And then the mighty day of the Mighty Lord
shall overmaster the earth-dwellers with fear
in the middle of the night, and with his power
the radiant creation—just as a corrupt harmer,
a bold-coming thief, who often comes in darkness,
in the black night, suddenly seizes those bound in sleep,
sorrowless men, unready earls assailed with evil.
So upon the mountain of Sinai there will come
a great and powerful people, true to the Measurer,
bright and blissful. To them the fruits shall be given! (867-77)
Then from the four corners of the earth,
from the utmost of the earthly realm,
angels all-bright shall blow trumpets
together with one voice. Middle-earth shall tremble,
the ground below men. They shall resonate together,
strong and brilliant, with the course of the stars,
singing and reverberating in the south and the north,
in the east and the west, across all of creation.
The children of the multitude of men shall be awakened
from death, all of mankind terrified from the olden earth,
into their measured fate—by this they will order them
to stand up at once from their fixed sleep. (878-89a)
There one can hear the sorrowing people,
miserable at mind, hurrying harshly,
carefully crying out over the deeds of their lives,
affrighted by fear. That shall be the greatest foretokening
which was ever, before or since, shown to men—
there shall be commingled an entire commotion
of angels and devils, both the brilliant and the black.
There will be a coming together of both white and swart,
just as there are unlike homes made for each,
the angels and the devils. (889b-98)
Then suddenly upon Sion’s peak from the south-east
the light of the sun shall come shining from the Shaper
more brilliant that humans can perceive in their minds,
blazing brightly, when the Child of God is revealed
here through the vaults of heaven.
The wonderful form of Christ shall come,
the Noble-King’s face, eastwards from the skies,
sweetly into the understanding of his own people,
yet bitter to the baleful, marvelously flecked with beauty
to the blessed, yet different altogether to the wretched. (899-909)
He shall be glad-hearted in sight to the good:
beautiful and winsome to the holy multitudes,
fair in his rejoicing, pleasant and gracious
it will be for his beloved people to look upon
that shining figure willingly, the sweet arrival
of the Sovereign, the King of Powers,
for those who had previously pleased him well
in mind with their words and their works. (910-17)
To the evil he shall be terrifying and grim to see,
to the sinful men who come forth condemned by their crimes.
This can be a warning of retribution for those who
have sagacious forethought—that he dreads nothing at all
who does not become terrified at that visage,
frightened in his soul, when he witnesses
the presence of the Master of All Creation
faring amid mighty marvels to judge the many,
and on his every side a throng of heaven-angels
revolving about him, a shoal of the ever-brilliant,
armies of the hallowed, flocking in squadrons. (918-29)
The depths of creation shall resound, and before the Lord
the greatest of whelming flame shall flare out
across the broad earth. The heated fires shall crash,
the heavens burst—brilliant and true, the stars will tumble down.
Then the sun will be darkened, turned the color of blood,
which once shone brightly over the world before
for the benefit of the children of men.
And so the moon itself, which lighted mankind before
by night, will fall out of the sky and the stars
just the same will be strewn from the skies
by the strong breezes of a battering storm. (930-40)
The Almighty with his company of angels,
the Measurer of Great Kings, will come to the moot,
a Prince Fast in Majesty. There will be there as well
a triumphant mass of his thanes. The souls of the holy
will fare with their Master, when the Watchman of the People
with a terrible convulsion will seek out the tribes of the earth.
The voice of the heavenly trumpet will be heard
loud across the broad earth, and from seven directions
the winds shall roar, blowing, breaking with the loudest voice,
weakening and enervating the world with its storms,
filling the creatures of the earth with fear.
Then will a terrible crash, loud, measureless,
leaden and powerful, the greatest clamor of noise,
terrifying to the people, be revealed.
There the weary multitude of man-kind
shall turn in their masses into the wide fire,
where the destroying flame meets the living,
some will go up, some down, filled with burning. (941-59)
Doubtlessly then the kindred of Adam will be there,
filled with cares, lamenting, afflicted—a people wretched
not at all on behalf of the small things, but for the greatest
and most powerful miseries instead. Then all three together
shall be widely seized by the whelming of a black fire,
the swart flame: the seas with their fishes, the earth
with its mountains, and upper heaven bright with its stars.
