Genesis A & B from Old Saxon Bible
Genesis A & B
A great duty is ours that we wordfully praise
the Heavens' Ward, the Glory-King of Armies,
and love him in our hearts! He is the Strength's Success,
the Head of all High-Creation, the Almighty Lord.
There was never an origin for him, a start to his becoming,
nor will there come an end of the Perpetual Lord—
yet he will forever have dominion over the seats of heaven.
In high majesty he holds, truth-fast and treasure-strong,
heaven's embracing country, which was established far and wide
for the children of glory by the might of god
and the watchers of souls. They possess radiance and joy,
the bands of angels, and the bright bliss of their creator.
Great was their prosperity! (ll. 1-14)
Glorious servants exalting their prince, speaking
willingly his praises, celebrating the Lord of their Life—
they were the most blessed of the Master's multitudes.
They knew not of sins, the doing of misdeeds:
instead they lived in eternal peace of their Prince.
They raised naught else in the heavens but righteousness and truth,
before that warden of angels, out of over-mind, parted them into error.
They wished to labor no longer to their own advantage,
but instead turned themselves from God's love.
They had a great boast —
they could share, by the strength of their soldiers,
with the Lord his glory-bound home, spacious and heaven-bright.
There pain touched them, envy and pride, and the heart of those angels
that first performed that evil advice, to weave and arouse,
then Lucifer spoke a word, thirsting for trouble,
wishing to possess a home and high-throne in the northern part
of the realm of heaven. (15-34a)
Then was God furious and wrathful against that army
which previously he had honored with beauty and glory.
For the pledge-breakers he shaped an agonizing home,
in recompense for their efforts, out of hell-cries and harsh hatreds.
Our Lord commanded that house of suffering stand ready
for its exiles—deep, joy-lacking—the wardens of souls,
then he readily knew it was surrounded by endless night,
filled with torment, thoroughly filled with fire and a fearful cold—
with fume and crimson flame. Then he ordered terrifying torments
be increased across that damned house. They had grimly amassed myriad wrongs
against God: theirs was a cruel reward achieved afterward! (34b-46)
The wrath-minded said that they wished to possess
that realm, and they easily could do so. Their hope
deceived them when the Wielder, the High-King of Heaven,
raised his lofty hands against their forces.
The foolish and wicked angels could not flex their strength
against the Measurer, but the famous one took the pride
from them, and humbled their arrogance.
Then he grew furious, smiting the sinful rebels
with his victorious might, his magnificence and power—
depriving his enemy of their joy, peace and all happiness,
their bright glory—and mightily avenged his anger
upon his enemies with his own majesty, a violent throwing down.
He had a stern heart, enraged fiercely, seizing in his wrath
the hostile in his hands—and in his grappling hold shattering them,
angry in mind. His adversaries were deprived of homeland,
from the glorious dwellings of God. (47-64)
Then our Creator condemned them and cut them off,
the over-proud tribe of angels from heaven, the pledge-lacking army.
The Wielder sent the evil-minded forces
onto a long journey, the miserable spirits—
their boasts were broken, their stubbornness destroyed,
and majesty humiliated, and their beauty defiled.
After that they hovered in dark tribulation—
they need not laugh loudly on their trek, but in hell's torments
they dwelt exhausted, knowing woe, pain and sorrow,
suffering torments, covered up in darkness, severe retribution
after they began to struggle against God. (65-77)
Then was there true peace in the heavens just as before
and the fair practice of concord. The Lord was beloved by all,
a Prince among his thanes. They grew in majesty,
the joyous multitudes with their Master. (78-81)
Then they were united, those dwelling in heaven,
the homeland of glory. Spite ebbed away between angels,
the persecution and warfaring's flaming hostility,
after the war-drunk had been disavowed by heaven,
deprived of its light. In their track their former thrones
stood widely, most magnificently rich—growing in graces
in God's realm, bright and fixed in fruits, yet deprived of dwellers,
ever since those miserable spirits had gone,
wretches to exile's realm within a prison of torments. (82-91)
Then our Prince pondered with the thoughts of his mind,
how he might re-establish his illustrious creation,
the homeland's foundations and the heaven-bright homes
for the better host, those that gave over the boast-workers,
high in the heavens. Therefore the Holy God willed for them,
with powerful might, that an enclosure under the skies
might be established—an earth and over-heaven and broad waters—
and worldly creatures sent as a replacement of the wrathful,
those fallen from sheltering heaven. (92-102)
Nor was there any creation here yet—
nothing but shadowy darkness,
yet this wide ground stood, deep and lightless,
remote from the Lord, idle and unavailing.
