Treasure Island

Caedmon

(600 - 670 / England)

Genesis BK VII


(ll. 322-336) The other fiends who waged so fierce a war with God
lay wrapped in flames. They suffer torment, hot and surging
flame in the midst of hell, broad-stretching blaze of fire and
bitter smoke, darkness and gloom, because they broke allegiance
unto God. Their folly and the angel's pride deceived them. They
would not heed the word of God. Great was their punishment!
They fell, through folly and through pride, to fiery depths of
flame in hell. They sought another home devoid of light and
filled with fire -- a mighty flaming death. The fiends perceived
that through the might of God, because of their presumptuous
hearts and boundless insolence, they had won a measureless woe.

(ll. 337-355) Then spake their haughty king, who formerly was
fairest of the angels, most radiant in heaven, beloved of his
Leader and dear unto his Lord, until they turned to folly, and
Almighty God was moved to anger at their wantonness, and hurled
him down to depths of torment on that bed of death. He named him
with a name, and said their leader should be called from
thenceforth Satan. He bade him rule the black abyss of hell in
place of striving against God. Satan spake -- who now must needs
have charge of hell and dwell in the abyss -- in bitterness he
spake who once had been God's angel, radiant-hued in heaven,
until his pride and boundless arrogance betrayed him, so that he
would not do the bidding of the Lord of hosts. Bitterness was
welling in his heart; and round him blazed his cruel torment.
These words he spake:

(ll. 355-367) "This narrow place is little like those other
realms we knew, on high in heaven, allotted by my Lord, though
the Almighty hath not granted us to hold our state, or rule our
kingdom. He hath done us wrong to hurl us to the fiery depths of
hell, and strip us of our heavenly realm. He hath ordained that
human kind shall settle there. That is my greatest grief that
Adam -- wrought of earth -- should hold my firm-set throne and
live in joy, while we endure this bitter woe in hell.

(ll. 368-388) "Alas! could I but use my hands and have my
freedom for an hour, one winter hour, then with this host I would
-- But bands of iron crush me down, the bondage of my chains is
heavy. I am stripped of my dominion. Firmly are hell's fetters
forged upon me. Above me and below a blaze of fire! Never have
I seen a realm more fatal -- flame unassuaged that surges over
hell. Ensnaring links and heavy shackles hold me. My ways are
trammelled up; my feet are bound; my hands are fastened. Closed
are the doors of hell, the way cut off. I may not escape out of
my bonds, but mighty gyves of tempered iron, hammered hot, press
hard upon me. God hath set His foot upon my neck. So I know the
Lord of hosts hath read the purpose of my heart, and knew full
well that strife would grow between our host and Adam over the
heavenly realm, had I the freedom of my hands.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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