Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.22
(ll. 1407-1412) And God, the Lord of victory, was mindful of those mariners, of
the son of Lamech, and all the living things which the Author of life and light had
locked within the bosom of the ship against the waters' might. The Lord of hosts
guided the warriors by His word across the world.
(ll. 1412-1421) Then the welling floods began to lessen and the black tides ebbed
beneath the heavens. The Just God turned the waters again from His children
and stilled the downpour of the rains. Foamy-necked the ship fared on an
hundred and fifty nights beneath the heavens, after the flood had lifted up that
best of vessels with its well-nailed sides -- until at last the appointed number of
the days of wrath were passed away.
(ll. 1421-1430) And the ark of Noah, the greatest of seahomes, with its burden,
rested high upon the hills which are called Armenia. There the holy son of
Lamech waited many days for God's faithful covenant to be fulfilled, when the
Warden of life, the Lord Almighty, would give him respite from the perils he had
suffered while the black waves bore him far and wide upon the waters over the
spacious earth.
(ll. 1431-1448) The floods receded, and those sea-tossed men, together with
their wives, longed for the hour when they might leave their narrow home, and
step across the well-nailed sides upon the shore, and from their prison lead out
their possessions. And Noah, the helmsman of the ark, made trial whether the
seafloods yet were ebbing under heaven. After many days, while the high hills
yet harboured the seed and treasure of the tribes of earth, the son of Lamech let
a dusky raven fly forth from the ark over the deep flood. And Noah was sure that
in its need, if so be it should find no land upon this journey, the raven would
return to him again within the ark across the wide water. But Noah's hope failed
him! Exulting the raven perched upon the floating bodies of the dead; the black-
winged bird would not return.
(ll. 1449-1463) And seven days after the dusky raven he let a grey dove fly forth
from the ark across the deep water, making trial whether the high and foaming
floods had yet receded from any region of the green earth. Widely she sought her
heart's desire, circling afar, but nowhere finding rest. Because of the floods she
might not set foot upon the land, nor settle on the branch of any tree because of
the ocean-streams. The high hills were covered by the deep. And so at evening
over the dusky wave the wild bird sought the ark, settling hungry and weary into
the hands of that holy man.
(ll. 1464-1476) And again after seven days a second dove was sent forth from
the ark. The wild bird circled widely till she found a refuge and a pleasant resting-
place, and settled in a tree. Blithe of heart, she rejoiced that in her weariness she