death, nor
slay him with the sword! The Lord of all hath proven thee, and
truth is known, that thou hast kept the covenant with God, a
faithful compact. And that shall be to thee an everlasting peace
through all the days of thy life for ever. Doth the son of man
require a greater pledge? Heaven and earth may not cover the
words of His glory, which are ampler and greater than the regions
of earth may include, the orb of the world, and the heavens
above, the ocean depths and the murmuring air. The King of
angels and Wielder of fates, Lord oi hosts, Dispenser of victory,
sweareth an oath by His life, that men on earth with all their
wisdom shall never know the number of thy tribe and kinsmen,
shield-bearing men, to tell it truly, except someone shall grow
so wise of heart that he alone may number all the stones on earth
and stars in heaven, sand of the sea-dunes, and salt waves of the
sea. But thy tribe, the best of peoples, free-born of their
fathers, shall dwell in the land of Canaan between the two seas
even unto the nations of Egypt...."

((LACUNA -- One or two leaves missing.))


((Missing in Lacuna))


(ll. 446-457) Then all that folk was smitten with terror; fear of
the flood fell on their wretched hearts. The great sea
threatened death. The sloping hills were soaked with blood; the
sea spewed gore. In the deep was uproar, the waves were filled
with weapons; a death-mist rose. The Egyptians turned and fled
away in fear, perceiving their peril. They were shaken with
horror and fain to reach their homes. Their boasting was
humbled. The dreadful rushing sea swept over them. Nor did any
of that army come ever again to their homes, but Fate cut off
retreat and locked them in the sea.

(ll. 457-470) Where before lay open roads the ocean raged. The
host was overwhelmed. The seas flowed forth; an uproar rose to
heaven, a moan of mighty legions. There rose a great cry of the
doomed, and over them the air grew dark. Blood dyed the deep.
The walls of water were shattered; the greatest of sea-deaths
lashed the heavens. Brave princes died in throngs. At the sea's
end hope of return had vanished away. War shields flashed. The
wall of water, the mighty sea-stream, rushed over the heroes.
The multitude was fettered fast in death, deprived of escape,
cunningly bound. The ocean-sands awaited the doom ordained when
the flowing billows, the ice-cold, wandering sea with its salt
waves, a naked messenger of ill, a hostile warrior smiting down
its foes, should come again to seek its ancient bed.

(ll. 470-491) The blue air was defiled with blood. The roaring
ocean menaced the march of the seamen with terror of death, till
the Just God swept the warriors away by Moses' hand. The flood
foamed, hunting them afar, bearing them off in its deadly
embrace. The doomed men died. The sea fell on the land; the
skies were shaken. The watery ramparts crumbled, the great waves
broke, the towering walls of water melted away, when the Mighty
Lord of heaven with holy hand smote the warriors and that haughty
race. They could not check the onrush of the sea, nor the fury
of the ocean-flood, but it destroyed the multitude in shrieking
terror. The raging ocean rose on high; its waters passed over
them. A madness of fear was upon them; deathwounds bled. The
high walls, fashioned by the hand of God, fell in upon the
marching army.

(ll. 491-515) With ancient sword the foamy-bosomed ocean smote
down the watery wall, the unprotecting ramparts, and at the blow
of death the great host fell asleep, a sinful throng. Fast shut
in they lost their lives, an army pale with terror of the flood,
when the brown waste of waters, the raging waves, broke over
them. The flower of Egypt perished when the host of Pharaoh, a
mighty multitude, was drowned. The foe of God discovered as he
sank that the Lord of the ocean-floods was mightier than he, and,
terrible in wrath, with deadly power would end the battle. The
Egyptians won a bitter recompense for that day's work. Never
came any survivor of all that countless host unto his home again
to tell of his journey or rehearse to the wives of heroes,
throughout the cities, the grievous tidings, the death of their
treasure-wardens; but a mighty sea-death came upon them all and
swallowed their legions, and slew their heralds, and humbled
their boasting. For they had striven against God!

(ll. 516-531) Then on the shore of the sea Moses, the
noble-hearted, preached to the Israelites, in holy words, eternal
wisdom and enduring counsels. They name it the day's work! And
still men find in Scripture every law which God, in words of
truth, gave Moses on that journey. If life's interpreter, the
radiant soul within the breast, will unlock with the keys of the
spirit this lasting good, that which is dark shall be made clear,
and counsel shall go forth. It hath the words of wisdom in its
keeping, earnestly teaching the heart, that we may not lack the
fellowship of God, or mercy of our Lord. He giveth us, as
learned writers say, the better and more lasting joys of heaven.

(ll. 531-547) This earthly joy is fleeting, cursed with sin,
apportioned unto exiles, a little time of wretched waiting.
Homeless we tarry at this inn with sorrow, mourning in spirit,
mindful of the house of pain beneath the earth wherein are fire
and the worm, the pit of every evil ever open. So now
arch-sinners win old age or early death; then cometh the Day of
Judgment, the greatest of all glories in the world, a day of
wrath upon the deeds of men. The Lord Himself, in the assembly,
shall judge the multitude. Then shall He lead the souls of the
righteous, blessed spirits, to heaven above, wherein are light
and life and joy of bliss. In blessedness that host shall praise
the Lord of hosts, the King of glory, for ever and for ever.

(ll. 548-552) So spake the mildest of men, in a loud voice,
mindful of counsel, and made great in strength. In silence the
host awaited his fixed will, perceiving the wonder, the hero's
words of goodly wisdom. And he spalre unto the throng and said:

(ll. 553-563) "Mighty is this multitude and great our Leader, a
strong Support who governeth our march. He hath given the tribes
of Canaan into our hands, their cities and treasure, and
wide-stretching realms. If ye will keep His holy precepts, the
Lord of angels will fulfil the promise which He sware to our
forefathers, in days of old -- that ye shall vanquish every foe
and hold in victory the banquet hails of heroes between the two
seas. Great shall be your fortune!"

(ll. 564-579) And at these words the host was glad. The trumpets
sang their song of triumph, and banners tossed to strains of
joyous music. The folk had reached the land. The pillar of
glory had led the host, the holy legions, under God's sheltering
hand. They rejoiced that their lives were saved from the clutch
of the foe, though boldly had those warnors ventured under the
roof of the waves. They beheld the walls upstanding. All the
seas seemed bloody unto them through which they bore their
armour. They rejoiced with a song of battle that they were safe.
The army legions lifted up their voice and praised the Lord for
that great work. The mighty host in chorus, man and maiden, sang
psalms and battle anthems, with reverent voices chanting all
these wonders.

