[A strip has been cut off the top of this folio, and it is unknown how much of the poem was found on previous lost folios. An introduction to the situation of the Three Youths seems likely, but is now non-extant…]


Then Azarias, within inward thoughts,
sainted, cried aloud
through the heated flame,
eagerly busied with deeds, praising the Lord,
wise in his works, and with a word he spoke: (1-4)

“Measurer of everything, you are great in might
sparing all men. Your name is widely known,
lovely and glory-fast across the tribes of men.
Your judgments upon every deed
are trusty to the truthful and those set in victory — 
also your desires in worldly success
are correct among the counselors.
Wielder of the Heavens, preserve us zealously,
Shaper of Souls,
and by the help of your grace,
Holy Lord, now we ask you for mercies
in our need and in our pained necessity
and out of our humility,
circumscribed by flames. (5-16a)

“We the lively have sinned in this world,
likewise we have done
much stain unto our ancestors,
in our overweening minds,
among the town-sitters.
We have broken your commandments,
contemning the order of holy living.
We have become scattered
across the broad earth,
dispersed into bands,
lacking your grace—
Our lives were throughout many lands
abominable notorious among the earth-dwellers. (16b-24)

“Now you send us into exile, into the keeping
of this worst of earthly kings, into the clutches
of the sword-grim—we must…
the wretched punishment of heathens… (25-29)


“To Abraham and to Isaac and Jacob,
Shaper of Spirits. You have promised them
through your pronouncements
that you wished to increase their offspring
in days gone by, so that they were begotten
after them into their royal realms,
augmented on earth, to be as uncountable—
a people heaved up—as the heaven-stars
bending in broad orbit, unto the sea-floods—
as the sands of the shore about the salty water,
in waves beyond the earthen ground—
so that they must become so innumerable
across the course of swirling winters. (30-41)

“Fulfill now this first covenant—
though they should live as our joy—
beautify your wordful statements
and your glory in us.
Reveal your means and your might,
now that the Chaldeans have asked you—
and also all these many folk—
that you are alone the Eternal Lord,
Victory-Bold Enthroned and the True Measurer,
the Wielder of Glory and the Worldly Creation.” (42-48)

So the sainted man was saluting
his Mild Measurer, and his inner mind
stretched forth through his voice.
Then from the heavens an angel
all-bright was sent from above,
a beautifully-shining human in his glorious coat,
came to them right then as grace—
the preservation of life—
through love and through mercy. (49-55a)

This one scattered those flames,
him holy and heaven-bright, of the heated fire,
so that the bitter burning must be shielded
from the terror of that angel, his lawfast majesty.
Sweeping and driving through the power of his right hand
the crackling limbs of flame, so their bodies were not harmed,
yet they were inside that furnace, when the angel arrived,
windy and winsome, much like the breeze
when on a summer’s day a falling of raindrops
is sent down during the course of the day. (55b-64)

He was in the fire, for the might of the Lord,
in his holiness as a help. The heated flame
was driven and diminished,
wherever the three deed-bold princes
praised in their thoughts,
praying to bless the children of the world,
all of creation, and the Eternal Lord,
the Sovereign of Nations. So these three spoke,
swift in their minds, through a well-known word: (65-72)

“Bless you, mild father,
Glory of Worldly Creation
and all his works,
heaven and angels and the clear pure waters
and all the virtues of the earth’s creation! (73-76)

“Bless you, Truthfast King,
for the sun and the moon,
beams of light, Living God,
bright and clear, full of heavenly joys,
worthied in blossoms. Very often you, Glory-King,
allow by the breezes a mild morning rain
to fall for the people’s sake. Afterwards
many are the herbs which must be awakened,
also the woody groves sprouting with shoots.
The earthly weal is strengthened,
warmed and purified. The Measurer
has never owned fame so widely-known,
when he for the child of man worked so kindly. (77-87a)

“Wise is he who knows how to perceive
the Preserver, who gives us all good
that we possess so long as we are here,
and our Mild Measurer promises us more,
if we merit it,
desiring it bravely,
when the soul must venture away from the body,
at the Lord’s behest, one apart from the other. (87b-93)

“And souls should praise you, Lord God,
the burning fire and the bright summer,
the warm weather-days, Sovereign of Men,
Master in the spirit. You have made earthly weal,
of so many sorts, Mild Lord,
and the day and the night, Doom-fast King,
should praise you and love you, light and shadow,
which holds them, as wardens of the tribal nations.
They work the Lord’s profound commandment so long (94-101)