With his eyes he gazed, the Strong-Souled King,
and beheld that place, deprived of joys,
seeing the dark blackness hovering in perpetual night
dismal under the skies, gloomy and waste,
until this earthly creation became by the word
of the Glory-King. First he shaped here, the Eternal Lord,
the Helm of all Creation, the heaven and the earth,
he reared up the sky, and this roomy land he established
by his strong powers, the Lord Almighty. (103-116a)
The earth was not yet green with grass; the spear-waves
were covered by the black endless night, broad and wide,
the dark tides. Then was the Spirit Guarding Heaven,
gloriously bright, borne over the waters with mighty speed
The Maker of Angels, the Dispenser of Life ordered
light to come forth across the spacious ground.
Quickly the command of the High-King was fulfilled —
His holy light waxed over the wasteland,
just as the Workman required. (116b-125)
Then the Victorious Sovereign sundered light from darkness
across the water-flood, shadow against splendor.
Life's Dispenser fashioned for both a name—
light was first called "Day" through the Lord's word,
a creation beauty-bright. It pleased the Lord well
at the dawn of that forth-bringing moment.
The very first day saw the dark and dismal shadow
decreasing across the spacious earth. (126-34)
Then time passed, hurrying across the armature
of middle-earth, the Maker pushed along the brilliant light,
our Shaper, and that first evening afterwards.
Shadowy darkness pressed on after it, hastening along its trail—
that Prince himself created the name "Night" for it.
Our Savior sundered them — they have ever since
accomplished and performed the desire of the Lord,
eternally over the earth. Then came the second day,
a light after darkness. Then the Warden of Life ordered that
a winsome sky-structure be made in the midst of the watery flood.
Our Sovereign divided the waters and then created
the fastness of the skies; so that the All-powerful heaved
up from the earth through his own word, the Lord Almighty.
The ocean was parted under the high-heavens with holy might,
water from those waters that abide under the firmament of the mortal roof. (135-53)
Then the third lovely morning came over the earth
in swift journey. Neither the broad lands nor the waves
were useful yet to the Maker, but the ground stood covered
fast by the waters. The Lord of Angels commanded by word
that the waters that kept their course under the skies
be held in common, their place now fixed.
Then quickly there stood the broad sea
beneath the heavens, just as the Holy One ordained
at once, and then was separated the water from the land.
The Ward of Life, the Herdsman of Hosts,
then saw this dry place, was revealed wide,
then that Glory-King named it the earth.
The proper course of their waves was established
and fettered there… (154-68)
[one or more leaves are missing here, containing the rest of the account of the days of Creation]
…Nor did it seem suitable to the Guardian of the Skies
that Adam should be alone for long in Paradise-plain,
that recent creation, as its shepherd and keeper.
Therefore the High-King, the Lord Almighty,
produced a help for him—a woman wrought and a support given,
the Light's-Origin of Life, to that beloved man. (169-75)
God pulled out some material from Adam's body,
and artfully extracted a rib from his side. Adam was fast at rest,
and sleeping softly, he knew neither pain, no deal of trouble,
nor did there come any blood from the wound,
but the Lord of Angels drew forth that burgeoning bone
from his body, the man unwounded, and from that God
created a beautiful woman. A spirit was formed inside her,
a perpetual soul. She was like an angel, and that Eve,
Adam's wife, was imbued with spirit. They were both
brightly beautiful in their youth, brought forth into the world
by the might of the Maker. They knew how to do nothing evil
nor how to accomplish it, but the love of the Lord
was burning in both their breasts. (176-91)
Then the Blithe-Hearted King blessed them,
the Maker of All Creation, those first two,
the mother and father, the woman and weaponed man.
God spoke to them by word: "Thrive and multiply,
fill the ever-greening earth with your offspring,
your family, your sons and daughters.
The salt waters must remain in both your power
as well as all this world's creation. Brook these blessed days
and the ocean's bounty and the birds of heaven.
You are given dominion over the wild beasts
and the clean cattle and all things living,
those that tread upon the land, imbued with life,
and those that the flood rouses throughout the whale-road—
all shall heed you."(192-205)
[at least one page is missing here]
Then our Shaper observed his lovely work
and the fruit of his blossoms of this recent creation.
