Judgement Day I or ‘The Progress of the Soul’: An Edition With Translation and Commentary

Judgement Day I or ‘The Progress of the Soul’: An Edition With Translation and Commentary 1. In the manuscript, Judgement Day I is two poems, or one poem in two parts As recorded in the Exeter Book, fols 115vo–117vo, Judgement Day I has two openings, as if of two poems, or of a poem in two parts. That is not how the poem appears in modern editions.1 The opening in the manuscript is similar in appearance to that of other beginnings of poems, Đæt ge limpan sceal þætte (‘That must come to pass that’), with ornamental initial Đ and punctus at the end followed by a space. The event destined to happen is Judgement Day, which forms the subject of lines 1–21: gæstes gryre ‘terror of the soul’ (21a). At line 80b, in accord with the manuscript (fol. 117ro), there is the punctuation of an end, and then a grand opening, Wile þonne forgieldan gæsta Dryhten willum æf |next line| ter] (‘The Lord of souls will then gladly requite in accordance with …’).2 The grand lay-out of the opening of lines 81 to 119, forming the end of the poem (if it is not a second poem), may well go back to the poet.3 There is no way of proving that; it does not look like a scribal decision to punctuate, after the last words of line 80, as a closure, and to begin line 81 with an ornamental wynn. The 119 lines as edited are about the Day of Judgement and the soul’s journey to face judgement and then to the soul’s eternal dwelling, and they seem to form a unit. Thorpe, in the first edition of this text, decided to treat lines 1–80 as Part I, and 81–119 as Part II. The epithet gæsta Dryhten ‘the Lord of souls’ occurs only as the second half-line of the opening line (81b) of the second part of this poem, and nowhere else in the Toronto Dictionary of Old English Corpus. A few lines later (91b) there is another unique epithet for God, gæsta Ealdor ‘the Lord of souls’. The first part of the poem opens by stressing gæstes gryre ‘terror of the soul’ (21a), that is the Day of Judgement. In view of the division of the poem into two parts (in the manuscript), it is appropriate to ask if the two parts have different emphases on Judgement Day, or if they are about different aspects of Judgement Day. Perhaps Part I is about mankind’s fears and hopes of the coming of Judgement Day, and Part II about the joys that will reward the virtuous and the sinners who have repented in time, and the eternal, terrifying chastisement that awaits the unrepentent sinner. It is easy to assert that the two Parts of Judgement Day I are so differentiated. I am not sure if that is true. 2. Epithets for God in Judgement Day I Epithets for God in Part I: 5b Þeoden user ‘our Lord’. 6b mægencyninga Hyhst ‘the Highest of kings of might’. 7b Brego moncynnes ‘Lord of mankind’. ? 15a hyra hlaforde (dat. sg.) ‘their lord’.4 53b leohtes Weard ‘Guardian of light’. ? 57b Mægencyninges þrea ‘castigation of the mighty King’.5 64b user Hælend (MS hælendes) ‘our Saviour’. 65a middangeardes Meotud ‘Lord of the earth’. 67b Crist ‘Christ’. Even with such undistinctive appellations as Þeoden user, user Hælend, and Crist this list of eight or nine epithets in 80 lines amounts to only one in every ten lines. The density in Part II is greater: 81b gæsta Dryhten ‘Lord of souls’. 82b wuldres Ealdor ‘Prince of glory’. 85b lifes Waldend ‘Ruler of life’. 86a heofona hyrde ‘Guardian of the heavens’. 90b beorht Fæder ‘resplendent Lord God’.6 91b gæsta Ealdor ‘Lord of souls’. 92a Sigedryhten ‘glorious Lord’.7 94b se Waldend ‘the Lord’. 95a ealra cyninga Cyning ‘King of all kings’. 96b Dryhtne (dat.) ‘the Lord’ 108a heofoncyninga Hyhst ‘the Highest of heavenly kings’.8 112a Waldendes (gen.) ‘the Lord’. Twelve epithets for God in 39 lines, one in about 4½ lines, is a much higher density of occurrences in Part II of the poem than the density of one in ten lines in Part I. Such distribution differences need not amount to anything significant. There are between lines 96b and 108a, eleven lines without the naming of God by any appellation. Before the poem gets to that godless patch, God is invoked ten times in sixteen lines. This gives the opening of Part II a feel of joyousness in God, not the overwhelming fear and awe that fill much of Part I. There is a difference of tone, controlled by a thoughtful governance of hope and fear in Part II. 3. Sentences with the personal pronoun ‘I’ as subject In both Parts I and II there are sentences with ic as subject, ic a wille | leode læran (‘I purpose ever to teach the people’, 46b–47a) expressing a wish to fulfil a primary priestly duty; and in Part II acknowledgement that the events of that Day are beyond the influence of the persona ic to alter, ic gewægan ne mæg wyrd under heofonum (‘I cannot annul what is destined beneath the heavens’, 115). 4. The opening of Part I: the terror is water In lines 1–6, water, not fire, is the destructive element to be feared: Đæt gelimpan sceal, þætte lagu floweð, flod ofer foldan, feores bið æt ende anra gehwylcum. Oft mæg se þe wile in his sylfes sefan soð geþencan: hafað him geþinged hider Þeoden user  5 on þam mæstan dæge, mægencyninga Hyhst. [That must happen, that water will flow, a flood covering the earth, the life of each and every one will be at an end. Whoever wishes to do so can consider many times in his own mind the truth: (5) our Lord, the Highest of kings of might, will have purposed to come here on that greatest day.] Water and fire are the terrors humanity will have to experience on the Day of Judgement.9 The poet uses twice the half-line on þam mæsta dæg, line 6a near the beginning of Part I and line 104b towards the end of Part II. It occurs nowhere else in Old English verse.10 Of course, that in itself is not proof that the whole of the 119 lines of Judgement Day I (as usually edited) are to be regarded as one single poem, and not a poem in two Parts; but this phrase occurring twice significantly demonstrates a singleness of poetic mind on a single subject, and confirms the likelihood that the two Parts form a single poem. The half-line mægencyninga Hyhst must be seen in the historical context of absolute kingship. A subject, lay or religious, has reason to be in awe of a king, a sovereign of great power in his country. One must fear such an earthly king, when he announces that he intends to come. At lines 5–6 we learn that the Highest, one higher, mightier than all of the mighty kings on earth, is about to come. The news that mankind will be in the presence of the Lord is a truth, soð (4 b), of the greatest significance. 