The ravening flame with burn all three together at once,
grimly and powerfully. All middle-earth, pained so sore,
shall lament at that notorious moment. (960-71)
So the greedy spirit shall search out the world,
the ravaging flame felling the tallest buildings
on the fields of the earth with the terror of fire,
and the widely-known blast, hot and hungry for blood,
in the entire world. The city-walls shattered
shall tumble to the ground at once.
The mountains shall be melted, and the high cliffs as well,
which previously shielded the land firmly
against the waves, against the flood,
firm and shore-fast, a foundations against the tide,
the bouncing waters. Then shall every creature,
beast and fowl, be taken by the deathly flame,
the darkened fire shall be ferried across the earth,
a welling warrior. As before the waters flowed,
the agitated tides, at that moment in the fiery bath
the sea-fishes shall be burned—deprived of their swimming,
every weary wave-beast shall be wasted,
the water burning like wax. (972-88a)
There shall be more marvels than any man in his mind
can imagine: how the collision and the storm
and the strong winds shall break this broad creation.
The warriors will wail, weeping, roaring with weary voices,
humbled, heart-sick, and humiliated with lamentations.
The swarthy flame will seethe the sins of the perished,
and glowing coals swallow up their adornments of gold,
all of the ancient treasures of the tribal kings.
There will be outcry and sorrow, a struggle for life,
weeping and loud cries by the heavenly clatter,
a miserable tumult of mortal men.
Thenceforth no one stained by their sinful deeds
shall be able to struggle to gain sanctuary,
or escape the burning fire in any land,
but that flame shall seize through whatever nation,
grimly dig up and eagerly root out the regions
of the earth, both inside and out,
until the limbs of fire have burned up in its welling
all of the smirches of this worldly impurity. (988b-1006)
Then Mighty God shall come onto the famous mountain
the King of the Heaven-Angels, and shine out holy
amid the greatest host of majesty, wonderfully
across the armies, the Sovereign God—
and the best of noble multitudes shall sparkle
clearly about him, a holy massed infantry,
a blessed battalion of angels. Within our inmost thoughts
we shall be shivering with fear before the terror of the Father.
It is no wonder therefore that the unclean family
of worldly-men, sorrowing with their cares,
will harshly dread when the family of the holy,
white and heaven-bright, a power of high angels,
are fearful for the terror of that face.
His bright creation trembling shall await the Lord’s doom. (1007-21a)
The most terrifying of days shall come into the world,
when the Glory-King in his majesty chastises
every nation, commanding the speech-bearing to arise
from their earth-graves, and every single person,
each one of mankind to muster at the moot.
Then all of the kindred of Adam shall quickly
take up their flesh, which has come to the end
of this earthly pause and habitation.
Then every one must rise up alive before the coming of Christ,
assume their limbs and bodily home, and become rejuvenated.
They shall have all upon them, which they once weighted upon their soul
in bygone days, all of the good and the folly,
over the course of the year—they shall hold both together,
body and soul. Everything must come into the light,
the face of their own deeds and the memory of their words
and the thoughts in their hearts before the King of Heaven. (1021b-38)
Then shall mankind be increased and renewed
through their Measurer. A mighty host of men
shall be risen to judgment, after the Life-Origin
looses the bonds of death. The breezes will scorch,
the heavenly stars will tumble to the earth, widely
will the glutton flame lay waste, and souls will depart
into an eternal home. Open shall the deeds of man
be made throughout middle-earth. Nor can the hoard
of humans, the thoughts of their hearts
be concealed one whit before the Wielding God.
Nor shall their deeds be kept secret from him,
but will be known there by the Lord
on that greatest of days—how every man
had before earned eternal life, and all will be present
which they, early or late, had wrought in the world.
Nor shall be there anything concealed of the minds of men,
but that famous day shall reveal all the hoards
of breast-locks, and the thoughts of the heart.
One must consider the needs of the soul before,
who intends to bring before God a clear face,
when the burning, hot and greedy for blood,
shall prove how preserved the soul has been
against its sins before the Deemer of Victory. (1039-60)
Then the voice of the trumpet and the bright symbol,
and the heated flame and the high multitude,
and the majesty of angels and the threat of terror,
and the severe day and the high cross
rightfully reared as a beacon to the realm,
shall summon the human hosts before him,
every soul which has, early or late,
taken up limbs into its body-home.
Then the greatest of armies, eternal and ever-young,
shall go into the presence of the Sovereign,
by desire or constraint. Called forth by name,
they will bear their breast-hoard before the Child of God,
the adornments of their soul. The Father will judge
how many sound souls his sons have brought
from their homeland where they have lived.