Paradise-plain stood good and ghostly,
filled with the enduring goods of grace.
Flowing waters from gushing springs
beautifully irrigated that pleasant land,
The heavens did not yet carry the rains
across the spacious earth, black upon the wind,
however the earth stood adorned with blooms. (206-15a)
Four noble rivers held their outward course
from that youthful Paradise. These were parted
by the power of the Lord, all from one source,
waters beauty-bright, when he wrought the earth,
and sent them into the world. Men of nations
dwelling on the earth called one of these Phison.
It enfolds broadly that portion of the earth about,
Havilah with bright streams. In that homely ground,
men, the children of human nations, discover near and far
gold and the best kinds of gemstones, just as books say to us.
Then the second river flows around the rim of Ethiopian land
and possessions, that enormous kingdom, that one is named the Gihon.
The third is the Tigris, that one along the nation, a river overflowing,
surrounding Assyria. Likewise is that fourth, which now among
many peoples and men widely name it the Euphrates. (215b-34)
[at least one page is missing here]
[The transition from Genesis A and the opening of Genesis B are missing due to several lost pages…]
"… but you both may enjoy all of the others, leaving alone
that one tree. Guard yourselves against that fruit.
Nor will there be any lack of desirable things for you."
Then Adam and Eve bowed down their heads devoutly
to the Heaven-King in reply and spoke all thanks
for his wisdom and their lessons. God allowed them to dwell in that land.
Then the Holy Lord departed for the heavens, the Strong-minded King.
His handiwork stood together on the sand,
knowing nothing of sorrow to give them lament,
if only they should perform the pleasure of God forever.
They were beloved of God so long as they kept his holy word. (235-45)
The All-Wielder, the Holy Lord, through his hand-power
had created ten kindred of angels, in them he trusted well.
that they wished to pursue his service, working his desires,
therefore he granted them intelligence
and shaped them with his hands, the Holy Lord. (246-51)
He had established these angels so blessedly—
but one among them he had made so strong,
so mighty in his mind-thoughts.
God allowed him to wield such power,
highest after himself in heavens' realm.
He had shaped this one so splendidly—
so beautiful was his flowering form
in the heavens granted him by the Lord of Armies.
He was like the stars gleaming.
Praises of the Lord he should have wrought—
He should have loved his happiness in the heavens,
should have thanked in the shine
the Lord for the rewards allotted him, those allowed
his servant to steward for a long time. (252-58)
But this one turned himself away unto worse affairs.
He thought to heave up a struggle against the highest,
the Sovereign of Heaven aseat upon the holy throne.
Beloved was he to our Lord—this could not be hidden from him
so that his angel began to become overly proud,
heaving himself up against his Master, seeking hateful words
and boasting speech against him. He wished to serve God no longer. (259-63)
He said that that his body was light and brilliant,
beautiful and hue-bright, nor could he find it
in his heart to serve the Lord as vassal.
It seemed to this one that he possessed greater power and craft
than Holy God could have at muster.
He spoke many words, that angel over-proud.
He pondered through his own skill
how he might create a stronger throne for himself,
higher in the heavens. He said that his mind had urged him
to construct a strengthened stronghold in the west and the north.
He said that it seemed doubtful to him to remain subordinate to God. (264-77)
"Why must I toil," he asked. "There is no need at all
for me to have a master. I can mold many
wondrous things with my own hands.
I have great enough power to make ready
a godly throne — to be master in heaven.
Why must I scrape after his favor, bowing to him in such vassalage?
I can be a god just like him—
Strong warriors stand beside me, who will not withdraw from battle,
heroes hard-hearted. They have chosen me as their lord,
these brave warriors. With such allies one could devise a plan
to seize with such comrades-in-arms. These eager friends are mine,
loyal to their hewn hearts. I can be their master,
to rule this realm. And so it does not seem to me right
that I should need to flatter him at all, a god after any god.
Nor will I be one of his subordinates for long." (278-91)
When the All-Ruling heard all this, that his angel in great pride
puffed himself up against his Master, speaking presumptuous words,
foolishly against his Lord. "He must be punished for his deeds,
severed from his works of strife, and must have his punishment,
for the greatest of all deadly sins." So ought every man who strives
against his Sovereign, with evil against the Magnificent Lord.