5. Next, fire is to be feared, and hell-fire is described Overwhelming water first, next the all-consuming final conflagration, these afflictions open Judgement Day I. Lines 7–29 begin with the terror of fire: Wile þonne forbærnan brego moncynnes lond mid lige. Nis þæt lytulu spræc to geheganne: hat bið onæled11 siþþan fyr nimeð foldan sceatas,     10  byrnende lig, beorhte gesceafte. Bið eal þes ginna grund gleda gefylled, reþra bronda, swa nu rixiað gromhydge guman, gylpe strynað, hyra hlaforde gehlæges tilgað,      15  oþþæt hy beswicað synna weardas, þæt hi mid þy heape helle secað, fleogað mid þam feondum. Him biþ fyr ongean, droflic wite, þær næfre dæg scineð leohte of lyfte, ac a bilocen stondeð   20  siþþan þæs gæstes gryre agiefen weorþeð. Ufan hit is enge, & hit is innan hat. Nis þæt betlic blod,12 ac þær is brogna hyhst, ne noht hyhtlic ham, ac þær is helle grund, sarlic siðfæt þam þe sibbe ful oft    25  tomældeð mid his muþe. Ne con he þa mircan gesceaft hu hi butan ende ece stondeð þam þe þær for his synnum onsægd weorþeð, & þonne a to ealdre orleg dreogeð. [It is the Lord of mankind’s will to burn up then the earth with flame. That will be no trifling conversation to hold:13 heat will be ignited (10) when fire, burning flame, seizes the corners of the earth, (this) beautiful creation. All this vast espanse will be filled with burning coals, with cruel flames, the very places where now men with hostile intent bear sway, amass pride, (15) treat their master with scorn, until the guardians of sins ensnare them, so that they with that company go to hell, fly (there) with those devils. Fire will be facing them, a troublous punishment, where day never shines (20) bright from the sky, but for ever remains shut out, when this terror of the soul will be unleashed. From above it is restrictive, and within it is hot. That building is not grandiose, but there is the most extreme of terrors, not at all a hope-inspiring home, but there is the abyss of hell, (25) a sorrowful journey’s end14 for him who very often lets his mouth destroy the peace. He does not know that dark (aspect of) creation, how it will eternally remain without end, for him who will then be hurled down to that place for his sins, and then will suffer (his) fate for ever and ever.] That the sinners condemned to hell are accompanied on this their last journey by the synna weardas (16b) is in line with the prominence in this poem on journeyings of souls, in this passage to their infernal abode. The ‘guardians of sins’, who have ensnared the damned, are a significant detail of the way to hell. Their accompaniment on the sinners’ final journey is part of the traditional depiction of the Last Judgement.15 Representations of that Judgement are likely to have been seen by an Anglo-Saxon in the ninth century (or before) if he had access to grand manuscripts, and perhaps to be seen by all on church walls, although very few frescoes so early have survived in England. As always with Old English poetry, other than Cædmon’s Hymn, Bede’s Death Song, and the poetry of King Alfred—and sceptical voices have been raised against even these ascriptions,—it is anonymous. The immediate location where the poems were composed, whether monastic or secular, is a matter of inference from the texts themselves. In Judgement Day I the strange words, þam þe sibbe ful oft | tomældeð mid his muþe ‘for him who very often lets his mouth destroy the peace’ (25b–26a), lead to the inference that the poem was written by a religious in a monastery. The sins of violence, sexual misdemeanour, bearing false witness, or covetousness, all of them breaches of divine ordinance for the world in general, are less common, rare even one may hope, in a monastery, but violent and discordant speech often breaks the peace of such a community. A cœnobitic poet would have reason to think of that immediately when reflecting on sinfulness. Such a thought is unlikely to come prominently to a secular, worldly-wise poet. 6. A rhetorical question—Who is then so predictively wise?—begins the next portion of Part I of the poem Rhetorical questions extending over several lines of verse are not common in Old English.16 Lines 30–34a provide an example, introducing the events of the Last Judgement, lines 30–59: Hwa is þonne þæs forðgleaw oþþe þæs fela cunne30  þæt æfre mæge heofona heahþu gereccan, swa georne þone godes dæl swa he gearo stondeð clænum heortum, þam þe þisne cwide willað ondrædan þus deopne? Sceal se dæg weorþan þæt we forð berað firena gehwylce,35  þeawas & geþohtas. Þæt biþ þearlic17 gemot, heardlic heremægen. Hat biþ acolod. Ne biþ þonne on þisse worulde nymþe wætres sweg    fisces eþel.18 Ne biþ her ban ne blod, ac sceal bearna gehwylc40  mid lice & mid sawle leanes fricgan, ealles þæs þe we on eorþan ær geworhtan,19 godes oþþe yfles. Ne mæg nænig gryre mare geweorþan æfter woulde, & se bið wide cuð. Ne tytaþ her tungul, ac biþ tyr scæcen,45  eorþan blædas. Forþon ic a wille leode læran þæt hi lof Godes hergan on heahþu, hyhtum to wuldre lifgen on geleafan, & a lufan Dryhtnes wyrcan in þisse worulde, ær þon se wlonca dæg  50 bodige þurh byman brynehatne leg, egsan oferþrym. Ne bið nænges eorles tir leng on þissum life, siþþan leohtes Weard ofer ealne foldan fæþm fyr onsendeð; lixeð lyftes mægen, leg onetteð,  55  blæc byrnende blodgyte weorþeð mongum gemeldad Mægencyninges þrea. Beofað eal beorhte gesceaft; brondas lacað on þam deopan dæge, dyneð upheofon. [Who is then so predictively wise20 or