Codex Junius 11

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Author: Caedmon

VIII

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."

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Chicago: Caedmon, "VIII," Codex Junius 11, trans. Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853- in Codex Junius 11 Original Sources, accessed April 20, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ2P7TDWW3EBUI8.

MLA: Caedmon. "VIII." Codex Junius 11, translted by Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853-, in Codex Junius 11, Original Sources. 20 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ2P7TDWW3EBUI8.

Harvard: Caedmon, 'VIII' in Codex Junius 11, trans. . cited in , Codex Junius 11. Original Sources, retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CZ2P7TDWW3EBUI8.