… to the king.
You are the wall-stone that the stonewrights
once rejected from their labors. It suits you
that you should be the capital of the glorious hall,
and you gather up the capacious walls,
with fixed joint and stone unbroken,
so that throughout all earthly cities,
by the sight of the eyes, all men
can marvel forever at the Lord of Glory.
Manifest now through your skillful craft
the work of your own, sooth-fast, victor-bright,
and allow wall to meet wall at once.
Now there is need for the building
for the Architect and the King himself to come
and make amends to that which is fallen
to disrepair, the house under its roof.
He shaped the body and its limbs of clay—
now shall the Lord of Life deliver the wearied heap
from his wrath, the wretched from their terrors,
just as he often has done. (1-17)
O, you are the Reckoner and the Rightful King,
who keeps the stronghold, revealing life
and the lofty ways to the blessed, withholding
the lovely lanes of desire to those others,
if their deeds are not sufficient.
Indeed we speak these words needfully
and praise the one who shaped mankind—
[damage to the manuscript obliterates most of a line]
the condition of the careful, we who sit
sorrowing in prison—
We expect the sun, the moment when
the Life-Lord reveals the light to us,
becoming protection for us in our minds,
and winding up our frail wits in glory.
Make us worthy—
who admits us into magnificence,
when we must depart miserably
into this narrow place,
beshorn of our homeland.
Therefore one can say,
who speaks truthfully to you,
that he delivered the tribe of men,
who were once perverted.
It was through a young woman,
a maiden without wickedness,
who he chose to be his mother.
That was done without the love of a man,
so that the lady became large
with the bearing of a child.
Nothing could compare to this,
before or since, arising in the world,
this woman’s yearning—
that was a secret, the Lord’s mystery.
All spiritual gifts will pervade
the regions of the earth—
where many wise men were enlightened,
their enduring teachings through the Origin of Life,
which before lay hidden beneath the grave,
and the wordy songs of the prophets,
when the Wielder came, he who amplifies
the mystery of every statement
of those who, through active state
eagerly wish to extol the Shaper’s name. (18-49)
Hail sight of peace, holy Jerusalem
best of national thrones, land of cities of Christ,
the center of the angels’ homeland—
and in you alone the souls of the soothfast
may find their rest, exultant in your glories.
Never shall a slightest symbol of sin
be revealed in that dwelling-place,
but each and every fault shall far turn aside,
wickedness and strife.
You are replete in every glory,
the holy expectation,
just as you are named —
See now for yourself:
looking around every corner
throughout this wide creation
and the roomy roof of the heavens—
how the King of the Skies
seeks a journey in you
and arrives himself—
how he takes his abode in you,
as the wisely fixed prophets
told it before long ago.
They revealed the birth of Christ,
speaking to you as a comfort,
most excellent of all cities.
Now is the child come,
born as an amendment,
to the sins of the Hebrews.
He brings bliss to you,
loosing your bonds
compelled upon you
in malice. He knows
the pressing necessity,
how the wretched
must await mercy. (50-70)
Hail joy of women through the triumph of glory,
the most noble of virgins across every corner of the earth
that sea-dwelling men have ever heard spoken of—
relate to us the mysteries which came to you from the heavens;
how you ever took on your increasing, through the birthing of a child,
never knowing any kind of coupling that the minds of men
would understand. Truly we have never learned
of anything like this happening in the days gone by,
that you should take hold of this in your unique grace,
nor need we look that event occurring any time ahead.
Indeed that troth indwells within you worthily,
now that you have borne that glory majestic
within your breast, and your mighty maidenhead
was not destroyed. And as all children of men
have sown in their sorrows, so they will soon reap—
conception is a killing to them.
So spoke the Blessed Virgin, sainted Mary
filled always with her victory:
“What is this wonderment at which you all
stand amazed, and mourning lament your cares,
O son of Salem and his daughter too?
Curious, you inquire how I kept my virgin state
and its warding hand and also became the mother
of the famous Measurer’s Son. However,
this is not a mystery knowable by men,
yet Christ revealed how in the kinswoman
dear to David that the sin of Eve is wholly turned aside,
her curse cast down, and the weaker kind glorified.
A hope is taken up so that a blessing may abide
in both men and women together, now
and always for all time to come in the highest
delight of angels with the True Father.” (71-103)
Hail shining ray! Hail brightest of angels
and illumination of the soothfast sun
sent over middle-earth to all mankind,
more brilliant than the stars—always
you light up every season of your own self!
