Caedmon

Genesis BK VIII

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(ll. 389-400) "But now we suffer throes of hell, fire and
darkness, bottomless and grim. God hath thrust us out into the
black mists. He cannot charge upon us any sin or evil wrought
against Him in His realm! Yet hath He robbed us of the light and
cast us into utter woe. Nor may we take revenge, nor do Him any
evil because He stripped us of the light. He hath marked out the
borders of the world, and there created man in His own image,
with whom He hopes again to people heaven, with pure souls. We
needs must ponder earnestly to wreak this grudge on Adam, if we
may, and on his children, and thwart His will if so we may
devise.

(ll. 401-407) "No longer have I any hope of light wherein He
thinketh long to joy, in bliss among His angel hosts; nor may we
ever bring this thing to pass, that we should change the purpose
of Almighty God. Let us therefore turn the heavenly kingdom from
the sons of men, since we may not possess it, cause them to lose
His favour and turn aside from the command He laid upon them.
Then shall His wrath be kindled, and He shall cast them out from
grace. They shall seek out hell and its grim gulf, and in this
heavy bondage we may have the sons of men to serve us.

(ll. 408-424) "Begin now and plan this enterprise. If ever in
olden days, when happily we dwelt in that good kingdom, and held
possession of our thrones, I dealt out princely treasure to any
thane, he could not make requital for my gifts at any better time
than now, if some one of my thanes would be my helper, escaping
outward through these bolted gates, with strength to wing his way
on high where, new-created, Adam and Eve, surrounded with
abundance, dwell on earth -- and we are cast out hither in this
deep abyss. They are now much dearer unto God, and own the high
estate and rightful realm which we should have in heaven! Good
fortune is allotted to mankind.

(ll. 425-437) "My soul is sorrowful within me, my heart is sore,
that they should hold the heavenly realm for ever. But if in any
wise some one of you could bring them to forsake God's word and
teaching, soon would they be less pleasing unto Him! If they
break His commandment, then will His wrath be kindled. Their
high estate shall vanish; their sin shall have requital, and some
grim penalty. Take thought now how ye may ensnare them. I shall
rest softly in these chains if they lose heaven. Whoso shall
bring this thing to pass shall have reward for ever, of all that
we may win to our advantage, amid these flames.

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