Okay — an aged counsellor spoke to me
in days gone by, a wise messenger, of many unique wonders.
He unwrapped his word-hoard, witty of lesson,
a warrior learned of books, of prophetic sayings,
so that I could afterwards understand
by those incantations God’s own son:
“A cherished guest in the habitations,
and the weaker just the same,
deprived of all sins, reasonable in the advisor.
Every man can suppose that quite easily,
he who does not allow himself to be defiled
in his thoughts in this loaned time,
a glutton of the mind and in the count
of his days drunken with power,
Then many holding assembly are proud
war-smiths in their wine-drenched towns—
they are sitting at the feast, urging true verses,
changing up their words, hastening the wisemen
every place of spears within their halls
abiding among men, then wine whets them,
the breast-souls of warrior. Voices mount high,
a tumult in the band, all sorts of noise shall rise up.
So the minds become separated into parts,
lordly men are all unalike. Some into over-mind
closing in forcefully, swelling within him,
a mind knowing no bounds—too many are like that!
Envy will chop them all down,
with the flying spears of the enemy,
with treacherous machinations—
it is roasted and it cries out, it boasts
greatly about itself when the better man
thinks that every one of his ways seem
wholly beyond reproach. There will be another outcome
when that man is shown the results of his fault.
He skews his words and deceives, he dreams up
many hooked devices—he releases his mind-spears
shooting forth in showers. He knows not his crimes,
the sins he has done—he despises his betters,
the nobles from spite, loosing arrows of treachery
break through the fortress wall, the defenses
that the Measurer commanded that he keep well,
sitting feast-fat, overwhelmed by wine,
letting go cunning words to travel forth,
thronging with quarrel, puffed up with pride,
kindled with malice, full of overweening,
with spiteful enticements. Now you could know
if you have met such a thane abiding in his habitation,
understand by these few pronouncements
what the child of the enemy, taken up in flesh,
has in his prideful life, a spirit hurrying to ground,
destitute of God, the King of Glory.”
That wise man sang, the word-ready warrior,
and he retold this legend: “He who elevates himself
in this perilous moment through his overmastering pride,
heaving up his lofty spirit, he must be humbled
after his passing journey, crushed down low,
dwelling fixed in torments, encompassed with serpents.
That happened many years ago in God’s realm
that overweening mounted high among the angels,
the struggle of the far-famed. They heaved up a crime,
a severe expedition, polluting the heavens,
despising their betters, those that thought too deceitfully
to rob the power of the regal throne from the Majestic King,
as was not right, and then set themselves over
that delightful land of glory, upon their own judgment.
That fate the Father of First-Creation resisted them in war—
that struggle became too grim for them.
Then he who will be unlike the others here on earth
will dwell humbly, and with any of his brothers
he always keeps concord among the people
and loves his enemy, though he often made offense
against him, with his desires in this world.
He will be allowed to mount up from here
the joys of glory into the hope of holiness
in the yards of angels. Nor can it be for those others,
him who live in laughter through wicked deeds
in overweening pride, nor will their rewards be alike
with the Glory-King.” Understand by these words,
if you encounter a humble earl, a thane in his tribe,
who will always be gathered in his spirit,
God’s own child, pleasant in this world—
if this wise man does not lie to me.
Therefore we must always, considering the counsel
of safety, remember in our mind
with all of these words the greatest Sovereign of Victories.