As you, God born readily from God,
Son of the True Father, were ever
without beginning in the glory of the sky,
so now needfully your own creation
abides you faithfully, so that you send us
the bright sun, and that you come yourself
to illuminate those who for the longest time,
shrouded in shadow and in darkness here,
reside in the everlasting night—
enfolded in our sins, they have had to endure
the dark shadows of death.
Now we joyously believe in salvation
brought to the many by the word of God,
who at the start was the Father Almighty,
eternal even with God, and now become again
flesh without sin, that the virgin birthed
as a comfort to the miserable.
God was among us, seen without sins—
they dwelt together: the mighty Son of the Measurer
and the Child of Man both, concordant
among humankind. We may tell our thanks
perpetually according to his desert,
because he wished to send us himself. (104-29)
O God of Spirits, how wisely
you were named by the name
Emmanuel, as the angel
first spoke it in Hebrew!
That is readily translated
generously in its mysteries:
“Now is the Warden of Heaven,
God himself among us!”
So the men of old many years ago
the King of All Kings,
just as the clean priest as well,
the most famous of all,
Melchisedech wise in spirit once
revealed the divine majesty
of the Eternal All-Wielding God.
He was the bringer of the law,
the teacher of holy lessons
to those hoping for a long time
for the hither-coming,
just as was foretold to him,
that the Son of the Measurer
himself would cleanse
the citizens of the earth,
and likewise seek out
a journey to the deep as well
by the power of his spirit.
Now they bide in their bonds
patiently for the Bairn of God
to come to the chary.
Enfeebled by their agonies,
therefore they call out thus:
“Now come to us yourself,
High-King of Heaven.
Bring us the life of salvation,
the weary thralls of torment,
worn out by our weeping,
with bitter tears of burning salt.
The cure for our pressing need
lies with you alone.
Search here for these
and do not leave us behind you,
when you come here again,
a multitude so massive,
but reveal to us regally
your mercies, Christ the Savior,
Nobleman of Glory,
nor allow those cursed ones
to keep power over us.
Bequeath us eternal joys
your own glories,
that we may praise you,
Glory-King of Armies,
which you once worked
with your own hands.
In the lofty heights
you shall abide forever
with the Sovereign Father. (130-63)
“O my Joseph, son of Jacob, kin of David
the most famous of kings! Must you now
separate yourself so firmly from my affection,
renouncing my love?”
“I am quickly seized in deep offense at you,
bereaved of my reputation, because I have heard
many words of harm about you, broad sorrows
and painful words, and they speak insults to me,
many many wounding allegations.
I must pour forth many tears in a miserable mind.
God can easily heal the heart-sorrows in my head
and comfort the meagerly endowed.
Alas young virigin, my maiden Mary!”
“What are you mourning,
crying out so carefully?”
“I have never found any fault in you,
nor any reason to doubt you,
no deeds of defilement, and now you speak
these words to me when you are filled
with every sort of sin and crime.”
“I too have received many hurts
from this child-bearing state.”
“How can I forgive this hateful speech
or find any answer in reply to the wrathful?
It is widely known that I took on
from the bright temple of the Lord
a free-born and clean virgin, without blot,
and now everything has changed
by I don’t know who—
“Neither course avails me at all,
to speak up or to be silent.
If I tell the truth then
the daughter of David must die,
losing her life through stones.
The situation is even stronger
if I should cover up her crime—
the perjurer must live afterwards
hated by all peoples, abominated by men.”
Then the virgin revealed the righteous
mysteries, and spoke thus:
“I shall speak the truth by the Son of the Measurer,
the Helper of Souls, that I still know nothing
of the caresses of any man in any place on earth,
but it was granted to me, youthful in the yard,
that the high-angel of heaven,
Gabriel gave me greeting.
“He spoke to me soothfully that the Spirit of the Skies
would illuminate me with light, and the life’s
majesty I must bear forth, the Bright Son,
the powerful Child of God, the Brilliant Origin of Glory.
Now I am made into his temple without stain,
and inside me the Soul of Comfort indwells.
Now abandon all sorrowful thoughts of pain.
“Speak your neverending thanks
to the famous Son of the Measurer
that I am become his mother,
though still a virgin, and that you
will be called his worldly father
in the eyes of men—this prophecy
must be realized in his own person.” (164-213)
Hail Almighty Christ,
peaceable and true
King of All Kings!
