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Genesis BK XIII

ll. 684-703) Long she pled, and urged him all the day to that
dark deed, to disobey their Lord's command. Close stood the evil
fiend, inflaming with desire, luring with wiles, and boldly
tempting him. The fiend stood near at hand who on that fatal
mission had come a long, long way. He planned to hurl men down
to utter death, mislead them and deceive them, that they might
lose the gift of God, His favour and their heavenly realm. Lo!
well the hell-fiend knew they must endure God's anger and the
pains of hell, suffer grim misery and woe, since they had broken
God's commandment, when with his lying words he tricked the
beauteous maid, fairest of women, unto that deed of folly, so
that she spake according to his will; and aided her in tempting
unto evil the handiwork of God.

(ll. 704-716) Over and over the fairest of women pled with Adam,
until she began to incline his heart so that he trusted the
command the woman laid upon him. All this she did with good
intent, and knew not that so many evils, such grim afflictions,
would come upon mankind, when she was moved to hearken to the
counsels of the evil herald; but she hoped to win God's favour by
her words, showing such token and such pledge of truth unto the
man, that the mind of Adam was changed within his breast, and his
heart began to bend according to her will.

(ll. 717-726) From the woman he took both death and hell,
although it did not bear these names, but bore the name of fruit.

The sleep of death and fiends' seduction; death and hell and
exile and damnation -- these were the fatal fruit whereon they
feasted. And when the apple worked within him and touched his
heart, then laughed aloud the evilhearted fiend, capered about,
and gave thanks to his lord for both:

(ll. 726-749) "Now have I won thy promised favour, and wrought
thy will! For many a day to come is man undone, Adam and Eve!
God's wrath shall be heavy upon them, for they have scorned His
precepts and commandments. Wherefore they may no longer hold
their heavenly kingdom, but they must travel the dark road to
hell. Thou needest not feel sorrow in thy heart, as thou liest
in thy bonds, nor mourn in spirit that men should dwell in heaven
above, while we now suffer misery and pain in realms of darkness,
and through thy pride have lost our high estate in heaven and
goodly dwellings. God's anger was kindled against us because in
heaven we would not bow our heads in service before the Holy
Lord. It pleased us not to serve Him. Then was God moved to
wrath and hard of heart, and drove us into hell; cast a great
host into hell-fire, and with His hands prepared again in heaven
celestial thrones, and gave that kingdom to mankind.

(ll. 750-762) "Blithe be thy heart within thy breast! For here
to-day are two things come to pass: the sons of men shall lose
their heavenly kingdom, and journey unto thee to burn in flame;
also heart-sorrow and affliction are visited on God. Whatever
death we suffer here is now repaid on Adam in the wrath of God
and man's damnation and the pangs of death. Therefore my heart
is healed, my soul untrammelled in my breast. All our injuries
are now avenged, and all the evil that we long have suffered.
Now will I plunge again into the flame, and seek out Satan, where
he lieth in hell's shadows, bound with chains."

(ll. 762-769) Then the foul fiend sank downward to the wide-flung
flames and gates of hell wherein his lord lay bound. But Adam
and Eve were wretched in their hearts; sad were the words that
passed between them. They feared the anger of the Lord their
God; they dreaded the wrath of the King of heaven. They knew
that His command was broken.

(ll. 770-790) The woman mourned and wept in sorrow (she had
forfeited God's grace and broken His commandment) when she beheld
the radiance disappear which he who brought this evil on them had
showed her by a faithless token, that they might suffer pangs of
hell and untold woe. Wherefore heartsorrow burned within their
breasts. Husband and wife they bowed them down in prayer,
beseeching God and calling on the Lord of heaven, and prayed that
they might expiate their sin, since they had broken God's
commandment. They saw that their bodies were naked. In that
land they had as yet no settled home, nor knew they aught of pain
or sorrow; but they might have prospered in the land if they had
done God's will. Many a rueful word they uttered, husband and
wife together. And Adam spake unto Eve and said:

(ll. 791-820) "O Eve! a bitter portion hast thou won us! Dost
thou behold the yawning gulf of hell, sunless, insatiate? Thou
mayest hear the groans that rise therefrom! The heavenly realm
is little like that blaze of fire! Lo! fairest of all lands is
this, which we, by God's grace, might have held hadst thou not
hearkened unto him who urged this evil, so that we set at naught
the word of God, the King of heaven. Now in grief we mourn that
evil mission! For God Himself bade us beware of sin and dire
disaster. Now thirst and hunger press upon my heart whereof we
formerly were ever free. How shall we live or dwell now in this
land if the wind blow from the west or east, south or north, if
mist arise and showers of hail beat on us from the heavens, and
frost cometh, wondrous cold, upon the earth, or, hot in heaven,
shineth the burning sun, and we two stand here naked and
unclothed? We have no shelter from the weather, nor any store of
food. And the Mighty Lord, our God, is angry with us. What
shall become of us? Now I repent me that I prayed the God of
heaven, the Gracious Lord, and of my limbs He wrought thee for my
helpmeet, since thou hast led me unto evil and the anger of my
Lord. Well may I repent to all eternity that ever I beheld thee
with mine eyes!"

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004


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