knows so much that he can ever tell so keenly the height of the heavens, the vastness of (its) bounty, as it exists ready21 for clean hearts, for such as are willing to regard with awe this pronouncement, thus profound? The day will assuredly come (35) when we make known each one of (our) sins, (our) moral qualities and thoughts. That (we, humanity before the divine Judge) will be a patiently enduring gathering, a needy multitude. Heat will cool off. There will then be in this world nothing but the roar of water, the homeland of the fish. (40) Neither bone nor blood will there be, but each one of the children (of mankind)22 must with body and soul bring into question the recompense for all that we had done on earth, good or evil. There can be no greater fear in all the world, and that will be widely known. (45) No stars will here peep forth, but the glory will have departed, the prosperities of the world. Therefore I purpose ever to teach the people that they laud God’s praise to the height, that in hopes of glory they live in faith, and ever (50) strive for the love of the Lord in this world before that worshipful Day will proclaim through trumpets fiery-hot flames, an overwhelming force of terror. No man’s fame will last longer in this life from the time that the Protector of light23 sends forth fire over all the length and breadth of the earth; (55) aerial power will shine out, flame hasten forward burning bright, slaughter will be revealed to many a one by the affliction sent by the mighty King. All the radiant creation will tremble, fires will dance on that deep day, the heavens above will resound.] The rhetorical question ‘who is so wise?’ invites the negative answer, ‘no one is so wise’. It leads into the description of Judgement Day and the priestly duty of instructing the laity to fear that day and to praise all-powerful God, who will unleash that terror. It is a long rhetorical question, nine half-lines long. The most impressive examples of that figure are short in English literature; thus Spenser’s negative rhetorical question recalling in five words a poetic world gloriously created by him earlier, with the shepherd Colin Clout piping, while the Graces dance about him:24 ‘who knows not Colin Clout?’ Succinctness is not among the gifts of the poet of Judgement Day I, whose rhetorical question does, however, achieve immediacy in the answer, the terror ‘on that deep day’, on þam deopan dæge. DOE tells us that the adjective dēop occurs some 250 times in the corpus. It has this quotation as the last sense, unique it seems: ‘B.7. of the day of judgement: profound, solemn, mysterious’. It is that and more. Holthausen’s etymological dictionary does well:25 ‘deep, high; terrible, mysterious; solemn, celebratory’. At this point of Judgement Day I, 58–59a, ‘All the radiant creation will tremble, fires will dance on that deep day’—the Graces are not dancing here, as they dance in one of the most gracious scenes of the English Renaissance—evoked by the rhetorical question—when Colin pipes: in the Old English poem, the flames summoned by God ‘are dancing on that deep day’, lacað | on þam deopan dæge. 7. ‘The clean of heart’, not a warlike host The half-lines, swa he gearo stondeð | clænum heortum (32b–33a) is related to the sixth Beatitude (Matthew V: 8), Beati mundo corde, rendered in the Rhemes New Testament:26 ‘Blessed are the cleane of hart’; cf. the more direct syntax, þa clænheortan in all West-Saxon versions, and þa clæne heortan in the Mercian of the Rushworth MS. The compound clænheort does not not occur in verse, but is not rare in prose and glosses (fourteen occurrences). The later reference in the poem (93b–94a) to the ‘clean’ is immediately followed by swa se Waldend cwæð, ‘as the Lord said’, and that confirms that it is the Beatitude as spoken in the Sermon on the Mount. A use in the Martyrology exemplifies its special appropriateness when death is near, not yet Doomsday, but at the first stage of the soul’s progress, æfter heonansiþe ‘the journey away from this world’ (the term used at line 86b):27Heofones God ond eorðan, onfoh mine sawle, forðon ic wæs unsceðþende ond clænheort (‘God of heaven and earth, receive my soul, because I was unhurtful and pure of heart’). As the adjectives þearlic and heardlic have been traditionally interpreted, lines 36b–37a make the human multitude seem a warlike host summoned to appear before God the Judge: Grein (Dichtungen, II, 151), ‘die Versammlung ist furchtbar, die Heeresmacht stark!’ (the gathering is redoubtable, the military might strong!); similarly Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 159), ‘That will be a stern assembly, a dread congregation.’ But on the Day of Judgement we, appearing before God, will no longer be in a position to look fierce and to inspire fear; our time of earthly authority and nationhood, for which armed forces clash, is past. The adjectives *þear(f)lic and heardlic combine to describe humanity ‘ready to endure’, perhaps to endure bravely. 8. The end of Part I of Judgement Day I The twenty lines that conclude the first part of the poem elaborate the effects on humanity of the Day of Judgement, joyous for him hwa in clænnisse | lif alifde ‘who has lived (his) life in cleanness’ (62b–63a); a different effect, a worse lot, wyrs gescaden (75 b), is assigned to those damned. Lines 60–80: Þonne weras & wif woruld alætað,  60  eorþan yrmþu, seoð þonne on ece gewyrht, þonne bið gecyþed hwa in clænnisse lif alifde. Him bið lean gearo. Hyht wæs a in heofonum siþþan user Hælendes wæs, middangeardes Meotud, þurh þa mæstan gesceaft65  on ful blacne beam bunden fæste cearian clomme. Crist ealle wat, gode dæde. No þæs gilpan þearf synfull sawel þæt hyre sie swegl ongean þonne he gehyrweð ful oft halge lare,  70  brigdeð on bysmer. Ne con he þæs brogan dæl, yfles &giet ær hit hine on fealleð. He þæt þonne onfindeð þonne se fær cymeþ geond middangeard monegum gecyþeð, þæt he bið on þæt wynstre weorud wyrs gescaden75  þonne he on þa swiþran hond swican mote. Leahtra alysed lyt þæt