Then they shall be bold who bring a clear face
unto their Measurer. Their power and joy
shall be so blessed as a repayment to their souls
a glorious recompense for their deeds. It will be well
for those who are allowed to be pleasing to God
in that most grim of seasons. (1061-80)
There these sin-flecked men will see themselves,
with sorrowful spirits, the greatest of pains.
It will be no favor to them who stand in the presence
before those strangers, of the Cross of our Lord,
the brightest of beacons, steaming with blood,
the pure gore of the Heavenly King,
looking out with the life-sweat that shines clearly
across this broad creation. The shadows
shall be concealed where the radiant tree
glows over the nations. Yet that will be ordained
a shame and a threat upon these sin-working peoples
who knew not how to thank God for his torments,
when he was hanged on the Holy Tree
for the wicked crimes of mankind.
There he purchased dearly our lives,
the Prince of Mankind, on that day
and by that price—he whose body-house
was never stained by blameworthy crimes,
and through this he ransomed us. (1081-99a)
Afterwards he will earnestly admonish
all of us for repayment, when that ruddy cross
blazes in the sky over all, rather than the golden sun.
Upon that signal those seduced by sins,
the darkened wicked-workers, shall look upon
sorrowfully and with great fear—
they will see for themselves to their suffering
what has come forth to their best end,
were they willing to perceive it to their good.
And also the ancient scars and the open wound
they shall witness, dreary-souled, in their Lord,
just as malice-minded men had impaled
those white hands and holy feet with nails,
and also caused blood to flow from his side,
where blood and water together both emerged
before the sight of their eyes, running out
in front of the warriors, when he was on the Rood. (1099b-114)
All this they will be able to see for themselves then,
open and plain to perceive, that for the love of humankind,
of crime-workers, he suffered many things.
The sons of men will be able to understand clearly
how destitute they denied him in their thoughts,
taunting him with harmful words and also spat their spittle
into his face. They spoke their scorn against him
and also struck, the hell-hurrying men, his blessed countenance
with their hands, with fingers outstretched and fist as well—
and about his head bent a harsh and thorny ring,
blind in their thinking, foolish and led astray.
They observed mute creation, the ever-greening earth
and the high-heavens, feel the sufferings of the Lord
fearfully, and mournfully pronounce, though they lived not,
when the harmers seized the Shaper with sinful hands. (1115-32a)
The sun was washed out, smothered with sorrows—
when the folk in Jerusalem were looking up the best
of good weaving that once must be looked upon
as decoration in that holy house—it burst apart from above
and lay upon the earth in two patches. The sails of that temple,
wrought in wondrous hue to beautify that house,
rent itself in two, as if the sharp blade of a dagger
had passed through it. The glistening walls and many stones
burst apart across the earth and upon the ground as well,
wasted in terror, trembling at the sound of the voice,
and the broad sea revealed the power of its skill
and broke its bonds, angry, rising up from the embrace of the earth,
and in their shining orbit, the stars let go of their proper beauty.
In that same moment, the clear heavens understood him
who had loftily established the brightness
in the gems of heaven—therefore he had sent his herald,
when the shining king born first of all creation. (1132b-52a)
Listen as well! Guilty men have seen as a true token,
upon the same day that he suffered, a great miracle,
that the earth gave up those who lay within her.
Living again, they stood up, the ones who had been swallowed
up fast inside her, the buried dead, who kept in their breast
the Lord’s commandment. Hell also understood,
the wreaker of sin, that the Shaper had come,
the Wielding God, when the earth had given up that throng,
its spoils, from its fiery bosom. The hearts of many
were blessed, and sorrows slid away from their souls. (1152b-63a)
Listen as well! The sea revealed who established it
on its broad basin, the glory-mighty king—
therefore it made itself firm to walk upon,
when God wished to go across its waves.
The watery streams dared not submerge the Lord’s feet
in its flood. And the trees as well announced who
had shaped them with their fruits—many of them,
not just a few—when Mighty God mounted upon
one of them, where he suffered miseries
for the sake of the nation-dwelling,
a loathsome death as a help to humankind.
Then many trees became bedewed with bloody tears
beneath their bark, red and thick, their sap turned to gore. (1163b-76a)
This fact no earth-dweller can speak through wise understanding,
how many things, which cannot perceive, became aware
of the suffering of the Lord, these inanimate creations.
Those that are the most ennobled of the earth’s kindred,
and also the high-timbers of the heavens were fearful
because of that lone man, and seized by fright.
