(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 greater."
(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 forth:
(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 old?"
(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!
THE HARROWING OF HELL
(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 Me.
(ll. 499-511) "Then was the time fulfilled, and I had lived for three-and-thirty winters in the world before My passion. Long was I mindful of this multitude and of My home, that I might lead them up from bondage to their native land, where they may have God's judgments, and the glory of the heavenly hosts, dwelling in joy and knowing bliss of heaven, a thousand fold. Upon the cross, when sharp spears pierced Me, and the young man smote Me, hanging on the tree, yea! even then I interceded for you; and I came again unto eternal joys, and to the presence of the Holy Lord."
(ll. 512-523) Thus spake the Lord of glory, Maker of mankind, early in the morning when the Lord God rose from death. There was no stone so firmly fastened, though it were bound about with iron, that might withstand His wondrous might; but the Lord of angels went forth from His prison, and bade bright angels tell His eleven disciples, and say especially to Simon Peter that he might see God, Steadfast and Eternal, in Galilee, as he had done aforetime.
(ll. 524-534) Then the disciples, as I have heard, were filled with the Spirit, and went together into Galilee unto the Holy Son of God, beholding where the Son of the Creator, the Eternal Lord, was risen. And the disciples ran and came where the Eternal Lord was standing, and fell upon the ground, and knelt before His feet, giving thanks to God because once more, as it was come to pass, they might behold the Prince of angels. And straightway Simon Peter spake:
(ll. 535-539) "Is it Thou, O Lord God, crowned with glory? A little while ago we saw how heathen men laid grievous bonds upon Thee! And bitterly shall they repent, when they behold their end."
(ll. 540-556) But some could not believe it in their hearts. And one, called Didymus, was dear before he laid his hand upon his Saviour's side wherefrom His blood had fallen to the ground, a bath of baptism. That was a glorious deed, the passion of the Lord our God. He mounted up upon the tree, and with His great heart shed His blood upon the cross. Wherefore at all times men should thank their Lord by words and works, because He led us out of bondage to our home and native land, where we may have God's judgments and the glory of the heavenly host, and dwell in joy. To us the radiant light of glory is revealed, to such as have good thoughts.
(ll. 557-567) Then was the Lord Eternal forty days on earth, followed of the people and revealed to men, before the Prince of city-dwellers brought the Holy Spirit to the great creation, the heavenly kingdom. The King of angels and the Lord of hosts ascended up on high. Then came celestial melodies in holiness from heaven. The hand of God appeared and He received the Prince; the Lord of heaven led Him to His holy home. And round about Him throngs of angels flew in thousands.
(ll. 568-578) And it befell, while yet the Saviour Christ abode with men, that on the night before the last He strengthened with His spirit His disciples, the twelve apostles. The Living God ordained unnumbered souls. Of these was Judas, who betrayed the Glorious Lord, our Saviour, to be a sacrifice. Little did that undertaking prosper when he sold the Son of God for silver treasure. The foul fiend gave him grim requital, deep in hell.
(ll. 579-596) The Son now sitteth on the right hand of the Father; each day the Lord of hosts giveth help and healing to the sons of men throughout the earth. Full widely is it known to many men that He alone, by power of His glory, is Maker and Ruler of all created things. The Holy Lord of angels sitteth with the prophets in heaven above; the Son of glory hath His throne amid the heavens, and by His healing leadeth us up thither to the light, where we may sit with God on high among the angels, and have that radiance where His holy host now dwelleth, and live in joy. There is the blessedness of glory radiantly revealed! Let us take thought to serve the Saviour gladly and be pleasing unto Christ! There is more glorious life than we may ever gain on earth.
(ll. 597-607) Now hath the Great Prince, the Almighty Lord, made intercession for us. On the day of doom God biddeth the archangels, with a mighty blast, to sound the trumpet over the city-dwellings, through all the borders of the world. Then shall men wake from the earth; the dead shall arise from the dust, through the might of God. Longest of days shall that be, greatest of tumults, heard afar, when the Saviour cometh, the Lord, with clouds surrounded, descending upon earth.
(ll. 608-615) Then will He separate the fair and foul, the good and evil, into two companies. And the righteous shall mount to their rest at the right hand of God, they shall be blithe as they enter the city, the kingdom of God. With His right hand the Lord of creation shall bless them, and say before all:
(ll. 615-618) "Ye are welcome! Enter now the heavenly kingdom, into the light of glory. There shall ye rest for ever without end."
