Codex Junius 11 HTML version

Liber I.1
(ll. 1-28) Right is it that we praise the King of heaven, the Lord of hosts, and love
Him with all our hearts. For He is great in power, the Source of all created things,
the Lord Almighty. Never hath He known beginning, neither cometh an end of His
eternal glory. Ever in majesty He reigneth over celestial thrones; in righteousness
and strength He keepeth the courts of heaven which were established, broad and
ample, by the might of God, for angel dwellers, wardens of the soul. The angel
legions knew the blessedness of God, celestial joy and bliss. Great was their
glory! The mighty spirits magnified their Prince and sang His praise with
gladness, serving the Lord of life, exceeding blessed in His splendour. They
knew no sin nor any evil; but dwelt in peace for ever with their Lord. They
wrought no deed in heaven save right and truth, until the angel prince in pride
walked in the ways of error. Then no longer would they work their own
advantage, but turned away from the love of God. They boasted greatly, in their
banded strength, that they could share with God His glorious dwelling, spacious
and heavenly bright.
(ll. 28-46) Then sorrow came upon them, envy and insolence and pride of the
angel who first began that deed of folly, to plot and hatch it forth, and, thirsting for
battle, boasted that in the northern borders of heaven he would establish a
throne and a kingdom. Then was God angered and wrathful against that host
which He had crowned before with radiance and glory. For the traitors, to reward
their work, He shaped a house of pain and grim affliction, and lamentations of
hell. Our Lord prepared this torture-house of exiles, deep and joyless, for the
coming of the angel hosts. Well He knew it lay enshrouded in eternal night, and
filled with woe, wrapped in fire and piercing cold, smoke-veils and ruddy flame.
And over that wretched realm He spread the brooding terror of torment. They had
wrought grievous wrong together against God. Grim the reward they gained!
(ll. 47-77) Fierce of heart, they boasted they would take the kingdom, and easily.
But their hope failed them when the Lord, High King of heaven, lifted His hand
against their host. The erring spirits, in their sin, might not prevail against the
Lord, but God, the Mighty, in His wrath, smote their insolence and broke their
pride, bereft these impious souls of victory and power and dominion and glory;
despoiled His foes of bliss and peace and joy and radiant grace, and mightily
avenged His wrath upon them to their destruction. His heart was hardened
against them; with heavy hand He crushed His foes, subdued them to His will,
and, in His wrath, drove out the rebels from their ancient home and seats of
glory. Our Lord expelled and banished out of heaven the presumptuous angel
host. All-wielding God dismissed the faithless horde, a hostile band of woeful
spirits, upon a long, long journey. Crushed was their pride, their boasting
humbled, their power broken, their glory dimmed. Thenceforth those dusky spirits
dwelt in exile. No cause had they to laugh aloud, but, racked with pangs of hell,