(ll. 580-590) Then could be seen on the shore of the sea African
maidens adorned with gold. They raised their hands in thanks for
their deliverance; they were blithe beholding their safety; they
took heed of the spoils; their bonds were broken. On the
sea-shore they dealt out the booty among the standards, ancient
treasure and raiment and shields. They divided the gold and the
woven cloth, the treasure of Joseph, the riches of men. But
their foes, the greatest of armies, lay still in that place of



(ll. 1-21) In Jerusalem, as I have heard, the Hebrews prospered,
dispensing treasure and holding kingly sway, as well was meet,
when by the might of God the host and all the battle legion were
given into Moses' hand, and in a multitude they got them forth
from Egypt. That was a valiant race so long as they might rule
their realm and sway their cities! As long as they kept the
covenant of their fathers, great was their prosperity! And God,
the Warden of the heavenly kingdom, the Holy Lord, the Prince of
glory, the Lord of every creature, watched over them, and gave
them strength and courage, so that in war they conquered many
nations who rose against them, until at last pride came upon them
at their wine-feasts, drunken thoughts and devilish deeds, and
they forsook the teachings of their law, and the might of God.
So should no man sunder his soul's love from God.

(ll. 22-32) Then I beheld that nation walking in ways of error,
the tribe of Israel following after sin, and doing evil. That
was a grief to God! The Warden of the heavenly kingdom oft sent
His holy prophets, proclaiming knowledge to the people, and
wisdom to the host. A little time they trusted in His counsels,
till longing for the joys of earth defrauded them of lasting
wisdom, and in the end they turned them from the laws of God, and
chose the Devil's craft.

(ll. 33-56) Then the Lord became displeased and angered with that
people whom He had prospered. To them, a wandering folk, who
once were dearest of mankind to God, dearest of all peoples and
best loved of the Lord, He had showed a highway to their lofty
city and their native land, where Salem stood, wailed round about
and girt with battlements. Thither the wise men, the Chaldean
people, came up against the city within whose walls their wealth
was stored. A host rose up to smite them, a great army, eager
for deeds of blood. Nebuchadnezzar, the lord of men and prince
of Babylon, stirred up strife against them in his city. In
enmity he searched the thoughts of his heart how he most easily
could smite the Israelites and take them captive. From south and
north he mustered savage legions, faring westward with a band of
heathen princes against that lofty town. The rulers of Israel
prospered as long as the Lord would let them!

(ll. 57-78) Then, as I have heard, these mortal foes, a host of
unbelievers, sacked their city. From Solomon's temple, that
glorious building, they took red gold and jewels and silver.
They plundered the treasure under the walls of stone, all such as
those earls possessed, till they had razed and wasted every
stronghold which stood for a protection to that people. They
carried off as spoil the treasure of princes, as much as was
found there, cattle and men; and so returned, with great
possessions, over the eastern roads, leading the tribe of Israel,
a countless host, on a long journey unto Babylon, into the power
of heathen judges. And Nebuchadnezzar showed no pity on the
tribe of Israel, but made them subject unto him to be his slaves,
all such as had escaped the sword. And he sent a great host of
his thanes into the west to take possession of their kingdom and
their wasted realm, after the Hebrews.

(ll. 79-87) He bade his prefects seek among the wretched remnant
of the tribe of Israel which of the young men they had brought
there were wisest in the books of the law. He wished the youths
to grow in knowledge, that they might teach him wisdom, but'not
at all because he could or would be mindful to thank God for all
the gifts which He had given him to his comfort.

(ll. 88-103) And they found three wise and noble youths, devout
and young, and with the fear of God. One was Hananiah; the
second, Azariah; the third was Mishael, chosen of the Lord.
Stout of heart and thoughtful-minded the young men came before
the king, where the heathen ruler sat rejoicing in his splendour
in the city of the Chaldeans. And the Hebrew men with holy
hearts spake words of wisdom and great learning unto the proud
prince. Then the lord of Babylon, the haughty king, bade his
thanes and princes on their lives see to it that the three youths
knew no lack of food or raiment all their life long.


(ll. 104-115) Now the famous lord of Babylon was great and
glorious over all the earth, and terrible to the sons of men. He
lived in insolence and heeded not the law. And there came to the
great king in his slumber, when the prince had gone to his rest,
a terrible dream that hovered about his heart, how wondrously the
world was wrought, unlike for men, until the world's redemption.
Truth was revealed as he slumbered, that there would come a
bitter end to every rule and to the joys of earth.

(ll. 116-129) Then the wolf-hearted lord of Babylon awoke from
his wine-flushed slumber. His heart was not blithe; but a fear
was upon him, and dread of the dream. Yet he could not recall
what the vision had been. And he summoned his people, all such
as were skilled in magic, and asked the men so gathered what his
dream had been, while men lay sleeping. He was shaken with
terror and knew no beginning nor word of the dream; but he bade
them tell it to him. Troubled, the sorcerers answered (for
wisdom was not given them to tell his dream unto the king):

(ll. 130-133) "How may we divine so secret a thing in thy soul, O
king! how thy dream hath run, or knowledge come to thee of
Fate's decrees, except thou tell us first the beginning of thy

(ll. 134-144) And the wolf-hearted king was vexed, and answered
his wise men: "Ye were not so wise above all men as ye told me,
saying ye knew my fate as it should fall, or I should find it in
the future, nor do ye know the dream that bringeth wisdom before
this people. Ye shall die the death except I know the import of
the dream that lieth heavy on my heart."

(ll. 145-157) But the company there gathered might not divine or
search out knowledge, for it was denied them to tell the king his
dream, or the mysteries of fate, until Daniel, the prophet, wise
and righteous, and beloved of God, came to the palace to
interpret the vision. He had pre-eminence among that wretched
remnant who needs must serve the henthen king. God gave him
grace from heaven through the communion of the Holy Spirit; and
an angel of the Lord rehearsed to him all the dream, even as the
king had dreamed it.

(ll. 158-177) Then went Daniel at the dawn of day to tell the
dream unto his lord, recounting wisely the decrees of fate; and
soon the haughty king knew all the dream, its end and its
beginning, that he had dreamed. And Daniel had great honour and
reward in Babylon among the scribes, after he showed the dream
unto the king which the prince of Babylon had not been able to
remember because of his sins. Yet could not Daniel bring him to
believe in the might of God, but he began to build an idol in the
plain which men called Dura, which was in the land of the mighty
Babylonians. The city-warden, the ruler of the realm, reared an
idol before men, a golden image displeasing unto God; he was not
wise, but redeless, reckless, heeding not the right....

((LACUNA -- One leaf missing.))

(ll. 178-187) The warriors listened; and when the sound of the
voice of the trumpet came to the city-dwellers, the heathen
people fell upon their knees before the image, and bowed them
down before the idol, and worshipped it, knowing no better
wisdom. Wickedness they wrought and sin, with hearts perverted,
even as their king. As their lord before them, the people turned
to folly. Grim the reward that came on him thereafter! For he
had sinned.

