The pyre stood there blazing. The Lord of mankind had made joyful the breast of Abraham, kinsman of Loth, when he gave him back his son, Isaac, alive. Then 2925 the holy hero looked about over his shoulder, and there not far from him the brother of Aron beheld a ram standing alone, caught fast in the thorn-bushes. Abra-ham took this and laid it on the pyre with great zeal, 2930 in place of his own son, brandished the sword, and dec-orated the burnt-offering, the smoking altar, with the blood of the ram, offered that oblation to God, [and fin-ally] gave thanks for these blessings and for all those mercies which, late and early, the Lord had bestowed 3935 upon him....
[Footnote 1: Thorpe’s translation of the Genesis, published with his edition, in 1828, was not accessible to the present writer and presumably will not be accessible to the general public, so that on the mere score of availability it seems high time for the appearance of another translation; moreover, in the last eighty-five years critical scholarship has produced a greatly improved text of the poem.]
[Footnote 2: Aside from necessary omissions made for Genesis B, the Sections are numbered consecutively in this translation (regardless of vagaries in the original MS. numbering), on the assumption that each illuminated capital in the MS. was intended to indicate the beginning of a new Section. After the excision of Genesis B, the numbering has been resumed with X instead of XV, because the XIII at line 440 in the MS. must really represent VIII.—Cf. Note 8, page 59, inf. (page 199, inf.)]
[Footnote 3: ll. 39b-41a. Wraecna, gen. pl. with bidan, = outcasts; I take weardas as in apposition with it (the acc. being either a scribal error or an anacoluthon), and then translate wraecna as an adjective for the sake of idiomatic fluency. For gasta weardas as an epithet for angels, though then unfallen, cf. line 12a, sup.—The passage has given scholars much trouble and is unsatisfactory, at best.]
[Footnote 4: line 63b. I take aeethele as a form of aeethelu = nobilitas, principatus, natales, origo, genus, etc. Grein’s Sprachschatz, 1.52.]
[Footnote 5: line 168a. Three pages seem to be missing in the MS. Doubtless the remaining events of the third day, with those of the fourth, fifth, and perhaps first part of the sixth, days, including the creation of man, (i.e., apparently the contents of Gen. 1.11-2.17, incl.) were retold in these pages.]
[Footnote 6: line 186b. This line is apparently imperfect, metrically, for the second hemistich seems to be wanting. As the sense is complete, without emendation, I have not followed the various scholars who would insert after “Adam’s bride” some such clause as, “Whom God named Eve.”]