geþenceð, se þe him wines glæd wilna bruceð, siteð him symbelgal siþ ne bemurneð hu him æfter þisse worulde weorðan mote.80  [When men and women depart from the world, from the wretchedness of the earth, (and) contemplate then (their) eternal desert, then it will be revealed who has lived (his [or her]) life in cleanness. For such the reward will be ready. That joyous hope has always been in the heavens from the time that, by the greatest dispensation, our Saviour, (65) the Lord of (this) earth, was bound with grievous fettering force on the gloriously effulgent Cross. Christ knows them all, the good deeds. The sinful soul has no reason to boast that heaven will be (reaching out) toward him, (70) when he (the sinner) has very often scorned sacred doctrine, has distorted (it) into profanity. He does not know the apportionment of terror, has no concept of the calamity before it befalls him. Then he finds that out, when the peril comes all over the earth, revealing itself to many, (75) that the sinner is separated out to the worse group, the crowd on the left, when cleansed from sins he might have gone off into the right-hand (crowd). Anyone who, merry with wine, is enjoying delights, gives little thought to it, sitting lecherous with feasting, not bewailing where it takes him, how it may be with him after this world.] Several details in this translation are insecure, beside the usual difficulty that Old English uses the present tense where perfect or future is appropriate in Modern English. It is regrettable that the translation is often gender-specific, as is the Old English at line 60, weras & wif ‘men and women’. At 63b the text has him dat. sg. masc., and there we can in translation use ‘for such’ gender-unspecific. At 69a synfull sawel ‘sinful soul’ is feminine, and therefore hyre ‘her’, but the translation has ‘to him’, justified because the text immediately goes on with he (70a), and so again several times later, never feminine. Politically correct grammar does not grace Old English discourse.28 In fact, it looks as if at lines 78–79 it is more than a matter of grammar. These lines are not about both men and women and the souls of either sex, but of male wine-bibbers, and him is used three times in the sentence, 77–80. The word symbelgal occurs only here; and verse compounds related in meaning are wingal, ealogal, medugal; galferhð, galmod, galnys; and though the word hygegal itself is perhaps less explicit, the context (Riddle 12, line 12a) is clearly about sexual abuse. There is no denying that ‘lust, lechery’, the sin Luxuria, is often involved. Much has been written on galscipe (Genesis B 341a), and a recent edition, with a long discussion of gal, uses ‘state of elation’ in the glossary, pride in one’s prosperity is an aspect of Lucifer’s sin.29 There is also rumgal (Genesis A 1466a), and rumgallice (Vercelli Homily IV, line 37), words of importance if the fundamental asexuality of OE gal is to be understood.30Genesis A 1466a, rumgal is wholly innocent of sensuality; it describes the feeling experienced by Noah’s dove, no longer confined to the Ark, but free to pluck off an olive leaf from a tree no longer under water, and to bring it to Noah (Genesis 8: 9–11) as symbolic proof that the Flood is at an end. The word means ‘rejoicing in the spaciousness’; the dove could be said to be wanton in the spaciousness, with gal in sense close to innocent ‘wantoning’ and rum etymologically close to the stem of roominess. The context of the adverb rumgallice is evil, robbery, not sexuality: Þa þe her rumgallice ofer Godes riht ricsiaþ, þa bioð þær on mæstum racentegum (‘Those who here [on earth] rule wantonly [and] at large beyond God’s justice, they shall be there [in hell] in the heaviest fetters’). In this part of Vercelli Homily IV the contrast between ‘here’ and ‘there’ is insistently stressed by repetition. The Vercelli Homily expresses a devout understanding of eternal damnation, ‘in the heaviest fetters’. No such simple understanding of restricted movement is to be found in Judgement Day I, lines 64–67, in which bunden fæste | cearian clomme (‘fettered with grievous restraining force’) is said to have led to hyht…in heofonum. Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 159) renders that as ‘joy in the heavens’. The heavenly ‘joy’ produced by Jesus ‘fettered with grievous restraining force’ might seem an incongruous combination, and unlikely preachment on the subject of the Day of Judgement. The poem is, however, theologically more profound; the centre of this combination is the word hyht. That noun is of ‘a forward-looking joy, a hope’. In the heavens Christ’s tortured death on the Cross was recognized as the redemptive act giving hope and joy. In the description of feasting and drunkenness in Judgement Day I the pronouns are all masculine. That need not mean that the poet, or Anglo-Saxons more generally, thought that such excesses of feasting as are described in lines 77b–80 must be of men only. Riddle 12, line 9a has dol druncmennen ‘female servant drunk and foolish’, but perhaps it indicates that no lady is likely to be involved in that kind of behaviour, only a female of the lower orders, a foolish serving woman. It may be chance, or the result of the masculine dominance in grammar, that Judgement Day I does not mention weras & wif, ‘men and women’, when speaking of him wines glæd ‘him merry with wine’ and him symbelgal perhaps ‘him lecherous with feasting’; or less sexually ‘him boisterous at the feast’, which is a better translation, because such merriment is mentioned to explain why the sinner, heedless in his happy state here, fails to think of the judgement to come. This is a minor consideration in Part I of a text, the subject of which is the assigning, on Judgement Day, of a place in the disposition: on þæt wynstre weorud wyrs, ‘to the worse lot, the crowd on the left’, that is, to eternal damnation. 