(ll. 188-208) Now there were three men of Israel in the city of
the king who would not heed their lord's decree, nor offer up
their prayers unto the idol, though trumpets sang aloud among the
host. They were of the stock of Abraham's children, faithful men
who served Almighty God, the Everlasting Lord in heaven above.
The royal youths gave men to know they would not have or hold the
golden image as a god, but only the Great King, Shepherd of
souls, who granted them His grace. Oft they said boldly that
they recked naught of the idol, nor could the leader of the
heathen people constrain them unto prayer, nor compel them to go
before the golden image which he had set up as a god. These
thanes said unto their lord that this was their resolve: that
they were subject to a higher power in this lofty city, "nor will
we ever work idolatry, nor worship the image which thou hast made
to be thy god."

(ll. 209-223) Then the prince of Babylon was angered with them,
and in wrath gave them savage answer: grimly said that they
should quickly worship, or suffer pain and torture, the cruel
surge of flame, except they sought protection of that worst of
demons, the golden image which he had made his god. Yet would
the youths not hearken in their hearts unto his heathen counsels.
They were resolved to keep the law of God and not forsake the
Lord of hosts, lest that their virtue turn to heathen folly.
They had no longing to seek shelter with false gods, though
bitter the death proclaimed!


(ll. 224-241) Then the fierce king was moved to anger, and bade
them kindle a furnace to torture the youths to death, because
they withstood his will. The furnace was heated, as fiercely as
might be, with cruel flames of fire. And the lord of Babylon,
savage and grim, assembled the people, and bade his servants bind
the prophets of God, and cast the young men in the flames. But
He was ready who wrought them help! Though the prince so
fiercely thrust them into the heart of the flame, yet a mighty
messenger of God preserved their lives, and brought them help
from heaven, as many learned. From heaven above the Gracious
Lord of men sent unto them His Holy Spirit. An angel passed
within the furnace, wherein they suffered torment, and covered
the noble youths with sheltering arms under the roof of fire.
And the heat of the quivering flame could not mar their beauty;
but God preserved them.

(ll. 242-250) Then the heart of the heathen prince was hardened;
he bade them quickly be burned with fire. The flame rose high,
the furnace was heated; through and through the iron glowed.
Many a slave cast wood therein according to command. Brands they
bore to the ruddy blaze. The ruthless king would fain have built
an iron wall about those righteous men, but the flame passed over
them, beloved of God, and with joy slew more than was meet.

(ll. 251-268) The flame passed by the holy men and fell upon
their heathen foes. The youths were blithe of heart! Round
about the furnace burned the slaves; the fire took hold upon
those evil men to their hurt, and the prince of Babylon beheld
it. Blithe were the Hebrew earls, praying to God with zeal and
gladness in the furnace, offering their accustomed praise,
because their lives were spared. With joyful hearts they
worshipped God, in whose protection the fierce heat of the flame
was turned away. The noble youths were sheltered from the
flames' assault, and suffered naught of evil. The roaring
furnace was no more grievous unto them than the shining of the
sun. The fire harmed them not, but in their hour of danger the
flames passed over them, and fell on those who did them evil.
The heathen slaves departed from the holy youths. And the beauty
of those cursed men was lessened, whoso had rejoiced in that

(ll. 269-278) Now when the haughty king beheld how in that
torture a miracle was come to pass, and believed his senses, it
seemed to him a wondrous thing. The righteous men, all three,
were walking unharmed in the fiery furnace, and one was seen
there walking with them, an angel of Almighty God. No whit of
harm had come upon them, but within the furnace it was most like
as when in the summer season the sun shineth, and the dewfall
cometh at dawn, scattered by the wind. It was the God of glory
who saved them from that peril.

(ll. 279-282) Then in the hot flame the holy Azariah,
eager-hearted, sang an inspired hymn. The sinless man praised God
and spake this word:

(ll. 283-295) "O Lord of all! Thy might is strong to save!
Excellent is Thy name in all the earth, sublime and great in
glory! Thy laws are always sure and just and mighty, even as
Thou art mighty. Wise and righteous is Thy will, O Lord of
heaven! O God of spirits, grant us help and favour! Save us, O
Holy Lord! Wrapped in flame, we pray Thee for Thy mercy on our
woe, our thraldom and humiliation.

(ll. 295-308) "As we have wrought, so hath it come to pass. Our
fathers also, city-dwellers, in pride have sinned, and broken Thy
commandments, and scorned a holy life. We are scattered over all
the spacious earth and driven asunder, cast out from grace. In
many lands and under many peoples our life is infamous and vile,
and we are subject to the worst of earthly kings, and captive to
grim-hearted men; in heathen lands we suffer thraldom.

(ll. 309-332) "Thanks be to Thee, O Lord of hosts! that Thou
hast laid this punishment upon us. Forsake us not, O Lord
Eternal, for Thy mercy's sake which men attribute unto Thee, and
for the covenant, O Lord of glory, Shaper of spirits, Saviour of
men! which Thou didst give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Thou didst promise them in days of old that Thou wouldest bless
their seed, and that a mighty nation should be born of them, a
race to be exalted as the stars of heaven that trace their
wandering courses even to the strand of ocean, and the sands of
the sea-shore that form the foundations of the deep throughout
the salt sea; even so should they be numberless for untold years.
Fulfil Thine ancient promise now, though few are living! Show
forth Thy glory and Thy word upon us! Make known Thy strength
and power, that the Chaldean race and many nations living heathen
lives may learn Thy glory under heaven, and know Thou only art
Eternal God, Wielder of victory, Lord of hosts and all creation,
the Righteous God."

(ll. 333-344) So the holy men praised the loving-kindness of the
Lord, rehearsing the strength of His might. Then was a gleaming
angel sent from heaven above, with shining face and clothed in
glory, who came to comfort and deliver them with loving favour.
Holy and heavenly bright, he cast aside the blaze of the hot
flame; with mighty strength he swept away and quenched the flame
of fire so that their bodies were not harmed a whir. But in his
wrath he hurled the fire upon their foes, because of their deeds
of evil.