Then the Mighty grew anger-swollen, the Highest Wielder of Heaven,
and threw that one from the high throne. (292-300)
He had earned hatred from his Master, his grace he had forlorn,
and God grew angry in his heart. For that reason he must seek the abyss
of terrible hell-torments, just as he struggled against the Holder of Heaven.
He exiled him then from his favor and cast him into hell,
into the deep chasm where he changed into a devil,
the enemy with all his allies. They fell down from heaven
a very long time: three nights and days,
those angels from heaven into hell—the Lord debased them all into demons.
Because they did not wish to worthy his deeds and words,
therefore Almighty God routed them into the worse light under the earth,
deprived of victory in dark hell. There each of the fiends possess,
in the immeasurably long night, fire everpresent.
Then there comes in the dawn an eastern wind and frost wickedly cold.
Always there was fire and piercing—each one must have
a hard torment, wrought as punishment for them.
Their world was changed and for the first time,
hell was filled with those adversaries. (301-20a)
From then on, those angels possessed
the heights of the heaven-realm
who served as ever in the grace of God. (320b-21)
At that moment the other fiends lay upon the fire,
who had once seized so many struggles against their Sovereign.
Torments they suffer, blazing war-surges in the middle of hell,
torches and broad tongues of flame, likewise the bitter fumes,
darkness and shadow, because they shirked their servitude to God. (322-27a)
Their lust deceived them, the over-mind of the angels.
They would not worship the word of the All-Wielder.
They now had great torment, plunged to the fiery bottom
in that sweltering hell through their want of thought, their arrogance.
They sought another land—devoid of light, filled with licking flames,
a mighty fiery terror. The fiends understood
they had been exchanged into torments innumerable
by their overweening thought and the might of God,
and through the height of hubris. (327b-37)
Then spoke the haughty king, brightest of angels before,
most brilliant in heaven, dearest to his Master,
beloved by the Lord, until they turned to foolishness,
so that God himself, mighty in his mind, became enraged
at his depravity and threw him within that murderous stead,
down into that corpse-bed, and wrought him a name ever since—
the most lofty said he must thenceforth be called Satan.
He bade him rule over that black abyss of Hell,
instead of struggling against God. (338-46)
Satan wrought speech, speaking and sorrowing,
he who should thenceforth keep Hell,
and have charge of the deeps. Before God's angel,
bright in the heavens, until his pride seduced him
and his greatest of all presumption,
so that he heeded no longer the word of the Lord of Armies.
His thought welled within him about his heart,
hot was the bitter torment from without.
He spoke then in word: (347-55)
"This narrow place is much unlike that other home
that we knew previously, high in heaven's kingdom,
which my Master had imparted to me, though we were not permitted
to keep it from the All-Wielder, or contend for our realm.
Regardless he had no right to render this—
to ding us down in the very depths of fire,
in this burning hell, to deprive us of heaven's realm.
He has determined that it shall be settled by this 'mankind.' (356-64a)
"That is of most sorrow to me—
that Adam, who was shaped from earth,
shall possess my fortified throne, and dwell there in joy—
while we must suffer this torment and injury in hell.
Wellaway! Had I the power of my hands
and were allowed to come out for one moment, be it a winter's hour,
then I with this warrior band— (364b-70)
But iron bonds lie about me, I swing in looped chains.
I am without power—
These harsh fetters of hell have been clapped fast about me.
Here is a great fire from above and below.
I have never seen a more loathsome region;
the flame does not blow past. It is hot throughout hell. (371-77a)
A tormenting chain of rings has prevented me from moving,
depriving me of my power to fare forth—my feet are fettered,
my hands are bound. The ways to these hell-doors are barred,
so I cannot escape at all from these limb-chains.
Huge bolts lie about me, heated and hammered of harsh iron
and with them God has chained me by the neck,
thus I know that he knows my mind and the Lord of Armies
also knows that it must ill become us, Adam and me,
regarding that heaven-realm — if only had I the power of my hands. (377b-88)
"Yet we endure now affliction in Hell (that is, darkness and heat),
grim and groundless. God himself has swept us away
into the black mists. Although he cannot impart to us any sin,
or any injury we have done him in that realm—
still he has deprived us of the light and cast us down
into the most of all torments. Nor can we make revenge,
or repay him with any injury since he has deprived us of the light. (389-94)
"He has now set apart this middle-earth,
where he has wrought man according to
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