9. Part II teaches the meaning of both eternal punishment and eternal reward Part II is about life after death, and that is shaped by desert for deeds done on earth, and repentance: the body, covered with earth and clay, will be reunited with the soul on the Day of Judgement, to face eternal damnation or everlasting joy in glory; lines 81–97: Wile þonne forgieldan gæsta Dryhten willum æfter þære wyrde, wuldres Ealdor, þam þe his synna nu sare geþenceþ, modbysgunge micle dreogeð. Him þæt þonne geleanað lifes Waldend,85  heofona Hyrde, æfter heonansiþe godum dædum, þæs þe he swa geomor wearð, sarig fore his synnum. Ne sceal se to sæne beon, ne þissa larna to læt, se þe him wile lifgan mid Gode, brucan þæs boldes þe us beorht Fæder  90  gearwað togeanes, gæsta Ealdor. Þæt is Sigedryhten, þe þone sele frætweð, timbreð torhtlice: to sculon clæne, womma lease, swa se Waldend cwæð, ealra cyninga Cyning. Forþon cwicra gewylc  95  deophydigra, Dryhtne hyreð þara þe wile heofona heahþu gestigan. [The Lord of souls, the Prince of glory, will then gladly31 requite him after the event (of the soul’s departure), (will requite) him who now considers his sins sorrowfully, enduring severe anxiety of mind. (85) The Ruler of life, Guardian of the heavens, will then recompense him for that (his conduct on earth), after the (soul’s) journey from this world, (recompense him) with good things, because he had been so mournful, so sad because of his sins. He who wishes to live with God must not be too neglectful, too heedless of these precepts, (he who wishes) (90) to enjoy the use of the (heavenly) abode, which the resplendent Lord God, the Lord of souls, prepares in readiness for us. That is the glorious Lord, who has ornamented that dwelling, has constructed (it) illustriously: the sinless are to come to it, free from defilement, as the Lord said, (95) the King of all kings. Therefore everyone alive, deep-thinking, wishing to ascend to the height of the heavens, will obey the Lord.] The subject of these lines is the poet’s teaching, that one must not be heedless þissa larna ‘of these precepts’. The poet is preaching, reminding us of spiritual cleanness, swa se Waldend cwæð (94b) ‘as the Lord said’: a good preacher’s teaching follows God’s teaching. In this poem of 119 lines clæne and clænnes occurs three times clænum heortum (‘for clean hearts’, 33a), in clænnisse (‘in cleanness; in freedom from sin’, 62b), clæne (‘the sinless’ (pl.), 93b). On the Day of Judgement sinners cleansed by contrition shall have their reward eternally. Part II opens with the contrast, þonne (81a) ‘then (in the future)’, and nu (83a) ‘now’; then God will compensate us as we deserve, now we must engage penitently in thinking about our sins if we are to enjoy the good things prepared for us. Old English is not precise in its handling of tenses. The opening of Part II, wile the first word (81a), with willum (82a), is perhaps an enhanced future, ‘the Lord will gladly’, or an enhanced ‘wishing’, ‘the Lord wishes desiringly’. Important in the opening sentence is æfter þære wyrde (82b). Grein (Dichtungen, II, 152) translates the phrase ‘nach dem Tode’ (after death); Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 161) translates it ‘as is destined’. The much-discussed noun wyrd, the abstract of weorþan ‘to become, come to pass, etc.’, is not to be identified with ‘death’. If the poem is, as I believe, a single text in two parts, æfter þære wyrde (82b), in the third half-line of Part II, reaches back to æfter þisse worulde (80a), in the last line of Part I: God’s decree unites the two parts. The soul’s journey begins at the end of Part I, ‘after this world’, and, having arrived, the journey ends, æfter heonansiþe (86b) ‘after the (soul’s) journey from this world’. Phrases using æfter occur six times in the poem: æfter worulde 44a = æfter þisse worulde 80a, æfter þære wyrde 82a, æfter heonansiþe 86 b, feores32æfter foldan 100a ‘after existence on earth’, siþþan æfter þam lige 118a ‘then after that fire’. The last of these six is æfter the Day of Judgement, when the soul’s eternal residence is established. The others are all about the journey from this world. There is in lines 90a–93a an account of heaven. Heaven has been built and ornamented for us, made ready by God to receive us, that is our souls, as we progress to it, to sculon 93b; and swa se Waldend cwæð 94b refers back to lines 32b–33a, the Sixth Beatitude. If we are thinking deeply about that happy future, hoping to reach heaven, it is imperative that we have obeyed the Lord. 10. The poem continues about the eternity after the Day of Judgement Burial is not the end but the beginning when Judgement Day comes, full of joy for some, and therefore something to look forward to with hope; eternally and harshly punitive for others. Lines 98–119: Hwæþre þæt gegongeð, þeah þe hit sy greote beþeaht lic mid lame, þæt hit sceal lif onfon, feores æfter foldan. Folc biþ gebonnen,100  Adames bearn, ealle to spræce. Beoð þonne gegædrad gæst & bansele, gesomnad to þam siþe. Soþ þæt wile cyþan þonne we us gemittað on þam mæstan dæge. Rincas æt þære rode secgað þonne ryhta fela,  105 eal swylce under geofonum gewearð, hates & cealdes, godes oþþe yfles. Georne gehyreð heofoncyninga Hyhst hæleþa33 dæde. Næfre mon þæs hlude horn aþyteð, ne byman ablaweþ, þæt ne sy seo beorhte stefn110  ofer ealne middangeard monnum hludre Waldendes word. Wongas beofiað for þam ærende þæt he to us eallum wat. Oncweþ nu þisne cwide! ‘Cuþ sceal geweorþan þæt ic gewægan ne mæg wyrd under heofonum,115  ac hit þus gelimpan sceal leoda gehwylcum ofer eall beorht gesetu, byrnende lig.’ Siþþan æfter þam lige lif bið gestaþelad, welan ah in wuldre, se nu wel þenceð. [Nevertheless it will happen that, though the body is buried in the earth, covered with dust, with clay, it shall receive animate existence, (100) life after (life on) earth.34 People, all Adam’s children,35 will be summoned to (answer) the charge.36 The soul and (its) enfolding bone-structure will then be reunited, reassembled for that journey, (that is) the truth that will be proclaimed when we meet on that greatest day. (105) In the presence of the Cross we humans37 will then say many truths, all that took place beneath the heavens, both hot and cold,38 good or evil. The Highest of heavenly kings39 will listen keenly to the deeds of men. Never did any human sound a horn, (110) nor blow a trumpet so loud, that the bright voice, the word of the Lord, is not louder for mankind over all the world. The wide surfaces will quake for the message which he teaches40 us all.  