(ll. 345-361) Then in the furnace, when the angel came, the air
was cool and pleasant, most like the weather in the summer
season, when rain falleth during the day and warm showers from
the clouds. As is the best of weather, so was it in the furnace
for their comfort through the holy might of God. The burning
flame was quenched and scattered where Hananiah, Azariah, and
Mishael, with brave hearts, were walking in the furnace, and the
angel with them who preserved their lives, who was the fourth.
Devout of heart, the three youths praised the Lord, and called
upon the sons of Israel and all created things of earth to bless
the Everlasting God, the Lord of nations. With understanding
hearts they spake with one accord:


(ll. 362-408) "O let the beauty of the world, and all Thy works,
bless Thee, our Gracious Father, the heavens and all the angels,
and the shining waters! Let all, who in Thy great creation dwell
in heavenly glory, bless the Lord of might! Let all things made,
the shining orbs that circle through the heavens, the sun and
moon, praise Thee in their degree. Let the stars of heaven, and
dew and the fierce storm, praise Thee. O let the souls of men
bless the Lord of might! Let burning fire and radiant summer
praise Thee. Let night and day and all lands, light and
darkness, heat and cold, praise Thee in their degree. Let frost
and snow and wintry weather and the flying clouds bless the Lord
of might! Let the swift, shining lightnings bless Thee! Let all
the earth, the hills and plains and lofty mountains, the salt
sea-waves and ocean, and the welling springs, praise the
Everlasting God, the Righteous Lord! Let the whales, and the
birds of the air that fly in the heavens, praise Thee. Let all
that move in the water, wild beasts and all cattle, bless Thy
name! Let all men praise Thee, yea! let Israel bless the Lord,
who giveth all good things. Let holy men of heart, the spirits
and souls of the righteous, praise the Everlasting God, the Lord
of life, who giveth a reward to all. Let Hananiah and Azariah
and Mishael praise the Lord! We worship Thee and bless Thee,
Lord of men, Almighty Father, and Thee, True Son of God, Saviour
of souls and Helper of manlkind, and Thee, O Holy Ghost, the God
of wisdom. We praise Thee, Holy Lord, and worship Thee with
prayer. Blessed art Thou, and adorned with holy might for ever,
above the world's roof reigning King of heaven, and Lord of life
in every land."

(ll. 409-415) Then Nebuchadnezzar, the lord of that people, spake
unto the princes who stood nigh unto him and said: "Ye beheld, my
princes, how we cast three men to a fiery death in the blazing
flames. And now, in truth, I see four men therein, except my
sense deceive me."

(ll. 416-429) Then spake a counsellor of the king, wise of heart
and prudent of speech: "This is some marvel which we behold with
our eyes. Bethink thee now, my lord, of what is fitting. Know
who it is hath showed this grace upon the youths. They worship
One Eternal God, and call on Him with zeal by every name. With
eager words they praise His Majesty, and say that He alone is God
Almighty, Wise King of glory, of earth and heaven. Call these
men forth from out the furnace, prince of the Chaldeans! In no
wise is it well that they should linger in that torture longer
than thou hast need."

(ll. 430-439) Then the king bade the young men come before him.
Boldly the noble youths obeyed His word and came as they were
bidden. The young men rose and went before the heathen king.
Their fetters were burned away and the bonds of the king which
were laid upon them, but their bodies were saved from harm. For
their beauty was no wise injured, nor was any harm come upon
their garments, nor their hair singed by the fire, but in God's
protection they came forth gladly from that gruesome horror, wise
of heart and favoured by the Holy Ghost.

(ll. 440-457) Then the angel, a faithful servant to the Holy
Lord, departed up to seek eternal bliss on the high roof of the
heavenly kingdom. And by that marvel he had honoured those who
had deserved it. The young men praised the Lord before the
heathen host, exhorting them with words of truth, rehearsing many
truthful tokens before the king, until he too believed this was a
God of wonders who freed them from the darkness. And the mighty
lord of Babylon, the haughty king, decreed among his people that
he was guilty unto death whoso denied this was a glorious God of
might who freed them from that death. He gave back unto God the
remnants of His captive people and granted favour to his olden
foes. And their prosperity in Babylon was great and their fame
was known throughout the nation, after they endured that trial by
fire, and obeyed their Lord. Mighty were their counsels after
God, the Holy Warden of the heavenly kingdom, had shielded them
from harm.

(ll. 458-471) Then, as I have heard, when the lord of Babylon
perceived the marvel that was come to pass within the flames, he
was fain to know how the youths had passed through the blaze of
fire, and overwon the terror of the heated furnace and the
flames, so that the fury of the burning brands and raging furnace
had wrought God's prophets naught of harm, but His defence had
shielded them against that fearful peril. And the prince
commanded a council, and summoned his people, and there, before
the multitude so gathered, rehearsed the event as it had come to
pass, and the miracle of God made known upon the youths:

(ll. 472-485) "Consider now the holy might and wondrous works of
God. We saw how He shielded the young men in the furnace from
death and the leaping flames, because they served Him. He only
is the Lord, Eternal and Almighty, who gives them glory and
abundant weal who preach His gospel. And He reveals Himself by
many a wonder to holy hearts who seek His favour. It is well
known that Daniel showed me the interpretation of a secret dream,
which formerly perplexed the minds of many men among my people,
because Almighty God had given him an understanding spirit in his
heart, and strength of wisdom."

(ll. 486-494) So spake the leader of the host, the lord of
Babylon, when he perceived the miracle and God's clear token.
And yet he wrought no whit the better; pride ruled the prince.
His heart was insolent and the thoughts of his heart were
thoughts of pride, more than was meet, until the Lord Almighty
humbled him, as He humbleth many who walk with arrogance.


(ll. 495-522) Now a dream came unto Nebuchadnezzar in his sleep
and troubled him. It seemed to him that there stood a tree upon
the earth, wondrous fair, deeply rooted and gleaming with fruit.
Nor was it like to other trees, but it towered unto the stars of
heaven, so that it overshadowed the regions of the world and all
the earth with its boughs and branches, even unto the shores of
the sea. And as he gazed it seemed to him that the tree made
shelter for the wild beasts, and that it held food for them all,
and likewise that the birds of the air found sustenance in the
fruit of the tree. And it seemed to him that an angel descended
from the heavens, and spake with a loud voice, commanding the
tree to be cut down, and the wild beasts and the birds to flee
away, when its fall should come. And he bade that its fruit be
cut off and its branches and boughs. but that the roots of the
tree should abide fast in the earth as a token, until green
shoots should spring again when God granted. And he bade bind
the mighty tree with brazen fetters and fetters of iron, and thus
bound cast it into torment, that his heart might know that a
mightier than he had power of correction, against whom he might
not prevail.

(ll. 523-537) Then the earthly king awoke from his slumber, and
his dream was ended. But fear of it was upon him, and terror of
the vision which God had sent him. And the haughty king bade
summon his people together, and the leaders of the people, and
asked them all the import of his dream, in no wise thinking that
they knew; but he made trial of them how they would answer. Then
Daniel, the prophet of God, was called unto judgment, and the
Holy Ghost was sent to him from heaven to strengthen his heart.
In him the lord of men perceived an understanding spirit and
depth of counsel, strength of wisdom, words of judgment. And
once again he showed forth many a wonder, the mighty works of
God, before the eyes of men.

