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Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 66 pages of information about Elene; Judith; Athelstan, or the Fight at Brunanburh; Byrhtnoth, or the Fight at Maldon; and the Dream of the Rood.
To set with skill, and in silver chest
To enclose with locks.  There that tree of life,
Best of victor-trees, has since remained
In nature eternal.[1] There ’twill be ever ready
A help to the sick ’gainst every ill, 1030
Distress and sorrow.  There soon will they
Through that holy creation assistance obtain,
A gift divine.  Also Judas received
After fixed time the bath of baptism,
And cleansed became, trustful in Christ, 1035
Dear to the Life-warden.  His faith became
Firm in his heart, when the Spirit of comfort
Made his abode in the breast of the man,
To repentance him urged.  The better he chose,
The joy of glory, and the worse he refused, 1040
The service of idols, and error rejected,
Unlawful belief.  To him King[2] eternal,
The Creator, was mild, God, Ruler of might.

   [1] So Z.; ‘The noble wood,’ Gm. and Gn.

   [2] Latin, rex.


Then he was baptized who often before
The ready light [had long rejected, Gn.], 1045
Inspired was his soul for that better life,
To glory turned.  Fate surely ordained
That so full of faith and so dear to God
In realm of the world he should become,
[So] pleasing to Christ.  That known became, 1050
After that Helena bade them Eusebius,
Bishop of Rome, into council with her
To bring for help, the very wise [man]
By means of men,[1] to the holy city,
That he might ordain to the sacred office 1055
Judas for the folk in Jerusalem,
To be their bishop within the city,
Through gift of the Spirit for the temple of God
Chosen with wisdom, and him Cyriacus
Through counsel of wit she afterwards named 1060
A second time.  The name was changed
Of the man in the city henceforth for the better,
For the law of the Saviour.  Then still Helena’s
Mind was disturbed at the wondrous fate,
Very much for the nails, those which the Saviour’s 1065
Feet had pierced through and likewise his hands,
With which on the rood the Ruler of Heaven,
Lord mighty, was fastened.  Of these gan ask
The Christians’ queen, Cyriacus prayed
That still for her, by the might of his spirit, 1070
For the wondrous fate the will he’ld fulfil,
Reveal by his gifts, and she addressed
This word to the bishop, boldly she spake: 
“Thou, earls’ defence, the noble tree
Of heavens’ King me rightly didst show, 1075
On which was hanged by heathen hands
The Helper of spirits, own Son of God,
Saviour of men.  Still of the nails
In thought of my mind curiosity troubles me. 
I would thou should’st find those which yet

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