Although from their innate virtues they knew nothing
of spiritual understanding, even so they knew by a miracle
when their Sovereign journeyed from his body-house. (1176b-86a)
The people did not know how to perceive,
their Measurer, these mind-blinded men,
harder than flints, that the Master had saved them
from a hell-death by his holy powers,
the All-Wielding God. This fact, at the earliest,
forward-thinking men from the first of the world,
through their wise perception, the prophets of the Lord,
holy through their heart’s insight, have spoken to men
often—not just once—about that noble child,
that the dearest gemstone must enter into the world
as a shelter and comfort to all of the kindred of men,
the Driver of Glory, the Start of Blessings, by way of that noble queen. (1186b-98)
What are they thinking who will not remember
in their wits the mild teachings of the Measurer,
and all the miseries that he endured for the benefit
of mankind, because he wished that we might be allowed
to possess a glorious home for all eternity?
So it will be forlorn for them on that forbidding day
of mighty doom, for them who must, undone by their deadly crimes,
be shown the scars of the Lord, the wounds and the torments.
In their sorry souls they will see the greatest of sorrows,
how the King himself released them from their crimes
with his own body’s house, by the mercy of his mind,
so that they might live on liberated from their wicked works
and possess the eternal fruits of glory. Thanks for this homeland
they knew not to give unto the torments of their Sovereign.
Therefore to punish them, they will see manifest markings there
upon the body of God, unblissful people, when Christ sits
on his majestic throne, his high seat, God of Heaven’s Powers,
the Father Almighty. Unto every one of his peoples
the shining Shaper shall inscribe each of them
by their deeds, according to justice, the Ruler of the Skies. (1199-1220)
Then shall be gathered on the right hand of Christ himself
the pure folk, chosen for their excellence,
those who had earlier followed his teachings
eagerly and with delight in their life-days,
and there the stain-scathers into the worse half
before the Shaper shall be ordained,
ordering them to depart onto his left hand,
the True-King of Victories and the multitude of the sinful.
Judged truly there, they shall weep and quiver
before the fear of the Lord, as foul as goats,
a filthy folk—they should not expect any mercy. (1221-31)
Then shall the judgment of souls be decided before God
upon the generations of humankind, just as they had
previously merited—there will be readily visible to the blessed
three tokens together, because they kept the Lord’s will
well by their words and their works.
The first one manifest there is that they will glisten
with light before their people, splendid and shining
over the houses in the city. Their earlier deeds will sparkle
in every one of them more brightly than the sun.
What’s more, the second is highly visible as well—
that in glory they will know in themselves
the Sovereign’s grace and see it in their eyes joyfully
that they may possess the clear pleasures
of Heaven’s realm, blessed among the angels.
Then the third will be: how, in the bale of darkness,
the blessed multitude shall see the corrupted
suffer pain, as torment for their sins,
the welling flame and the attacks of worms
with bitter jaws, the shoal of the burning. (1232-51)
From these three a winsome joy will grow
when they observe the second part suffer that evil
which they, through the Measurer’s mercy, have been spared.
Then they will thank God all the more eagerly
for both the fruits and blisses that they will see,
that he saved them from the malice-killing
and gave to them eternal pleasures.
Hell will be locked off for them, and heaven’s kingdom
granted them. So must it be exchanged between them—
those who previously kept well the Lord’s will through heart-love. (1253-61)
Then his will shall be recognized as different for those others.
They shall be able see too many woes for themselves—
sins enough, the terrible hardships once committed.
There, sorrowing pain will attach itself to them,
a grievous agony on three sides.
One of them is that they will see for themselves
too many miseries and the grim fire of hell
present and ready as torment, from which they must
eternally suffer damnation, struggling in exile.
The second curse upon them is when
in their disgrace for the guilty, that ruined people
shall endure the greatest shame. In them the Lord sees
not at all a few, but their every crime-bales and hateful deeds,
as well as seeing the all-bright host of heavenly angels
and the children of men, every earth-dweller—
and the terrifying devil shall be able to suss out
in their souls with his dark and powerful skill,
right through their body-homes, their every wicked blemish
and their disgraceful faults. Their sinning flesh
shall be transfixed shamefully just like the shining glass,
so that one can scanned entirely with ease.