(ll. 538-550) Then the proud, heathen leader of the host began to
tell his fearful dream, and all the horror of the vision that had
vexed him, and bade him tell the import of this secret thing,
bidding him speak in holy words and search his heart to tell with
truth the meaning of the tree which he saw gleaming, and declare
to him the decrees of fate. Then he fell silent. Yet Daniel
clearly saw in the assembly that his prince, the lord of men, was
guilty before God. The prophet paused; then God's herald,
skilled in the law, made answer to the king:

(ll. 551-579) "This, O prince of men, is no little wonder, which
thou hast seen in thy dream, a tree as high as heaven, and the
holy words, wrathful and full of terror, which the angel spake --
that the tree should be stripped of its branches and fall, where
formerly it stood fast, lying joyless with the beasts, abiding in
a desert place, its roots to remain fast in the earth in
stillness for a season where it stood, as the Voice declared, and
then after seven years to receive increase again! So shall thy
fortune be brought low! As the tree grew high unto heaven so art
thou lord and ruler over all the dwellers of earth, and there is
none on earth to withstand thee save God alone. He shall cut
thee off from thy kingdom and drive thee into exile without
friends, and thy heart shall be changed so that there shall be no
thought in thy heart of worldly joys, nor any reason in thy mind
save the ways of the wild beasts, but thou shalt live a long time
in the forest ranging with the deer. Thou shalt have no food
save the grass of the field, nor any fixed abiding-place, but the
showers of rain shall drench thee and harass thee even as the
wild beasts, until after seven winters thou shalt believe there
is One God for all mankind, a Lord and Ruler dwelling in the

(ll. 580-592) "Yet is it pleasing unto me that the roots remained
fixed in the earth, as the Voice declared, and after seven
seasons received increase. So shall thy kingdom stand unharmed
of men until thou come again. Take now, my lord, firm counsel in
thy heart; give alms; defend the needy, and make atonement before
God, ere yet the hour cometh when He shall drive thee from thine
earthly kingdom. Oft for many peoples God abateth pain and woe,
if they but earnestly repent them of their sins, ere His avenging
wrath, with fatal doom, hath laid them low."

(ll. 593-597) But Daniel was not able to speak these many words
of truth, with craft of wisdom, to his lord, so that the mighty
ruler of the world would heed; but pride ruled his heart. And
bitter was his atonement!

(ll. 598-607) And as the king of the Chaldeans ruled his realm,
and beheld the city of Babylcn in its prosperity towering up to
heaven, the city which the prince had built with many a wonder
for his people, and the fields of the Shinarites wide-stretching
round about, then the king began to utter boastful words. He
became perverse and arrogant of heart, beyond all men, because of
the special gifts which God had given him, a mighty kingdom and
the world to rule in the life of men:

(ll. 608-611) "Thou art the mighty city, famed afar, which I have
builded to my honour, a spacious kingdom. I will have rest in
thee, a dwelling and a home."

(ll. 612-621) Then the lord of men was smitten for his boasting,
and driven into exile, arrogant of heart beyond all men. Even as
in the days of strife, when God's swift wrath and anger smote him
from the heavens, Nebuchadnezzar trod the bitterest path unto
God's vengeance that ever living men have trod. Seven winters
together the king of that fair city suffered torment, a
desert-life with beasts.

(ll. 622-639) Then the wretched man, companion of the beasts,
looked up through the flying clouds; and he knew in his heart
that there was a Lord and King of heaven, and one Eternal Spirit
ruling over the sons of men. And he was recovered from the
madness which long had been upon him, vexing the heart and soul
of the king. His heart was turned again unto men and his mind
unto thoughts of God, after he came to know Him. And the
wretched man rose up and came again among men, a naked wanderer
acknowledging his sin, a strange exile without clothing, and of
humbler heart than the lord of men had been in his boasting.
Behind its lord the world had stood, behind the prince his home
and native land, unchanged for seven winters together, so that
his kingdom had not lessened under heaven until its ruler came

(ll. 640-656) Then was the lord of Babylon once more seated upon
his throne; he had a better heart, a clearer faith in the Lord of
life, knowing that God dealeth unto every man weal or woe as He
desireth. The lord of nations was not slow to heed the counsels
of his wise men, but far and wide rehearsed the might of God,
where he had power of proclamation. He told his people of his
wanderings, his far journeys with the beasts, until the spirit of
the Lord God came upon him and thoughts of wisdom, when he looked
up to heaven. Fate was fulfilled, the wonder come to pass, the
dream come true, the punishment endured, the doom awarded, even
as Daniel said aforetime that the king would suffer downfall for
his pride, and earnestly proclaimed it before men, by the might
of God.

(ll. 657-674) Then for a long time Daniel gave judgment and
counsel in Babylon unto the city-dwellers. And after
Nebuchadnezzar, comrade and companion of the wild beasts,
returned from his wandering exile, the prince of the Chaldeans,
the wise and mighty leader of the folk, ruled his spacious
kingdom, guarding his treasure and the lofty city, until death
came upon him. And there was no man to withstand him upon earth
till God through death took his high kingdom from him.
Thereafter his descendants prospered greatly in that mighty
stronghold, in the city of earls, enjoying wealth and twisted
gold, a mighty treasure, when their lord lay dead.


(ll. 675-685) And after him among that people arose a third
generation, and Belshazzar ruled the city and the kingdom until
his heart grew great with insolence and hateful pride. And the
Chaldean rule was ended! For the Lord bestowed the kingdom upon
the Medes and Persians for a space of time, and let the might of
Babylon diminish, which the heroes should have held. But He knew
that they were sinful men who would have ruled the realm.

(ll. 686-702) The lord of the Medes, as he sat in his stronghold,
resolved on that which none had done before him, that he would
lay waste Babylon, the city of earls, where the princes within
the walls dispensed the treasure. Now the city of Babylon was
the most famous of all the fortresses of men, the mightiest and
most widely known of all that men inhabit, until Belshazzar in
his boasting tempted God. They sat at wine within their walls,
fearing not the hate of any foe, though a hostile folk with
mighty hosts in armour were coming up against them, even against
the city of Babylon to destroy it. And the Chaldean king and his
kinsmen sat feasting on the last day.

(ll. 703-711) Now when the leader of the host was drunk with wine
he bade them bring the treasure of Israel, the holy vessels of
the sacrifice, and the gold which the Chaldean warriors and their
legions had captured in Jerusalem, when they destroyed the might
of Judah with the sword, boasting exceedingly, with tumult
seizing on the kindly folk and gleaming treasure, as they
plundered the temple and the shrine of Solomon.

(ll. 712-726) Then was the lord of cities blithe in his heart,
boasting fiercely and defying God, and said his gods were
mightier to save, and greater, than the Eternal Lord of Israel.
But, as he gazed, there came a dreadful token before men within
the hall, that he had spoken a lie before his people. The hand
of an angel of God appeared within the lofty hall, a sight of
terror, and wrote before the eyes of men upon the wall in scarlet
letters and words of mystery. Then the heart of the king was
troubled within him and sore afraid because of the sign; within
the hall he beheld the hand of an angel writing the doom of the

(ll. 727-736) But the multitude, the host within the hall,
debated what the hand had written for a sign to the city-
dwellers. And many came to see the wonder. They searched the
thoughts of their hearts to know what the hand of the angel had
written. Nor could the nobles and magicians read the angel's
message till Daniel, wise and righteous, loved of God, came to
the hall. And his heart was filled with wisdom sent from God.