Declare now this principle: ‘It shall be known (as an article of faith), (115) that I cannot annul what is destined beneath the heavens, but it must happen thus to each of the nations, burning fire throughout all (their) bright dwellings.’ After that fire life will be re-established: whoever now intends well shall prosper in glory.] The Day of Judgement is viewed by the poet in legal terms. Those summoned are to be allowed to defend themselves. As a first reaction it might seem theologically mistaken to believe that, when summoned to appear before the Supreme Judge, humans shall have the right to defend themselves, refuting any accusation: the Judge is omniscient, those before him on that Day are therefore justly accused. The poet might seem to disregard divine omniscience, for at 107b the highest King keenly listens, georne gehyreð, as deeds are related. Pleas for mitigation are of course in the liturgical tradition of prayer for divine mercy in the hope that God, though omniscient, will listen. Portia’s words on ‘The quality of mercy’ apply to heofoncyninga Hyhst:41 More of that speech is relevant. In the Old English poem we are shown how our understanding of earthly power when ‘likest God’s’ may help us to understand hope for divine mercy on the Day of Judgement; in Portia’s words, ‘earthly power doth then shew likest Gods | When mercie seasons Iustice.’ God is always to be feared as an absolute monarch, and throned monarchs are absolute in Shakespeare. Absolute kingship is difficult to entertain with humility in our age of democratic egalitarianism.42 Our limited power on the Day of Judgement is stressed in the striking direct command by the poet, that we should rehearse words the subject of which is ‘I’, the persona of the poet,43 as he recites them for us to follow, words on the limited power of those who are judged on that Day, when fire will destroy everything on earth. That is the usual Doomsday message; but the last two lines are very unusual. They are about life after Doomsday, life of hope for those who strove virtuously while here on earth. 11. Should a different title be imposed on this poem, not Judgement Day I but ‘The Progress of the Soul’? We have come a long way in this poem. From terror to hope. It is a poem about a journey, heonansiþ (86a), siðfæt (25a), siþ (79b), siþe (103a), the soul’s journey, a concept that might be called ‘The Progress of the Soul’: it would be a good title for this poem, if it had not been used by Donne, and if in general changing established titles for something newer, perhaps more appropriate, were not almost always a bad idea.44 The poem includes the terror of Judgement Day, as it ranges widely. Like the other short religious poems of the Exeter Book, it is an intellectual statement in verse, its subject, though not its title in the editions, is the progress of the soul. Footnotes 1 R. W. Chambers, Max Förster, and Robin Flower (introd.), The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry (London, 1933). For the text Dobbie’s edition is probably still the standard, in George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie (eds), The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, III (New York, 1936), 212–15; on the ‘sectional division’ cf. pp. xvii, lxxv. 2 The sense of gæst in gæsta Dryhten is ‘soul’; cf. gæsta Ealdor (91b), a comparable epithet for God, ‘the Lord of souls’. Benjamin Thorpe (ed.), Codex Exoniensis. A Collection of Anglo-Saxon Poetry … with an English Translation (London: by William Pickering for the Society of Antiquaries, 1842), 450, ‘the Lord of spirits’; C. W. M. Grein (trsl.), Dichtungen der Angelsachsen stabreimend übersetzt. 2 vols (Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, 1857, 1859), II, 152, ‘der Geister König’; W. S. Mackie (ed.), The Exeter Book Part II, EETS, o.s. 194 (1934), 161, ‘The Lord of spirits’; Angus Cameron, Ashley Crandell Amos, and Antonette diPaolo Healey (eds), 1986–, Dictionary of Old English [DOE] (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, for Centre of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto), s.v. gāst, 10b, ‘in genitival phrases in epithets for God / Christ’. The word gāst ‘soul’ is always spelt with ǣ (gæst) in the Exeter Book. For willum ‘gladly’ see fn. 30, below. 3 All editors begin a new paragraph with line 81. For example, among fairly recent editions, T. A. Shippey (ed.), Poems of Wisdom and Learning in Old English (Cambridge, 1976), 122, with a long and valuable critique of the poem, 43–6; Bernard J. Muir (ed.), The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry. 2 vols (Exeter, 1994), I, 337, with an instructive footnote on MS punctuation at the end of sections and poems. Christopher A. Jones (ed.), Old English Shorter Poems, I. Religious and Didactic (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 236–7, similarly indents for a new paragraph. 4 The noun gehlæg (in hyra hlaford | gehlæges tilgað) is very rare. Etymologically it is close to hlyhhan ‘to laugh, deride’; gehlæges tilgað perhaps ‘treat with ridicule, with scorn’. Grein’s translation (Dichtungen, II, 150), ‘wider ihren Herren Hochverrath begehen’ (commit high treason against their lord), seems to be too detailed a crime, though it is likely that at line 15 hlaford is of an earthly ruler. The word is rarely used for ‘the Lord God’ in verse; such epithets as heofona hlaford (Dream of the Rood 45a, and cf. Cynewulf’s Christ II 518) are more probably of God as the master of the heavens. Mackie, EETS, o.s. 194, 157, is probably wrong to translate (with ‘Lord’ capitalized, for God), ‘strive after scorn towards their Lord’. An earthly lord fulfils a function laid upon him by God. That is why treating a king with scorn is sinful, though it may seem disproportionate to list that sin so early, before murder, adultery, fornication (none of these named in the poem). In defence of Mackie’s rendering it might be averred that the order of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1–17) places offences against ‘a jealous God’ before all others. 