Before every majesty
of the entire world
you were conceived
becoming a child
with your Glory-Father
by his craft and his might!
There is now no nobleman
under the windy sky,
no perspicacious man,
that he can speak of this
to sea-dwelling men,
or righteously relate
how the Holder of Heaven
in the beginning
as his free-born son.
Of the many things
that the kindred of men
have frained among the folk,
what first happened
under the heavens
at the start of the world,
was that Wise God,
the Starting-Point of Life,
light and shadow,
and the power
of judgment was his,
and the Lord of Hosts
ordained this subtle thing:
“Let there become
light from now, evermore
until the end of the world,
a sparkling joy
to all that live
which will be born
in their generation.”
And it happened at once,
when it should be so—
the tribes of men,
brilliant among the stars,
after the arrival
of the proper time.
He established himself
that you were his Son
dwelling at the same instant
with your Solitary Lord
before any of this
You are the wisdom
which created everything
of this spacious creation,
along with the Sovereign.
Therefore there is no one
nor so mind-crafty
that can clearly affirm
to the children of men.
Warden of Victories,
Measurer of Mankind,
fixed in grace
reveal to us here
There is in all of us
a great desire to be allowed
your mother’s kindred,
the righteous mystery,
since we cannot at all
explain any farther
your father’s descent.
Make joyous this middle-earth
mildly through your
coming here, Savior Christ—
command those golden gates
to be opened wide,
which have in days of old,
for a very long time,
stood closed fast,
Highest Lord of Heaven—
and seek us out
through your own arrival
humbly to the earth.
There is need of your mercies!
The cursed wolf,
the beast of death’s shadow,
has brought your flock,
O Lord, to naught,
scattering them widely.
The sheep, my Sovereign,
you bought before
with your blood
which the baleful foe
and takes them captive
over the urging
of our desires.
Therefore we, Savior,
entreat you earnestly
with our breasts’ thoughts
that you quickly render us
assistance, weary wretches,
so that the tormenting slayer
may tumble into abjection
to the depths of hell,
and the work of your hands,
Shaper of Heroes,
may arise and arrive
at the right,
into that upward
and noble kingdom,
whence the dark ghast
drew us apart and seduced us
through our sinful lust,
so that we, lacking glory,
must suffer misery
forever without end,
Eternal Lord, the Living God,
Helmet of All Creatures,
wish to defend us
from the destroyer of peoples. (214-74)
O you are the most famous of middle-earth,
the cleanest queen across the earth—
of those who have been to the ends of life—
how rightfully all speech-bearing men
all over the world, call you and say,
with a blithe mind, that you should be
the bride of the best Dispenser of the Skies.
Likewise, the highest in the heavens,
the thanes of Christ, call out and sing
with holy might that you should be
the lady of the glorious armies,
and of the worldly-kinds, the orders
under heaven, and the denizens of hell also.
Because you alone of all humans,
bold-thinking, gloriously conceived
that you would bring your maiden-head
before the Measurer, giving it to him without sin.
No one like this has been found
no one else among all humankind,
no woman adorned with rings,
who offered this shining gift
afterwards with a pure heart,
to the heavenly hue.
Therefore the First of Victories
ordered his high-herald to fly here
from his majestic might and swiftly
reveal the magnitude of his power,
that you were to conceive
the Son of the Lord through a pure pregnancy
as a mercy to mankind, and you, Mary,
could keep yourself ever afterward
We have also heard that, a certain prophet
soothfast in the days of yore long ago—
he was Isaiah—said this about you:
that he was taken away so he could be shown
the station of life in that eternal home.
Then the prophet so fixed in his wisdom
looked over that inhabited place
until he stared where a noble entryway
was established. The huge door
was bound all over with precious treasure,
girded with amazing braces.
He was convinced that no human
could ever heave up such a fixed bolt
in all eternity, or unlock the fastening
of that city’s gate—before an angel of God
with thoughts of gladness unraveled
that puzzle and spoke these words:
“I can say to you that it will come true:
that God himself, by the power of his Spirit,
the Father Almighty will at a moment to come
shall sanctify these golden gates
and seek out the earth through these fastened locks—
they will stand behind him for eternity,
always and in perpetuity, so closed up
so that no other, except the Savior God,
shall unlock them ever again.”
Now it is fulfilled what the wise man
saw there with his own eyes—
you are the door in the wall,
through which the Wielding Lord
made his journey alone to the earth,
and even so Christ Almighty found you,
adorned with powers, pure and choice.