(ll. 619-625) But the guilty souls that have sinned shall stand and tremble when the Son of God shall judge them by His wondrous might; they shall hope they may ascend to that fair city with the angels, as the others did. But the Eternal Lord shall speak to them, and say before them all:
(ll. 626-627) "Descend now quickly, ye accursed, into the house of pain. I know you not."
(ll. 628-646) And straightway at these words helI's captives, cursed spirits, shall drag them down by thousands, leading them thither to the home of fiends, and thrust them deep down in the narrow pit. Never may they return, but there they needs must suffer torturing pain, imprisonment, and bonds, and the cold ground, endure the depths of hell and devils' discourse, black fiends with hate reviling them for sin, because they often have forgot the Lord, Eternal God, who should have been their hope. Wherefore let us resolve while in the world to serve the Saviour gladly by God's grace, be mindful of the spirit's joy, and how the blessed sons of God abide on high in radiant glory.
(ll. 647-655) There is a golden gate adorned with gems, enwreathed with joy, for those who enter in God's kingdom, and win the light of glory. About the walls stand radiant angel spirits and blessed souls who pass from earth to heaven. There are martyrs pleasing unto God, and patriarchs with holy voices praising God, the King within His city, saying:
(ll. 656-658) "Thou art the Lord of men, the Heavenly Judge and Prince of angels! Thou hast led the sons of earth unto this blessed home!"
(ll 659-662) So the thanes about their Prince shall praise the Lord of glory. There shall be song and splendour round His throne. For He is King indeed, and Lord of all things in the eternal creation!
(ll. 663-673) He is the Lord, the Prince of angels, who died for us; and, in the fullness of His mercy, the Maker of mankind once fasted forty days. And it came to pass that the Accursed Fiend, who was driven out of heaven and sank to hell, tempted the Lord of all creation, bringing in his arms great stones, and bidding Him make loaves to stay His hunger, "if Thou have so much power." But the Eternal Lord made answer unto him:
(ll. 674-675) "Knowest thou not, accursed, it was written...."
((LACUNA of indeterminate length.))
(ll. 676-678) "....save Me alone? But Thou, O Lord of victory, hast ordained the light for living souls, reward unending in the heavenly kingdom, and holy joys."
(ll. 679-682) Then the malicious, evil spirit in derision lifted Him up in his hands, and set Him upon his shoulder, and ascended a high mountain, and placed the Lord God on a peak thereof:
(ll. 683-688) "Gaze now full widely over the dwellers of earth. The world and the inhabitants thereof will I give into Thy hand. Take now from me the city and the shining home which I will give Thee in the heavenly kingdom, that Thou mayest truly be the King of men and angels, as Thou hast thought."
(ll. 689-709) Then answered the Eternal Lord: "Depart, thou cursed Satan, into the house of pain; for thee is punishment prepared, and not God's kingdom. By most high might I bid thee bring no hope to such as dwell in hell, but tell them now of this, thy greatest woe, that thou hast met the Maker of creation, the Lord of men. Get thee behind Me! Know, accursed fiend, how measureless and wide and dreary is the pit of hell! Measure it with thy hands, take hold upon its bottom. Go, then, until thou knowest all the circle of it; measure it first from above even unto the abyss. Measure how broad the black mist stretches. Then shalt thou know more clearly that thou strivest against God, when thou hast measured with thy hands how high and deep is hell, the grim grave-house, within. Go quickly, that thou measure, ere two hours are past, the home allotted thee."
(ll. 710-728) Then vengeance came upon the fiend. Satan, the cursed monster, fled away and sank to hell. And first he measured with his hands its torment and its woe. The black flame leaped against the evil spirit; and he beheld the captives as they lay in hell. And there rose a howling throughout hell, when their eyes fell on the fiend. God's foes had striven... the black evil spirit, so that he stood upon the floor of hell, and it seemed to him that from the pit to the doors of hell was an hundred thousand miles in reckoning, as the Almighty Lord had bidden him, for his sin, to measure all his torment. And he remembered as he stood in the depths of hell! The foul fiend with his eyes gazed through the loathsome den, until its overwhelming horror, the host of devils... then mounted up... With words of malice the accursed fiends began to speak and say:
(ll. 728-730) "Lo! thus may evil be upon thee always! Thou didst not wish for good!"
FINIT LIBER II. AMEN.
[End of "Codex Junius 11]
[Oxford, Bodleian Library, Junius 11, pp.213-29]