5 The compound mægencyning obviously refers to God; it is a compounded appellation, in formation unlike periphrastic epithets such as leohtes Weard. 6 Waller Deering, The Anglosaxon Poets of the Judgment Day (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1890), 30–1, has adduced evidence to show that fæder is used not only for God the Father, but also occasionally for Christ, the Son. See also Anne Scheller, Bezeichnungen für die christliche Gottheit im Altenglischen, Schriften zur Mediävistik, 17 (Hamburg: Dr. Kovač, 2010), 127–8. 7 Translations like ‘Siegeskönig’ (Grein, Dichtungen, II, 152) and ‘victorious Lord’ (Mackie, EETS, o.s. 194, 161) are inappropriate for God; ‘victory’ is a specialized sense of sige, ‘glory, triumph’; see E. G. Stanley, ‘Some Problematic Sense-Divisions in Old English: “glory” and “victory”; “noble,” “glorious,” and “learned” ’, in Helen Damico and John Leyerle (eds), Heroic Poetry in the Anglo-Saxon Period: Studies in Honor of Jess B. Bessinger, Jr. (Kalamazoo, MI, 1993), 171–226, at 187–8. 8 There is possibly an illogicality in this epithet. Heaven has only one heofoncyning, God. One might wish to emend boldly, leaving off final -a of heofoncyninga, ‘the Highest, the King of heaven’, but the scansion of *Heofoncyning Hyhst is questionable. The transmitted heofoncyninga Hyhst is perhaps to be defended as a rhetorically magnified superlative, if there were kings in heaven God would be the highest among them. 9 Being destroyed by fire and drowned in water are listed among the terrors in the Judgement Day Homily II of the Vercelli Book, D. G. Scragg (ed.), The Vercelli Homilies and Related Texts, EETS, o.s. 300 (1992), 52–64, at 54, line 14. The variant in the related homily (in Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 419, 182–204) is printed by Scragg at 55, line 26. Cf. Max Förster (ed.), Die Vercelli-Homilien, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa, XII (1932; rptd, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964), 42–53, at 45, line 16 (and note 8). 10 Related wording occurs in prose in Wulfstan’s homily ‘De Fide Catholica’, line 115: Đær bið þonne on dæg gryre se mæsta, forðam þurh Godes mihte bið eal astyred ge heofonwered ge eorðwered ge hellwered, & eal hit bið bifiende & cwaciende (‘On the day there will then be the greatest terror, because through God’s might all will be set in motion, the inhabitants of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth and the inhabitants of hell, and it will all be shaking and quaking’); Dorothy Bethurum (ed.), The Homilies of Wulfstan (Oxford, 1957), 162; she draws attention to a closely related use, in Arthur Napier (ed.), Wulfstan: Sammlung der ihm zugeschriebenen Homilien… (1882; republished with a bibliographical appendix by Klaus Ostheeren, Berlin, 1966), XLII, ‘De temporibus Antichristi’, 203 lines 4–7 (cf. Ostheeren, 34, 8). 11 MS onhæled with <h>. 12 The editors emend blod to bold; such metathesis is found often, especially involving /r/ and /l/; and may not be just scribal blundering. See Fred C. Robinson, ‘Metathesis in the Dictionaries: A Problem for Lexicographers’, in Alfred Bammesberger (ed.), Problems of Old English Lexicography: Studies in Memory of Angus Cameron. Eichstätter Beiträge, 15, Abteilung Sprache und Literatur (Regensburg, 1985), 245–65, at 251. 13 This rendering is from the Toronto DOE, s.v. g·hēgan b. The sense may well be something like ‘no little thing to talk about’. 14 The rendering ‘journey’s end’ for siðfæt is interpretative, as are several other translations of a word that occurs some 180 times according to the DOE Concordance, and has many figurative uses, comparable to MnE journey, way, course. Some translations suggest that the journey is where fate requires the sinner to go, Grein (Dichtungen, II, 150) has ‘schmerzliches Geschick’ (painful destiny). Five years later C. W. M. Grein published the last volume of his Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie, 4 vols, vols III and IV forming the Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter (Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, vols III and IV Cassel and Göttingen, 1857, 1858, 1861, 1864), Sprachschatz, II, 445–6, s.v. sîð-fät, and there he has given up that rendering, listing the use as iter, peregrenatio, expeditio, cursus, though he has the sense, wie es einem ergeht, Schicksal, quod accidit alicui (as it fares with someone, fate, what happens to someone) for a use elsewhere (Juliana 537 [with wyrd in the next line, comparable to orleg ‘fate’ in Judgement Day I, 29b]). What exactly this sarlic siðfæt is at line 25a is made explicit at line 28b: the sinner onsægd weorþeð ‘is hurled down flat’. Modern English sentence structure demands that, in editing and translating these lines, a new sentence begins in the middle of line 26, seeming to cut off 25a from 28b; the sentence structure of Old English verse is looser, and there is no break in the sense. 15 The poet’s use of mid þy heape is factual, not dismissive or supercilious or ironic. We would go wrong to translate heap here as anything other than ‘multitude, company, crowd, throng’. OED (the part with heap published in 1898) is good on heap: this sense dies out after the age of Shakespeare. Our colloquial use of the noun is no earlier than the seventeenth century. 16 See Gabriele Knappe, Traditionen der klassischen Rhetorik im angelsächsischen England, Anglistische Forschungen, 236 (Heidelberg, 1994); she has no example of ‘rhetorische Frage’ in Old English verse. 