So the Prince of Angels, Dispenser of Life,
locked you up behind him with his limb-key,
again unblemished by any thing.
Show us now the grace which the angel brought you,
the message-bearer of God, Gabriel.
Indeed the city-dwellers beg you for this,
that you should reveal comfort for the people,
your own son. Afterwards we may be allowed
to celebrate all with a single heart
when we look upon the bairn upon your breast.
Plead for us with your courageous words
so that he will no longer abandon us
in any wise in this deadly valley,
to heed the words of the betrayer,
but instead ferry us into the Father’s realm,
where we without sorrow may afterwards
dwell in glory with the God of Hosts. (275-347)
Hail holy Lord of the Heavens,
you were coeval with your father
of old in that excellent home.
There were no angels yet made,
none of that ample and powerful majesty
which administer the realm
up in the heavens,
the splendid palace of the Prince
and his body of thanes,
when you first established
yourself along with the Eternal Lord
and this spacious creation,
the broad and abundant earth.
For both of you in common
is the High-Spirit fast in its shelter.
We all pray to you, Savior Christ,
in all humility that you hear
the voice of the hostages,
your constrained captives,
preserving God, how we are all
oppressed by our own yearning.
The exiled kindred, the cursed ghasts
have constrained us cruelly,
the hell-harmers full of hate,
binding us with ropes of many harms.
The cure belongs to you
alone, Eternal Lord.
Help the body-sorrowing,
so that your hither-coming
might comfort the destitute,
although we have made a feud
against you with our lust
for every sort of crime.
Be merciful to your servants,
consider our miseries,
how we totter with a feeble mind,
wander about abjectly.
Come now, King of Warriors,
and do not tarry too long.
There is a need for your mercy—
that you should redeem us
and grant us the soothfast
grace of your salvation,
so that we may henceforth
prosper the better
in your fellowship
at your will. (348-77)
Hail the divine and dignified,
high and holy, heaven-kindly Trinity,
blessed across the broad and abundant plains,
who the speech-bearers, the dejected earth-dwellers
must by rights praise highly with all their means,
now that the pledge-fast God has revealed to us
the Savior so that we are able to understand him.
Therefore they, deed-brave, have been endowed
with glory, so that the soothfast kindred of the Seraphim,
glorying upwards among the angels forever,
unwearying they sing of majesty very loftily
with a loud voice, fair to all far and near.
They hold an office most choice with their king—
and Christ granted it to them, so that they might
brook his presence at the table in their eyes
for ever and ever, adorned with the sky,
worthying the Wielder widely and broadly,
and with their wings ward over the face
of the Lord Almighty, the Eternal Ruler,
and about the princely seat they eagerly throng—
whichever of them can bounce in flight
nearest to our Savior in those peaceful yards.
They adore the Dear One and in dazzling light
they call these words to him, glorifying
the noble Originator of all creation:
“Holy you are, holy, Lord of the High-Angels,
True Power of Victories, always you shall be holy,
Lord of All Lords! Always shall your splendor
abide, earthly among mankind—through all time
widely worthied. You are the God of Armies,
because you filled both earth and heaven,
Shelter of Warriors, with your glories,
Helmet of All Creatures!
Let there be in the heights eternal salvation,
and praises on the earth, bright among the warriors.
You are blessed dearly, who came to the multitudes
in the name of the Lord, as a comfort to the abject.
May you be the eternal praises of the lofty heavens
forever without end.” (378-415)
Hail and behold! What a marvelous exchange
in the lives of men, that the Gentle Shaper
of humankind should take up sinless flesh
in a woman, who knows naught
of the caress of a man, nor did the Owner of Victories
come through the seed of any man on earth—
but it was a keener craft than all the earth-dwellers
could comprehend due to its mysterious nature.
How he, Triumph of the Skies, High-Lord of Heaven,
effected help for humankind through his mother’s womb.
And so going forth, the Savior of the People
deals out every day his forgiveness as a help
to men, the Lord of Hosts. Therefore let us
praise him faithfully and vigorously
in our words and deeds. It is a lofty counsel
in every person that always keeps the memory,
that most often, most inwardly, and most eagerly
that they should honor God.
He shall reward them with recompense
of his love, the hallowed Savior himself,
even in the homeland where had never come,
in the delights of the land of the living,
where he shall blessedly afterwards abide,
and inhabit to the fullness of life
without end. Amen. (416-39)