Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.6
(ll. 246-260) The Holy Lord, All-wielding God, with mighty hand had wrought ten
angel-orders in whom He trusted well, that they would do Him service, and work
His will. Therefore God gave them reason, with His own hands shaped them, and
stablished them in bliss. But one He made so great and strong of heart, He let
him wield such power in heaven next unto God, so radiant-hued He wrought him,
so fair his form in heaven which God had given, that he was like unto the shining
stars. He should have sung his Maker's praise, and prized his bliss in heaven. He
should have thanked his Lord for the great boon He showered on him in the
heavenly light, and let him long enjoy. But he turned him to a worse thing, and
strove to stir up strife against the Highest Lord of heaven, who sitteth on the
throne of glory.
(ll. 261-276) Dear was he to our Lord. Nor could it long be hid from God that
pride was growing in His angel's heart. He set himself against his Leader, scoffed
at God with boasting, and would not serve Him. He said his form was beautiful
and bright, gleaming and fair of hue. Nor could he find it in his heart to serve the
Lord God, or be subject to Him. It seemed to him that he had greater strength
and larger following than Holy God might have. Many words the angel spake in
his presumption. By his own power alone he thought to build a stronger throne
and mightier in heaven. He said his heart was urging him to toil, to build a stately
palace in the north and west. He said he doubted in his heart if he would still be
subject unto God:
(ll. 277-291) "Why should I slave?" quoth he. "I need not serve a master. My
hands are strong to work full many a wonder. Power enough have I to rear a
goodlier throne, a higher in the heavens. Why should I fawn for His favour, or
yield Him such submission? I may be God as well as He! Brave comrades stand
about me; stout-hearted heroes who will not fail me in the fray. These valiant
souls have chosen me their lord. With such peers one may ponder counsel, and
gain a following. Devoted are these friends and faithful-hearted; and I may be
their lord and rule this realm. It seemeth no wise right to me that I should cringe a
whit to God for any good. I will not serve Him longer."
(ll. 292-298) Now when God had heard all this, how His angel was beginning to
make presumptuous head against his Leader, speaking rash words of insolence
against his Lord, needs must he make atonement for that deed, endure the woe
of strife, and bear his punishment, most grievous of all deaths. And so doth every
man who wickedly thinketh to strive with God, the Lord of might.
(ll. 299-319) Then Almighty God, High Lord of heaven, was filled with wrath, and
hurled him from his lofty throne. He had gained his Master's hate, and lost His
favour. God's heart was hardened against him. Wherefore he needs must sink
into the pit of torment because he strove against the Lord of heaven. He