(ll. 737-742) Then, as I have heard, the city-dwellers sought to
tempt Daniel with gifts to read the writing and tell the import
of the mystery. But the prophet of God, skilled in the law and
wise of heart, made answer to them:

(ll. 743-765) "Not for gain do I pronounce God's judgments to the
people, nor of mine own strength, but freely will I tell thy
fate, and the meaning of the words thou shalt not change. In
thine insolence thou hast given into the hands of men the vessels
of the sacrifice, and in them drunk to devils, which formerly the
Israelites employed in holy rites before the ark of God, till
pride seduced them and drunken thoughts. So shall it be with
thee! Never would thy lord before thee lay hands of insolence
upon God's golden vessels, nor boast thereof, although it was his
legions that plundered Israel's treasure. But after the Lord of
glory showed forth His wonders upon him, the lord of nations
often spake before his people in words of truth, and said that
He alone was Lord and Ruler of creation who gave him blameless
glory in his earthly kingdom and great prosperity. But thou
deniest that He is the Living God who ruleth over devils..."

((LACUNA of indeterminate length))





(ll. 1-18) It is revealed to those who dwell on earth that God
had strength and power when He wrought the borders of the world.
By His wondrous might He established the sun and moon, the rocks
and earth and the oceanstream, water and clouds. By His strength
the Lord upholdeth all the deep expanse, and middle-earth. The
Son of God beholdeth from the heavens the sea and its
foundations: He numbereth every drop of the showers of rain. By
His wondrous power He hath ordained the number of the days. Even
so in six days, by His spirit's might, the Lord in heaven devised
the valleys of the world and the high hills, and founded them.
Who is there that clearly knoweth all that mighty work except
Eternal God?

(ll. 19-33) Joys He dealeth out and riches. He first created
Adam, and a noble race, the angel princes, which later perished
utterly. For, it seemed to them in their hearts it well might be
that they themselves were lords of heaven, princes of glory.
Then a worse fate befell them, and they went to find a home in
hell, the foul abyss, where they must needs endure grim woe and
surging flame, no more possessing radiance of glory or high-built
halls in heaven; but they must needs plunge downward to those
depths of fiery flame, down to the bottomless abyss, insatiate
and rapacious. God only knoweth how He hath condemned that
guilty host.

(ll. 34-50) The Old One crieth out of hell, with horrible voice
uttereth words accursed: "Whither is fled the glory of the
angels, which we should have in heaven? This is a home of
darkness, terribly bound with fettering bonds of fire. The floor
of hell is ablaze, and flaming with poison. The end is now not
far when we must suffer torment, pain, and woe, no whit
possessing bliss in heavenly glory, nor joy, in her high halls.
Lo! once we knew great bliss before the face of God, and songs
of praise in heaven in happier hours, where now stand noble
spirits round about Eternal God in His high hall, worshipping the
Lord with words and works. And here in torment I must needs
abide in bonds, nor ever hope for any better home, because of my
insolent pride."

(ll. 51-64) Then answered the foul fiends, black and sinful,
chained in torment: "Thou with thy lies didst teach us not to
serve the Saviour! To thee alone it seemed that thou hadst power
of all things in heaven and earth, that thou wert Holy God, even
the Creator. Now thou art bound. thou wretched fiend, with bonds
of flame. In thy splendour thou didst think the world was thine,
and power of all things, and we, the angels, with thee.
Loathsome is thy face! Sorely have we suffered for thy lies!
Thou saidest that thy son was Lord of men. Now is thy woe the

(ll. 65-74) So with bitter words and moaning voices the sinful
spirits spake unto their lord. Christ had cast them out, and
banished them from joy. They had lost the radiant light of God
in heaven through overweening pride. For all their joy they had
the floors of hell and burning pain. Pale, their beauty marred,
the fallen angels, miserable wretches, wandered through that
loathsome pit, because of the presumptuous deeds which formerly
they wrought.


(ll. 75-80) Then once more spake the leader of the fiends; he was
chastened anew, and racked with pangs of torment. Black with
fire and poison, he began to speak; no pleasant joy was this as
he poured forth his words in pain:

(ll. 81-92) "I was once a holv angel, dear unto God in heaven,
and knew great joy before the face of the Lord God, likewise this
multitude. But I resolved in my heart to overthrow the Lord of
glory, the Son of God, and have myself the power to rule the
world, and all this wretched host which I have led unto a home in
hell. Bethink ye of the token and the curse, that I was
banished, deep below the earth, in the bottomless abyss. I have
led you all from out your native home unto a house of bondage.

(ll. 92-105) "Here is no glory of the blessed, neither wine-halls
of the proud, nor worldly joys nor angel throngs, nor may we have
possession of high heaven. This loathsome dwelling burns with
fire. I am God's foe. Dragons dwell ever at the gates of hell,
inflamed and furious; they may not help us! This woeful house is
filled with torment. In this deep darkness there is yet no place
to shelter us, that we may hide therein. Here is the adder's
hiss; here serpents dwell. Firmly the bonds of torment are
fastened upon us. Fierce are the fiends, swarthy and black.
Here never gleameth day in the gloom of hell-shadows, nor the
radiant light of God.

(ll. 106-124) "Once I had power and glory, before I earned God's
judgment on my sin in this loathsome realm, upon the floor of
hell. Now I have come, and brought a host of fiends, unto this
home of darkness. But, flying forth from hell from time to time,
I needs must visit every land, and others of you also, who had
part in our presumptuous deeds. We need not hope the King of
glory will ever grant us a home and dwelling, as He did of old,
and everlasting power. For the Son of God hath power of all
things, of glory and affliction. Wherefore, downcast and
wretched, I must wander far, an exile journey, stripped of glory,
shorn of virtue, bereft of joy in heaven among the angels,
because I said of old that I was King of glory and Lord of all."


(ll. 125-128) But a worse fate befell him! So the accursed
spirit, doomed to woe, lamented his afflictions. (And through the
foul abyss a flame of fire raged, with venom mingled):

(ll. 129-141) "I am so large of limb there is no place in this
wide hall to hide me, sore wounded with my sins. Both heat and
cold by turns are mingled here. At times I hear the hell-slaves
howling, mourning these realms of pain beneath the earth; at
times men naked strive with serpents. All this windy hall is
filled with horror! Never shall I know a happier home, nor any
town or mansion; nor ever shall mine eyes behold the shining
world again.

