Codex Junius 11

Author: Caedmon


(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 dream?"

(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!


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Chicago: Caedmon, "LI," Codex Junius 11, trans. Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853- in Codex Junius 11 Original Sources, accessed June 4, 2023,

MLA: Caedmon. "LI." Codex Junius 11, translted by Elwes, R. H. M. (Robert Harvey Monro), 1853-, in Codex Junius 11, Original Sources. 4 Jun. 2023.

Harvard: Caedmon, 'LI' in Codex Junius 11, trans. . cited in , Codex Junius 11. Original Sources, retrieved 4 June 2023, from