DANIEL

[The poem follows its biblical source fairly closely. It is much less interesting than Exodus, but the description of the deliverance from the furnace has beauty, and the song of praise is not without eloquence.]

I HAVE heard that the Hebrews lived in wealth in Jerusalem, distributed treasure, held sway, as was natural to them, after, by the Lord's might, an army had been given to the hand of Moses, a multitude of warriors, and they had left the Egyptians with a great host. They were a proud people, whilst they could rule the realm and had power over cities; glorious prosperity was theirs, whilst the people were minded to keep the covenant of their father; 1 God was their guardian, the Keeper of heaven, the holy Lord, the Ruler of Glory, the Lord of all creatures, who gave to the host courage and power, so that often they did hurt to many peoples, to captains of armies, who were not friendly to Him, 2 until pride with its crimes came upon them at the banquet, drunken thoughts. Then they forsook all the teachings of the law, the power of the Lord, in a way that no man should do, dividing the love of his soul for God. Then I beheld the nation fall into error, the people of Israel work evil, practise sins; that was a grief unto God. Often He, the Guardian of heaven, sent counsel unto the people, holy spirits, who proclaimed wisdom to the multitude. For a little while they held that wisdom as truth, till desire of earthly delight defrauded them of eternal wisdom, so that at last they themselves forsook the laws of the Lord, chose the might of the devil. Then was the Prince of the kingdom wroth, harsh to the people to whom He had given power. In the beginning He had pointed out the path to the lofty city to them who at first ere that were dearest of mankind to God, most valued of nations, most loved by the Lord; to the men from a strange land He had shown their heritage, where Salem stood, defended by its walls, beautified by its barriers. 3 Thither the warriors went, the race of the Chaldeans, onwards to the city, where were the possessions of the Israelites, guarded

____________________
1
Abraham.
2
A reference to the conquest and settlement of the promised land.
3
This sentence means that God has shown the Israelites, on their leaving Egypt, the way to Jerusalem.

-121-

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Anglo-Saxon Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction v
  • Contents xiii
  • Beowulf 1
  • Finnesburh 63
  • Waldhere 65
  • Widsith 67
  • Deor 71
  • The Wanderer 73
  • The Seafarer 76
  • The Wife's Lament 79
  • The Husband's Message 81
  • Wulf and Eadwacer 83
  • The Ruin 84
  • Charms 85
  • Genesis 95
  • Exodus 112
  • Daniel 121
  • Christ and Satan 127
  • Juliana 165
  • The Fates of the Apostles 178
  • Andreas 181
  • Elene 211
  • The Dream of the Rood 235
  • The Phoenix 239
  • Physiologus 252
  • Guthlac 256
  • The Soul's Address to the Body 280
  • Doomsday 284
  • Riddles 289
  • Gnomic Poetry 309
  • The Arts of Men 316
  • The Fates of Men 318
  • Judith 320
  • The Battle of Brunanburh 327
  • The Battle of Maldon 329
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