Caedmon (600 - 670 / England)
Genesis BK XV
(ll. 872-881) And straightway God made answer unto him: "Tell me,
My son, why stealest thou away into the darkness with shame?
Thou didst not formerly feel shame before Me, but only joy.
Wherefore art thou humbled and abashed, knowing sorrow, covering
thy body with leaves, sad of heart and wretched in thy woe,
saying thou needest clothing, except thou hast eaten of the fruit
of the tree which I forbade thee?"
(ll. 882-886) And Adam again made answer: "My Lord! this woman,
this lovely maid, gave me the fruit into my hand, and I took it
in trespass against Thee. And now I clearly bear the token upon
me and know the more of sorrow."
(ll. 887-895) Then Almighty God questioned Eve: "Of what avail,
My daughter, were My abundant blessings, the new-created Paradise
and pleasant growing things, that thou shouldest stretch thy
hands with yearning unto the tree, and pluck the apples growing
on its boughs, and eat the deadly fruit in trespass against Me,
and give to Adam, when by My word it was forbidden to you both?"
(ll. 895-902) And the lovely woman, put to shame, made answer:
"The serpent, the deadly snake, with fair words tempted me, and
eagerly enticed me to that deed of sin and evil appetite, until I
basely did the deed and wrought the wrong, despoiled the tree
within the wood, as was not right, and ate the fruit."
(ll. 903-905) Then our Saviour, the Almighty Lord, decreed unto
the serpent, the guilty snake, an endless wandering, and said:
(ll. 906-917) "All thy life upon thy belly shalt thou go to and
fro upon the fields of the broad earth, accursed, so long as life
and spirit dwell within thee. Dust shalt thou eat all the days
of thy life for the grievous evil thou hast wrought. The woman
shall loathe and hate thee under heaven. Her foot shall crush
thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel anew. There shall be
strife between your seed for ever, while the world standeth under
heaven. Now thou knowest clearly, thou foul tempter, what thy
life shall be."
Comments about this poem (Genesis BK XV by Caedmon )
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