“And the ships should worthy you, Christ King,
our father, frost and snow, Wielder of Peoples,
the winter-bitter weather and the shades of the sky,
and the flickering lightning should praise you,
shining, voice-bold, Warden of the Spacious Kingdom,
secretly, O Lord. Always may your judgments
be good and seasonable.
You operate so eagerly,
O Glory-King. You praise with blossoms,
blessing us with fruits,
and your fruit should be
eternal onwards forever, Almighty God. (102-12)

“They are and they grow, every human nation,
living by your mildness,
which the King beloved by us,
Eternal Lord, set down before us to be useful
to his own children, Celebrated Lord. (113-16)

“And you, Holy God, the lofty peaks
throughout middle-earth, should praise you meekly,
the fair earth, and realm of your father.
Therefore the Sovereign shaped the woody moors,
requited with praise, the Herdsman of Light. (117-21)

“Bless you, Truth-fast King, for the seas and the waters,
the high oceans, Holy Lord,
the gloriously deep water,
and the Lord’s commandment,
every ocean’s flood holds it dear eagerly,
when the sea-streams roil the water,
for the counsellors of the Measurer. (122-27a)

“The elder kindred know
that the Eternal Lord shaped
the course of the watery tide,
in days before, the Herdsman of Light,
on whose wide-faring ambit
abide the swimming of many wondrous creatures. (127b-31)

“May they all bless you, Eternal Lord,
who by your pleasure, Glory-Fast King,
every one springs forth, Eternal Lord,
and should praise you humbly.
Very often you allow the pure waters
delightful to fall from the spotless cliffs
as a worldly joy. These things the King
shaped for us, for mankind,
as a mercy and a gathering of strength. (132-38)

“May they bless you, Gentle Father,
the fish and the fowl, many-powered,
all those that stir the rough waves,
upon the broad ocean, Celebrated Lord—
may they be praised, the holy and the heavenly birds
those that go bouncing across the breeze. (139-44)

“May they bless you, Lord, the beasts and the cattle.
May they praise the Measurer, the Child of Men
with mildness, and Eternal God, the kindred of Israel.
May they bless you, Soothfast King, your priests,
the mild mass-makers, Wide-Known Lord,
your servants, Herdsman of Peoples—
likewise with the pure soul of the holy
and with humble hearts, Eternal God. (145-52)

“Now Ananias and Azarias and Misachel,
O Measurer, praise you with mildness.
Now we three young men bless God,
the many-powered Father in heaven,
that True Son, and that Victory-Fast Spirit.
Therefore send us, Sovereign of Triumph,
an angel as a favor to us, who will shelter
us from the fire and the fiends,
and cover us over with his wings
against the burning terror.” (153-61a)

With their voices about that overheated house
they turned that heathen chieftain —
when the opponents of God perceived that
they could not destroy the young men’s life—
nor did the Measurer will it—but Christ shielded them. (161b-65)

Then he turned to the hall, the earl affrighted,
as he could most swiftly, so that he stood
over his princes. Then he sent forth a prayer
on behalf of the multitudes, a profound message
protecting those holy ones—listening therein—
a hostile-minded man: (166-170a)

“ReadilyI know, that we have here three men,
counsellors to the people, three young men,
for their soul’s love bound into burning,
in the limbs of the flaming fire.
Now I see truly four men are in there—
this is not at all my imagination. (170b-75)

“They turn away now from the heat—
it creates no discomfort for any of them—
the kindling of the oven,
yet there is an angel among them—
he has a bright spirit—
nor can the burning harm his lovely glory-robe!” (176-79a)

Then the lord of the Chaldeans swallowed these words,
turning then to go towards that kindling,
an earl resolute, so that he stood over that pyre.
Then Nebuchadnezzar commanded them, the living children,
to approach nearer to him from the flame. (179b-83)

Nor did those holy ones despise to do that,
bold-minded, after they heard the admonition
of that worldly king, yet they went from the fire,
lives unspoiled, beautified in their glory,
so their garments were not harmed
by the malice of the gluttonous gleeds,
but they with their spirit-love,
oppressed their affliction and knew triumph,
wise in their minds, in their manners,
through their forethought—
they escaped the fire! (184-91)