(ll. 142-157) "Worse is it now for me that ever I knew the light
of glory with the angels, or melody in heaven, where blessed
souls are lapped in music by the Son of God. I may not injure
any soul save those alone which He rejecteth. Those may I lead
home into bondage, and bring them to their dwelling in the grim
abyss. Changed are we all from what we were of old on high, in
beauty and in honour. Oft, as disciples round our well-loved
Lord, we brought the sons of glory to the Saviour's arms, and
lifted up our songs of praise, and worshipped Him. But now I am
stained with evil, and wounded with my sins. In hell-fire
burning bonds of pain shall sear my back. nor may I ever hope for
any future good."

(ll. 158-162) Then once more the loathsome fiend from hell,
accursed in his woe, bewailed his endless torment. His words
flew up like sparks, most like to poison, as he hissed them

(ll. 162-175) "O! the majesty of God, the might of the Creator!
O! Thou Lord of heavenly hosts! Farewell to earth, and the
gleaming light of day! Farewell the bliss of God, the angel
hosts, the heavens above! Alas! that I have lost eternal joy,
that never again with my hands may I lay hold on heaven, nor
thitherward lift up mine eyes, nor hear in mine ears the ringing
voice of the trumpet, because I would have driven from His throne
the Lord, the Son of God, and seized myself the power of majesty
and joy and bliss.

(ll. 176-188) "Then a worse fate befell me than I could well
foresee! I am rejected from the heavenly host, cast out from
light into this loathsome home. I may not well bethink me how I
fell thus low, into this deep abyss, stained with my sins, and
cast out from the world. Now I know that he will forfeit all
eternal joy who thinketh not to serve the King of heaven and
please the Lord. Needs must I undergo correction, vengeance and
punishment and pain, stripped of every good, stained by my former
deeds, because I thought to drive God from His throne, the Lord
of hosts. Now, sorrowful and full of care, I needs must go an
exile-journey, a wandering wide."


(ll. 189-208) Then God's foe went to hell, wherein he was abased,
and his thanes with him. covetous and greedy, when the Lord God
hurled them down into that burning house whose name is hell.
Wherefore let every man take thought in his heart that he may not
be displeasing to the Son of God, remembering how the black
fiends were undone by pride. And let us choose as our delight
the Lord of hosts, the Prince of angels, and eternal joy in
heaven above. He showed that He had strength and wondrous power,
when from His lofty throne He drove that great host into bondage.
Let us be mindful of the Holy Lord, eternal in glory, and choose
a home on high with Christ, the Lord of all, the King of kings.
With blithe thoughts in our hearts, and peace and wisdom, let us
be mindful of righteousness and truth, when we think to kneel
before His royal throne, and pray the Lord for mercy.

(ll. 209-223) It behooveth him who dwelleth in these worldly joys
to shine in beauty when he seeketh another life, and a land much
fairer than this earth. That is a land of beauty and of joy,
with fruits that brightly gleam among the cities. That is a
boundless realm, the home of the blessed in heaven, acceptable to
Christ. Let us turn thither where, in that dear home, the
Saviour sitteth, Lord of victories, and round about His throne in
radiant whiteness stand angel legions and all blessed souls, the
holy heavenly hosts, and praise the Lord with words and works.
Their beauty gleameth with the King of glory, world without end.


(ll. 224-227) And further still, as I have heard, the fiends
confessed. Their sin and punishment lay heavy on them. In their
presumptuous pride they had forgot the King of glory.
Straightway in other words they spake:

(ll. 228-244) "Now is it seen that we have sinned in heaven, and
now must ever wage a hapless war against the might of God. We
might have had our dwelling in the light of glory, in thousands
serving Holy God, and chanting hymns about His throne. And while
we dwelt there, and abode in bliss, came strains of heavenly
music on our ears, and the voice of the trumpet. Bright of word
arose the Prince of angels, and all His saints bowed down before
Him. The Eternal Lord Triumphant rose and stood above us, and
each day blessed that gentle throng, and His beloved Son, Shaper
of souls. And God Himself was merciful to all who came within
that kingdom, and had believed in Him on earth.

(ll. 245-247) "But it seemed to me that the Prince was stern and
hard of heart; and I began to go forth alone among the angels,
and said unto them all:

(ll. 248-253) "`I can show you enduring counsel, if ye will trust
my strength. Let us scorn this mighty Prince, the Lord of hosts,
and possess us of the radiance of His glory to be our own. For
this is empty boasting which we have borne so long.'


(ll. 254-268) "And so it was we strove to drive the Lord from His
dear home, the King from out His city. But widely is it known
that we must dwell in exile, in the grim depths of heil. God
holdeth His kingdom. He only is the King, Eternal Lord, Creator
strong and mighty, whose anger smote us down. Henceforth this
host must lie here in their sin, some flying in the air and
speeding over earth. But round about each spirit fire burneth,
though he be up on high. Yet may he never lay his hand upon
those souls who from the earth in blessedness seek heaven. But I
may seize God's foes, all heathen slaves, and drag them down into
the pit.

(ll. 269-278) "Some must needs wander through all lands, sowing
dissension in the tribes of men throughout the earth. But I must
suffer all things, in the pangs of flame, sick and sorrowful,
lamenting here my lost possessions, which once I owned, while
still my home was in the heavens. Will the Eternal grant us ever
again a home and dwelling in the heavenly kingdom, as He did of

(ll. 279-297) So wailed God's adversaries, as they burned in
hell. God, the Lord, was moved to wrath against them for their
blasphemy. Wherefore should every living man, whose heart is
good, resolve to banish sinful thoughts and loathsome evil. Let
us be ever mindful in our hearts of the Creator's might, and
prepare a green path before us unto the angels. There is
Almighty God, and the Son of God will fold us in His arms, if we
on earth take thought of this beforehand, and trust His holy
help. Then will He not forsake us, but will grant us life among
the angels, and blessed joy. The radiant Lord will show us
stable dwellings, and gleaming city-walls. Brightly shine the
souls of the blessed, freed from sorrow, evermore possessing
cities and a kingly throne.

(ll. 297-314) O may we all proclaim it, ere it be too late, and
rehearse it unto men upon the earth, unlock with skill the
mysteries of God, and wisely understand them! A thousand angels
shall come out to meet us, if thitherward we take our way, and
have deserved this bliss on earth. He shall be blessed whoso
scorneth evil and is pleasing unto God, overcoming sin as He hath
said. The righteous, crowned with beauty, in their Father's
kingdom, shall shine like to the sun in the City of Refuge, where
their Lord, the Father of mankind, shall fold them in His arms,
and lovingly uplift them to the light of heaven, where they may
dwell for ever with the King of glory, possessing joy of joys
with the Lord God, for ever and for ever without end.


