Caedmon

(600 - 670 / England)

Genesis BK XX


(ll. 1248-1254) Then the sons of God began to take them wives
from the tribe of Cain, a cursed folk, and the sons of men chose
them wives from among that people, the fair and winsome daughters
of that sinful race, against the will of God. Then the Lord of
heaven lifted up His voice in wrath against mankind, and said:

(ll. 1255-1262) "Lo! I have not been unmindful of the sons of
men, but the tribe of Cain hath sorely angered Me. The sons of
Seth have stirred My wrath against them; they have taken them
wives from among the daughters of My foes. Woman's beauty and
woman's grace and the eternal fiend have taken hold upon this
people who dwelt of old in peace."

(ll. 1263-1284) An hundred and twenty numbered winters in the
world that fated folk were busied in evil. Then the Lord
resolved to punish those faithless spirits, and slay the sinful
giant sons, undear to God, those huge, unholy scathers, loathsome
to the Lord. The King of victory beheld how great was the
wickedness of men on earth, and saw that they were bold in sin
and full of wiles. He resolved to bring destruction on the
tribes of men, and smite mankind with heavy hand. It repented
Him exceedingly that He had made man, and the first of men, when
He created Adam. He said that for the sins of men He would lay
waste the earth, and all that was upon the earth, destroying
every living thing that breathed the breath of life. All this
would the Lord destroy in the days that were coming on the sons
of men.

(ll. 1285-1295) But Noah, the son of Lamech, was good and dear to
God, exceeding blessed, just and meek. And the Lord knew that
virtue flourished in the heart of Noah. Wherefore God, the Holy
Lord of every creature, spake unto Noah, declaring His wrath and
vengeance on the sons of men. For He saw that the earth was full
of wickedness, and its broad and fertile meadows filled with sin
and defiled with uncleanness. And the Lord our God spake unto
Noah, and said:

(ll. 1296-1313) "I will destroy this people with a flood, man and
every living thing that the air and the seas bring forth and
nourish, birds of the air and beasts of the field. But thou, and
thy sons with thee, shall have mercy when the black waters, the
dark, destroying floods, shall overwhelm the hosts of sinful men.

Begin to build thee a ship, a mighty seahouse, and in it make
abiding-room for many, and set a rightful place for every tribe
of earth. Build floors within the ark, dividing it in stories.
And thou shalt build it three hundred cubits long and fifty
cubits wide and thirty cubits high, and fasten it firmly against
the might of the waves. And thou shalt take within the ark the
seed of every living thing, and the offspring of all flesh upon
the earth. And the ark must hold them all."

(ll. 1314-1319) And Noah did according as God commanded him. He
hearkened unto the Holy King of heaven, and began straightway to
build the ark, a mighty sea-chest. And unto his kinsmen he
proclaimed destruction coming upon men, and bitter vengeance.
And they heeded him not.

(ll. 1320-1326) Then after many winters the Faithful Lord beheld
the greatest of ocean-houses, Noah's vessel, towering up, made
tight with the best of pitch within and without against the
floods. And it was best of all its kind, growing more hard the
more the rough waves and the black sea-streams beat up against
it.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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