Then that third sorrow for the needful, the crying care,
will be that they may observe in the pure
how they exult gladly on account of their good deeds,
which they, miserable, once disdained to perform
as their days lasted, and weeping sorely for their deeds,
that they had freely committed unrighteous acts before. (1262-90)
Then they will see the better ones richly glow—
their miseries will not only be a torment to them,
but the bliss of others will be to their sorrow,
because they abandoned such fair joys in the days of old
and such singular ones, through the frivolous delights of the body,
and the empty lusts of their vile flesh-homes.
Ashamed there and shamefully afflicted,
they will stagger about drunkenly, bearing their sinful burden,
their criminal works where the people will see it.
It would have been better for them at that point
that they blushed in shame earlier for their baleful deeds,
every unrighteous act and vile works before any one man
and spoken before God’s messengers that they knew
to their regret of the sin-deeds upon their shoulders.
The shriver may not see through the flesh into their soul,
whether someone is speaking the truth or a lie upon himself,
when he abases his sins then—even though someone
may be healed of every fault, every unclean evil
if he tells it to one person—but no one can conceal it
on that stern day, the stain unabated, where the host will see it. (1291-1311)
Alas! There can we now see these wrathful crimes
in our souls, the wounds of sin, and in the eyes
of our body-houses, the diseased ponderings,
these unclean thoughts! No one can speak to another
how with great vigor anyone would strive after
life and spirit by every art fearfully, to endure longer,
to cleanse the smut of sin and castigate himself,
and heal the wound of that prior fault,
within that brief space that there is in life here,
so that he can, before the eyes of earth-dwellers,
unashamed, brook his abode among mortal men,
free from corruption, so long as body and soul
are allowed to dwell together, two as one. (1312-26)
Now must we eagerly and wisely penetrate
with our heart-sight the faults within our breast-coffers.
We cannot with those other eyes, the head-gems,
peer into the soul of our inner thoughts by any means,
whether evil or good abodes therein, so that it may please
God in that grim hour, when he over his every host
shines in splendor from his high-throne with the purest flame. (1327-35)
There, before his angels and before these strangers,
he will speak first to the most blessed of all,
and bid them peace lovingly, heaven’s high-king.
With a holy voice he will comfort them fairly
and command his protection over them,
bidding them to venture forth, sound and sign-blessed,
into the homeland of angels’ pleasures,
and enjoy it delightfully to the width of their life. (1336-43)
“Take up now with friends the realm of my father—
that was joyfully made ready for you since before the ages,
the riches among blisses, the brilliant beauty of this homeland,
when you would be allowed to witness that life-weal
among those most dear to you, and your own skyward delights.
You have earned them when you graciously took in
wretched men, those destitute in the world, with a mild soul.
When they in my name begged you, humble-minded,
for favor for themselves, then you helped them
and gave them shelter, bread to hungering, and clothes to the naked,
and those who lay sick in soreness, abased unsoftly,
bound up in disease, you faithfully supported their hearts
with your mind’s love. You did all these things unto me
when you sought them with peace, and strengthened
their spirits with comfort. Because of this you shall
enjoy fairly your rewards long and fairly with my dear ones.” (1344-61)
Then he begins to speak unto the evil, unlike in words,
who will be there upon his left hand, through a terrible threat,
the All-Wielding God. They need not expect the mercy
of the Measurer at that time, neither life nor leniency,
but there will come their recompense to humankind
according to the results of their words and deeds,
the speech-bearing—they must suffer alone
his righteous doom in the fullness of his terror.
There the mighty mercy of the Almighty
shall be separated from the nation-dwellers on that day,
when he charges that fretted folk with their crimes
with hateful words, ordering them to reveal right now
the rectitude of their life that he granted
to them before, the sinning for their happiness. (1362-76a)
He himself shall begin to speak, the Master Almighty,
as if he were speaking to just one, and yet he intends them all,
these crime-sinning people: “Listen! I first wrought you
with my own hands and gave you understanding.
From clay I set down your limbs, and gave you a living spirit,
honoring you above all creation, giving you a face and figure
like to myself. I gave you as well plenty of might,
weal over all the wide lands, though you knew no part
of the woe or the shadow that you must suffer—
and you understand no gratitude for these things. (1376b-85)
“When I had shaped you to be so lovely and made you
so pleasant, and gave to you the prosperity
so that you might command the creatures of the world,
when that I established you upon the fair earth
in order to enjoy Paradise-plain, its radiant fruiting riches,
blazing with blooms, then you wished not to follow
the living word, but you broke my commandments
at the word of your slayer. You heeded further
that criminal fiend, that scathing scather, than to your Shaper. (1386-95)
“Now I shall omit from that olden narrative
how you first conceived of evil and by wicked works
relinquished what I given you to your advantage.