(ll. 315-333) Alas! how rashly did the cursed fiend resolve to
disobey the King of heaven, the Comfort-bringing Father. With
venom burned and blazed the floor of hell beneath the captive's
feet. The fiends went howling through those windy halls, wailing
their woe. The sin and evil of that multitude were fierceiy
purged by fire. Grievous their fate! And their prince, who came
there first of all the host, was lettered fast in fire and flame;
that was unending torment! For ever must his thanes inhabit
there that loathsome realm, nor ever in heaven above hear holy
joy, where they had long had pleasant service with the angels;
all good things had they lost, and might not dwell save in the
pit of hell, in that accursed hall where sounds of weeping are
heard afar, gnashing of teeth and lamentation.

(ll. 334-354) They have no hope but only frost and fire, torture
and pain and swarming serpents, dragons and adders and a house of
darkness. He who stood within twelve miles of hell might hear a
gnashing of teeth, loud and full of woe. God's adversaries
wandered throughout hell, burning with flame above and below (on
every side was torture); oppressed with pain, bereft of joy, and
shorn of glory, they bitterly lamented that ever they had planned
to strip the Saviour of His heavenly kingdom, when they had their
home on high. But He held rightfully the courts of heaven and
His holy throne.

(ll. 355-364) No one is so cunning or so wise, or hath such
understanding, save God alone, that he may describe the radiant
light of heaven; how, by the might of God, the sun there shineth
round about that splendid host, where angels have eternal joy,
and saints chant hymns before the face of God. And there are
blessed souls, vho come from earth bearing in their bosoms
fragrant blossoms and pleasant herbs -- these are the words of
God. The Father of mankind shall fold them in His arms, and with
His right hand bless them and lead them to the light, where they
shall have eternal life, a heavenly home, a radiant
city-dwelling, for ever and for ever. He shall have bliss whoso
inclineth to obey his Saviour. Well shall it be with him who may
obtain it!



(ll. 365-376) Within God's kingdom in the days of old the angel
prince was called "Light-bearer," Lucifer. But he stirred up
strife in heaven and turned to insolence and pride. Darkly Satan
planned to build a lofty throne in heaven, with the Eternal God.
He was their lord, the prince of evil. But he repented when he
needs must sink to hell, and with his thanes must feel the
Saviour's wrath; never thereafter might they look upon Eternal
God for ever.

(ll. 377-384) Then terror came upon them. and crashing thunder
went before the Judge, who bowed and burst the doors of hell.
And bliss came unto men when they beheld their Saviour's face.
But the hearts of that doomed folk, that dread host named
aforetime, were sore afraid. They were smitten with terror
throughout their windy hall, and wailed aloud:

(ll. 385-397) "Bitter is this Storm that burst upon us, the Angel
Prince, the Warrior with His legions. Before Him shineth a
fairer light than ever our eyes beheld, save when we dwelt in
heaven among the angels. Now will He end. by power of His glory,
the torment we inflict. Lo! this Terror cometh, with thunders
before the face of God, and soon this wretched throng shall know
affliction. It is the Son of God, the Lord of angels. He
leadeth souls up out of hell, and we shall be abased hereafter by
His avenging wrath."

(ll. 398-407) By His might the Lord descended into hell, unto the
sons of men. For He was fain to lead forth countless thousands
to their native home. Then came the sound of angel legions, and
thunder at the blush of dawn. The Lord Himself had overcome the
Fiend; the deadly strife began at dawn when the terror fell upon
them. He let the blessed souls, the race of Adam, mount upward
unto heaven. Yet Eve might not see heaven until she spake:

(ll. 408-419) "I, only, brought Thy wrath upon us, Eternal Lord,
when we two ate the apple through the serpent's guile, Adam and
I, as we should not have done. The fiend, who now doth burn for
ever in his bonds, told us that so we should have blessing and a
holy home, and heaven to rule. And we believed the words of the
Accursed. and stretched our hands unto the holy tree and plucked
its shining fruit. Bitter the price we paid, when we must needs
sink downward to this flaming pit, and there abide for many
thousand winters, dreadfully burning.

(ll. 420-434) "Now I beseech Thee, Lord of heaven, by this host,
the angel legions which Thou leadest hither, that I may be
delivered out of hell, with all my kindred. Three nights ago a
servant of the Saviour came to hell. Now is he fast in bondage,
spent with pain, for the King of glory was incensed against him
because of his presumption. Thou saidest unto us in truth that
God Himself would come to all who dwell in hell. Then everyone
arose, and leaned upon his arm, and rested on his hand; though
racked with pangs of hell, yet in their torment they rejoiced
because their Lord was coming unto hell to bring them aid."

(ll. 435-440) And she lifted up her hands unto the King of
heaven, beseeching mercy of the Lord for Mary's sake: "Lo! Of my
daughter wast Thou born, O Lord, to help mankind on earth. Now
is it seen that Thou art God indeed, the Everlasting Source of
all creation."


(ll. 441-454) Then the Eternal Lord let all that host mount
upward unto glory. But on the fiends He fastened bonds of
torment, and thrust them down into the depths of darkness,
bitterly abashed, where darkly Satan rules, a woeful wretch, and
with him the foul fiends, forspent with pain. Never may they see
the light of glory, but only bell's abyss, nor ever hope for
their return, because the Lord God was incensed against them, and
gave them bonds of torment for their portion, and gruesome
horror, death-shadows dark and dim, the burning pit of hell, and
fear of death.

(ll. 455-467) Then was there gladness when the host returned unto
their native home, and with them the Eternal Lord of men, unto
His glorious city. With their hands the race of Abraham, the
holy prophets, bore Him up unto His home. Even as the prophets
had foretold in days of old, the Lord had conquered death, and
overcome the Fiend. All this befell at dawn before the blush of
day, when thunder came, loud crashing from the heavens. and God
bowed down and brake the doors of hell. The fiends' strength
lessened when they saw the radiant light.

(ll. 468-478) And the Son of God was sitting with His host, and
spake with words of truth: "Wise spirits! By My might I wrought
you -- first Adam and this noble woman. And they begat, by God's
will, forty children, so that a multitude were born thereafter on
the earth, and many a winter men dwelt in their home, until it
came to pass the fiend by deeds of evil brought God's mercy to an
end. Now sin has spread through all the world!

(ll. 479-486) "For in the new Paradise I placed a tree with
spreading branches, whose boughs bore apples, and ye two ate the
gleaming fruit according as the fiend, the thane of hell, gave
bidding. Wherefore ye journeyed to the burning depths of hell,
because ye disobeyed the word of God, and tasted of this horror.
The foul fiend stood beside you, and gave you evil thoughts.

(ll. 487-498) "But My heart repented that My handiwork should
suffer prison-bondage! There was no power of men, nor might of
angels, no work of the prophets, nor wisdom of mortal men, that
could bring you help, but only God, the Saviour, who had ordained
that punishment in vengeance. And from His home on high He came
to earth, being born of a virgin, and suffered many tortures in
the world, and much affliction. And many men, the rulers of the
state, conspired against Me night and day, how they might slay

Book of the day: