They began in the dawning, the high-born tribe,
to prepare him as a youth—they knew the assembly of men
had covered the nobleman’s body within an earth-hall. (1-3)

The weary women wished to bemoan in weeping
the death of their lord for one moment,
bewailing him mournfully.  His resting-place was cooling,
painful was his proceeding—the heroes were headstrong,
those who were found blithe-minded among the boulders. (4-8)

Mary the mourning came in the dawn’s crashing,
the earls’ daughter called them with  the others.
Two sorrowing ladies sought the Victory-Child of God
alone in the earth-hall where they knew earlier
that the heroes of Judea had hidden him,
believing that he must wait in that grave,
alone all  that Easter night. Indeed those women
knew of this other matter, the ones who turned onto the road! (9-16)

Yet there came in the dawning a single company of angels,
surrounding the joy of the many, the city of the Savior.
Open was the earth-hall, the body of the nobleman
seized the spirit of life, the earth quaking,
laughing dwellers of hell—that bachelor awakened,
proud from the dirt, mighty majesty arising
victory-fast and wise. Saint John said that
the hero spoke laughing unto the devils of hell,
mindful to the many about his kinsfolk’s…
“Our savior has said to me, the one who wished
to send me on this adventure,
so that he sought me… six months,
the start of all folk. Now… shaken.
I believe adamantly and am certain…
… by daylight, the lord wishes
… to seek, the Victory-Child of God.” (17-32)

Then the Master of Mankind hurried to the journey—
the Helmet of Heaven wished to break down
and humiliate the hell-walls, to hurl down
the majesty of that capital, cruelest of all kings. (33-6)

Nor did he care about the warfaring of the helm-bearers,
nor he wish to lead byrnie-fighters unto those city-gates,
yet the locks fell down, the chains from the castrum—
the king rode onwards, the Leader of All Peoples
rushed forth, the Glorious Grace of Armies. (37-42a)

The exiled wretches thronged, every one of them
who were allowed to see that Victory-Child,
Adam and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
many mindful earls, Moses and David,
Isaiah and Zacharias—
many of the high-fathers, likewise an assembly of heroes,
an army of wise men,  a company of women,
many many virgins, an uncountable people. (42b-9)

Then John saw the Victory-Child of God
coming to hell amid that high-born host,
perceiving then the miserable mission of God himself.
He saw the doors of hell shining brightly,
locked long before—
shrouded in shadows—
that thane was joyful. (50-5)

Then the bold beginning of the burg-dwellers called out,
mindful before the multitude, and he spoke
to his kinsfolk, greeting him with words of welcome: (56-8)

“Thanks be yours, Prince of ours,
for wishing to seek us out…
Now we [must] abide bound in bonds
when the many were tied brother-less,
outcasts … —he was widely stained—
He will never be wrapped up so closely
so bitterly under malicious closure,
within these killing chains,
so that he could not keep his courage so easily.
Then he trusts the kindness of his lord
so that he wishes to be redeemed from these bonds. (59-68)

“And so we all believe in you alone
my dear lord. I have suffered many things
since you have wandered to your end in me,
when you gave to me sword and byrnie,
helmet and war-tackle—I always held them yet—
and you revealed to me, Joy of Kingly Hosts,
that you were the bearer of my defense.” (69-75)

“Lo Gabriel! How sharp and keen you are,
mild and mindful and meek,
wise in your wits and canny in your words! (76-8)

“You revealed that when you brought
that bairn to us in Bethlehem.
We have waited so long,
set in our sorrows, desiring amity,
hopes and joys, when we heard
the Word of God speaking through his own mouth. (79-83)

“Lo Mary! How you conceived
a proud king for us, when you brought
that child to us in Bethlehem.
We must await in chains, trembling thus
beneath the doors of savage hell.
The slayer of deeds rejoices—
our elder foes were entirely exulting
when they heard how we grieved…
mourning our kindred citadel
until… the Victorious Lord God 
…. Now a mindful man gives us
to you from our youth. By a voracious mind,
should we betray ourselves; therefore we bear
that sin within our breast unto the slayer’s hand,
we must also pray to our enemies for peace. (84-98)

“Lo Jerusalem in Judea!
How you abide steadfast in the place!
Your earth-dwellers are not allowed to traverse you
entirely alive, when they sing your praises.
Lo Jordan in Judea!
How you abide steadfast in the place!
You are not at all allowed to flow over
the earth-dwellers, who brook your waters with delight. (99-106)

“Now I entreat you, our Savior,
deep in tribulations—you are the Lord Christ—
to be merciful to us, Shaper of Men.
You sought your mother’s bosom yourself
out of love for men, Victorious Lord God,
not at all out your own need, Sovereign of Nations,
but because of your mercy that you often
revealed to mankind, when they needed grace. (107-14)

“You could enclose all the seats of the people,
likewise you could count up, Lord of the Realm,
the sands of the sea-floor, best of all kings. (115-7)

“Likewise I entreat you, our Savior,
for your childhood, best of kings,
and for those wounds, Lord of Hosts
… your rising, Joy of Noblemen,
and for your … name (118-22)

“Then all the hell-dwellers praised and lauded you
… where they stood around you,
when you should let your hand rest,
then you wished to seek us out on this exile-path,
Lord of Hosts, by your own authority,
and for Jerusalem in Judea—
even yet that city must await your second coming now,
O Praised Prince— and for the Jordan in Judea—
we both bathed in that stream together. (123-32)

“You may sprinkle with these waters,
Lord of Hosts, with a blithe heart,
all the dwellers of this city,
likewise both you and John the Baptist
upon the Jordan were inspired fairly by that baptism
all this middle-earth. May thanks always be the Lord’s!” (133-7)