When I had granted you so many good things
and it seemed in your heart too few blessings
in all these things, if you were not allowed to have
plenty of power, even as much as God—
then you were thrown out far away from that joy,
to the delight of devils, now an alien. (1396-1404)
“The beauty of Paradise-plain you had to renounce
by force, sad-minded the homeland of the spirit,
gloomy and miserable, separated from every joy and glory,
and then you were driven out into the dark world,
where afterwards you have suffered mighty toil
a great while, a painful and protracted struggle
and dark death, and after your hence-going,
you must collapse humiliated into hell, without helpers. (1405-13)
“Then I rued that my handiwork should pass
into the power of demons, and the stock of mankind
see a wicked killing, should try out the unknown earth,
a painful journey. Then I came down myself,
a son into its mother, though her maidenhead
stayed entirely whole. I alone was born
as a comfort to the people. I was wound by human hands,
covered up with poor clothing, and laid down in darkness,
wound in dun swaddling. Listen! I endured this for the world’s sake!
I seemed insignificant to the sons of men, lying on the hard stones,
child-young in my crib. By this I meant to distance you from death,
the bale of hot hell, so that you would be allowed to shine holy
and blessed in this eternal life, because I suffered this hardship.” (1414-27)
“It was not for pride, but I endured in my youth
misery and merciless body-pain, so that through it
I would be more like you, and you could become
more like my image, separated from evil.
And for the love of humankind my head suffered
harmful blows, my cheek and face often endured
the spit spat from the mouths of pitiless wicked-doers.
Likewise they blended together for me
a bitter drink, unsweet, of vinegar and gall.
Then before the people I received the malice of my foes,
they persecuted me with sins, they recked not of their feud,
and they beat me with scourges. All that pain I suffered for you
with a humble mind, the scorn and the sharp words.
Then they ringed my head about with a hard, sharp wreath,
cruelly they crammed it on—it was wrought of thorns.
Then I was hanged upon a lofty tree, fixed upon the rood.
Next they poured out blood from my side with a sharpened spear,
gore upon the ground, so that you may be delivered
from the constraining power of the devil.
Then I, without sin, suffered torment and evil affliction,
until alone I gave up my living soul from my body-home. (1428-53)
“Now see these mortal wounds that you inflicted before
into my hands and my feet just the same, through them
I hung, severely fastened—you can see here, manifest to this day,
in my side this bloody wound. How there was
an uneven account made between us there!
I took on your agony so that you would be allowed
to enjoy my native realm, blessed and prosperous.
And in my death I dearly purchased you enduring life
so that you would be allowed to abide afterwards,
free from blemish, and beautiful in that light.
My flesh-home lay, engraved into the earth,
hidden down below in burial, that which never harmed a soul,
so that you would be able to exist upwards,
brightly in the heavens, mighty among the angels. (1454-68)
“For what reason did you abandon that shining life
that I bargained for faithfully and lovingly with my own body,
downcast as a help to you? Why did you become
so bereft of sense that you knew no thankfulness
to the Wielder for your redemption?
I shall ask nothing for my bitter death
which I suffered for you, but repay me your life,
because I once gave you mine in ransom
through brutal torment. I remand your life
which you have criminally killed off
with wicked deeds, much to your own shame. (1469-79)
“For what reason did you besmirch uncleanly
with wicked lusts and foul sins that tabernacle,
that beloved house that I hallowed inside you as my joy?
Why did you sully with shame by sin-working
the body-home which I released for myself
from the embrace of enemies, and forbad it crime?
For what reason do you hang me more heavily
with your hands upon the cross than you once hanged me?
Listen! This seems more severe to me! (1480-88)
“Now it is more grievous to me, the cross of your sins,
which I am unwillingly affixed upon, than the other was
which I once ascended, of my own desire—
when your woe most forpined me at heart,
then I tugged you out from hell, provided that
you would afterwards keep yourself out—
I was a beggar in this world so that you would have plenty in heaven.
I was miserable in your homeland so that you would be blessed in mine.
For these things you knew not any thanks in your heart to your Savior. (1489-98)
“I entrusted you to cheer my brothers well
in this worldly realm with the plenty that I gave
to you on this earth, to help the destitute.
You have followed that feebly, forbidding
the needy from being allowed to come inside
under your roof, and you drew away every bit
through the hardness of your heart, of garment
from the naked, or food from the meatless.
Although in my name they begged for water,
for themselves, weary and poor in health,
tormented for a drink, without means,
eaten up with thirst, you boldly withdrew it from them.
You did not seek out the suffering, or one sweet word
did you speak to them in comfort, so that they might
take up a state of mind more free. All those things you did to me,
as an injury to the Heaven-King. For that you must suffer
severely torment forever, enduring an exile among devils.” (1499-1514)
Then over all those there, a terrifying sentence
filled with pain, the Warden of Victories himself,
will pronounce forth over that fated folk,
saying unto that horde of sinful souls:
“Begone now, accursed, shorn by your will
from the pleasures of angels, into the eternal fire
that was made ready for Satan and his siblings,
for the Devil and his dark school, hot and fearsome.
In that terrible place you must tumble!” (1515-23)
They will not be able to ignore the command
of the Heaven-King then, deprived of their powers.
They must fall quickly into the grim ground,
those who struggled before against God.
The guard of the realm will be savage then and mighty,
wrathful and terrifying. Nor can any enemy
abide, present on these earthly ways. (1524-29)
He shall swing the victory-blade with his right hand
so that into the deep dale the devils shall fall
into the darksome flame, a host of the sinful
under the lap of the earth, the fated ghasts
into that stead of the wrathful, a shoal of the stained,
the ruin of the accursed in that house of suffering,
the death-hall of demons. None of them will seek
the Lord’s memory afterwards, nor will they break
from their sin where they are stained with crimes,
bound up in flame, enduring death. The penalty for sin
shall be manifestly present—that is an eternal death. (1530-40)
Nor can the hot portion burn away the sins
from the kindred of the damned in eternity,
to the width of life, the stain from their souls
but there the deep, bottomless pit shall be fed
and fostered by the dreary spirits in the shadows,
and it will kindle them with an olden flame, and with the terrible frost,
and with angry worms and with torments innumerable,
and with fearsome deadly jaws, it shall destroy these people. (1541-48)
We can appreciate this and pronounce at once
speaking the truth, that he has lost the Warden of Souls,
the Wisdom of Life, he who cares not now whether
his soul be wretched or blessed, where he must
eternally be home-fixed after its hence-going.
Nor is he anxious about committing a sin,
this fool-headed man, nor does he have any regret at all
in his heart that the Holy Spirit is lost to him
through his crimes in this loaned time. (1549-58)
Then the evil-doer will stand, fearful before the Lord,
darkened at his doom, and guilty to death,
cursed for his stains—the pledge-breaker
will be filled with fire. Unworthy of life,
menaced with terror, in the presence of God
pale and without beauty, he has the hue of the damned,
the living symbol of evil. Then the children of crimes
will shed their tears and cry out for their sins—
when the time for that is no more—
yet they do their spirits aid too late,
after the Wielder of Multitudes no longer
wishes to be concerned how these sin-scathers
grieve sorely their formerly treasured possessions
in that patent hour. That hour of suffering
is not granted to those people so that they might
locate their leechdom there, who does not wish
to obtain the cure for their health now
so long as they are living here. (1559-74)
There will be no sorrow shown there by any good man,
in no evil man well-being, but everyone present there
will be weighed according to their singular desert.
Therefore he must hurry, who wishes to own
life before the Lord, while light and soul
are seen together in him. Let him attend eagerly
to the appearance of his soul in the desire of God,
and be aware of his words and deeds,
practices and thoughts, so long as thus world,
hurrying through the shadows, is allowed to shine for him,
so that he does not lose it in this loaned time,
his joyous profit and the count of his days,
and the beauty of his works and the reward of glory
that the Heaven-King in that holy hour,
truth-fast, will grant as the recompense of victory
to those who have assiduously obeyed him in their souls. (1575-90)
Then heaven and hell will be filled
with the children of men, the souls of humankind.
The bottom shall swallow up the enemies of God,
the flickering flame shall torment hate-minded men,
the greatest scathers, and will never let them
go from there into joy as a soul-saving,
yet the burning shall bind them into a fixed mob,
torturing the children of crime. Wicked it seems to me
that these soul-bearing men did not wish to care for
in their hearts, when they performed evil acts,
what the Sovereign had established as an punishment
for that hateful people. Then life and death shall swill down souls. (1591-1603a)
The house of torturing shall be opened and revealed
against the oath-breakers; crime-eager men must fill it
with their swart souls. Then as punishment for sins,
the school of the guilty shall become separated,
the humiliated from the holy, in that harmful inferno.
There thieves and mighty offenders, liars and rapists
must never expect life, and ill-swearers shall observe
the deserts of their crime, harsh and deadly fierce.
Then hell shall pluck the pledge-less pack
the Wielder shall grant them guilty to the fiends—
they shall suffer a deadly bale, stained and terrifying. (1603b-15a)
He will be wretched who wishes to commit crimes.
so that the guilty man must be separated from his Shaper
at the Day of Judgment, downwards into death,
under the kindred of hell in that hot fire, within a prison of flame,
where they will stretch out their limbs for the binding
and the burning and the scourging in torment for their sins.
Then the Holy Spirit with lock down hell, the greatest
murder-house through the might of God,
filled with fire and an army of demons at the word of the King. (1615b-26a)
That will be the greatest killing for devils and men!
That is a joyless house, where none can ever loose
their cold chains. They broke the commands of the King,
the bright words of Scripture—therefore they must abide
in everlasting night, a sorrow without end, stained
by criminal deeds, suffering forever, those that
despised the majesty of the Heavenly Realm. (1626b-33)
Then the chosen will bear before Christ their bright treasures.
Their glory will endure at Doomsday, keeping their joy
of a mild life with God, which will be permitted
to all of the holy in the realm of heaven.
That is the homeland that will never be completed,
but there the sinless will ever from now
ward over the happiness, loving the Lord,
the Beloved Warden of Life, wound up in light,
wrapped up in peace, parted from sorrows,
magnified in pleasures, made dear to the Lord.
Forever and always they will brook with bliss
the camaraderie of the angels, bright with mildness,
and love the Guardian of the People. The Father
will hold power over all and maintain the multitude of the holy. (1634-48)
Where there is the singing of angels, bliss of the blessed—
there is the precious countenance of the Lord, lighter
than the sun to every one of the overjoyed.
There is the love of beloved, and life without death’s end,
a happy multitude of humans, youth without age,
the majesty of the heavenly host, health without pain,
for the right-performing, rest without struggle,
for the doom-blessed, day without darkness,
brightness full of splendor, bliss without sorrow,
peace between friends from now on without envy,
for the blessed in the skies, love without malice
in the company of the holy. There will be neither
hunger nor thirst, neither sleep nor dull bed,
nor the burning of the sun, neither chill nor care,
but instead there the company of the blessed will always
enjoy the grace of the King, the most shining hosts
the glory amid the Lord. (1649-64)
I was a bit perplexed at 1083–88: I could not work out what “ellþeodum” and “biseon” were doing. So I went to Mary Clayton’s translation in DOML 27. She follows the DOE sense for the former: “1.a. in the plural phrase fore elþeodum, in ChristC ‘in the eyes of / before the nations of the world’; confusion of prefix el- with eall adj. ‘all’ has been suggested.” She also takes “rod” to be the subject of “stondeð”.
Lastly, “biseon” here seems not to be from the common beseon “to look” but what the DOE has beseon 2: “b. beseon mid ‘to sprinkle, bedew (something) with (something dat.)’” and they note “(the form biseon has been taken as a past part., but is irregularly formed).” I’m not entirely sure of this one; the DOE only has two occurrences for beseon 2, and they both seem a little like special pleading. But since I’m wrestling with this passage myself, I thought I would share what I had found with you.
I would tell you what I tried to do with these bits *before* I looked up both your translation and hers, but it would only embarrass me.
As always, I am grateful that you have this site to which I can come when I stumble, and it’s even more useful for my students!
Oh my stars, Dr. Discenza, you’re embarassing me! I haven’t thought about Xt3 in _soooo_ long. Funnily enough, I did this work in like 2013 or so, and my campus library still didn’t have reliable access to the DOE (since amended), so I’m gratified to see that I managed to hack together a translation that holds true through piss, context, & vinegar. Ever grateful for your support & good wishes though the years OENPP has been holding forth.
I am a professor of art history at the University of Poitiers and I have recently become interested in Anglo-Saxon painting and, by extension, texts.
I would therefore like to know where I could find a publication of this poem (Christ III).
I would also like to know the subject of verses 1129-1132.
Who is feeling “the sufferings of the Lord”.
Thank you in advance for your answer.