17 I have left the manuscript reading (usually interpreted, ‘warlike; stern’); but I believe it is a spelling of *þearflic ‘necessitous, needy’, with loss of medial consonant in a consonant cluster; cf. Alistair Campbell, Old English Grammar (Oxford, last revised 1983), § 477 (6). 18 The seemingly isolated phrase, fisces eþel, outside the alliterative system, has been subjected to much comment and some inventive emendation, summarized by Dobbie (ASPR III, 353): ‘Although there is no indication of a loss in the MS., a half-line is evidently missing, and Grein supplied and frecne grimmeð as the first half of l. 39. Sievers, Beitr. X, 515, questions Grein’s half-line on metrical grounds. Assmann, Williams, and Mackie indicate the loss of a first half-line, but supply nothing.’ [Bruno Assmann (ed.), Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa, III/1 (Leipzig: Georg H. Wigand, 1897), 172; Eduard Sievers, ‘Zur rhythmik des germanischen alliterationsverses, II’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, x (1885), 451–545, at 515; O. T. Williams, Short Extracts from Old English Poetry Chiefly for Unseen Translation (Bangor: Jarvis & Foster, 1909), 70.] There is no reason for thinking that Old English verse should have danced to the metrical tune prescribed for it at the end of the nineteenth century, pre-eminently by Sievers; it is more flexible than metrical martinets think proper, and long lines consisting of three half-line phrases exist. (I have left the line number as 39, so that the line-numbering is not affected by that belief.) 19 The MS had geweorhtan, and the <e> is subpuncted for deletion. 20 Ever since Grein, Bibliothek, I, 196, emended MS forð gleaw to ferðgleaw, most editors and lexicographers have followed him. Grein, Dichtungen, II, 150, renders it geisterklug—perhaps ‘wise in relation to the dead’—but it could be a misprint for geistesklug ‘wise in thinking’ (there are, however, very few misprints in Grein’s publications, and this suggestion is unlikely). Probably he thought of ferhðgleaw ‘discerning of mind’, which occurs three times in Old English verse, and there is also gleawferhð (twice in Genesis A). Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 156,157) does not emend and renders the adj. ‘very wise’; perhaps he had forðmære in mind, which occurs (line 69a) in the poem called ‘The Order of the World’ in ASPR III, Mackie’s The Wonders of Creation; he translates it (53), ‘ever-famous’. I have translated it, ‘outstandingly glorious’ [‘The Wonder of Creation: A New Edition and Translation, with Discussion of Problems’, Anglia, cxxxi (2013), 475–508, at 485]. 21 Locutions with standan and gearo or gearwe (adv.) occur not infrequently in verse, and are a way of expressing ‘to be ready’. 22 Gen. pl. bearna means ‘of all mankind’; it is tempting to use ‘of all of God’s children’, that is, ‘of all humanity created by God’, but while getting the sense of bearn right, that interpretation conflicts with the alterity of God and man on the Day of Judgement. 23 The appellation leohtes Weard, for God, occurs only here; leohtes hyrde (liohtes hiorde at Psalm 50 101, leohta hyrdes at Coronation of Edgar 13) is more frequent (5 times). In Old English verse leoht occasionally approaches ‘life’ in sense, thus near the end of Widsith 141b–142a, oþþæt eal scæceð | leoht & lif somod, ‘until all passes away, light and life together’. At Genesis B 310b leoht has long been understood as having the sense of Old Saxon and Old High German lioht [well defined in Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch, V, cols 1148–52 (2008), s.v. lioht, II, Licht im christl. Bereich; more summarily, Fr. Klaeber (ed.), The Later Genesis (Heidelberg, 1931), 49, 258. lēoht ‘light, life, world’]. 24 Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene. Disposed into twelue bookes, Fashioning XII. Morall vertues (London: for William Ponsonbie, 1596), 484, Bk VI, Cant. x [stanza 16], lines 3–7: That iolly shepheard, which there piped, was Poore Colin Clout (who knowes not Colin Clout?) He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about. Pype iolly shepheard, pype thou now apace Vnto thy loue, that made thee low to lout. 25 F. Holthausen, Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1934), 72: ‘tief, hoch; schrecklich, geheimnisvoll; ernst, feierlich’. Of course, these adjectives cover all the senses of dēop, and DOE has selected, at sense B.7., the three that seemed to its editors appropriate for this citation, from a wide range of meanings. 26 The New Testament of Iesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English out of the authentical Latin (Rhemes: by Iohn Fogny, 1582), 11. For the West-Saxon and Mercian Gospel texts, see Walter W. Skeat (ed.), The Gospel according to Saint Matthew in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian Versions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1887), 44-5. The King James Bible prefers ‘the pure in heart’. 27 Christine Rauer (ed.), The Old English Martyrology (Cambridge, 2013), 200–1, 18 October, Justus. For unsceðþende I prefer the more transparent (but unidiomatic) ‘unhurtful’ to the etymologically equivalent ‘innocent’ of Rauer’s accurate translation. MnE innocent renders Latin innocens and OE unsceðþende is calqued on it. A good example of the sense is found in Thomas Miller (ed.), The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People [part I, 1, EETS, o.s. 95 (1890)], 60–2, wæron wundriende þa bilwitnesse þæs unsceðþendan lifes ‘they marvelled at the unworldliness of that innocent life’, rendering Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (eds), Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford, 1969), 76–7, ch. XXVI, mirantes simplicitatem innocentis uitae ‘marvelling at the simplicity of (their) innocent lives’. 28 The old rule for MnE used to be, expressed with supposed jocularity now found offensive, that ‘masculine embraces feminine’, and that applies to Old English too. Bruce Mitchell, Old English Syntax. 2 vols (Oxford, 1985), has many sections on grammatical concord, and he heads §§ 69–71 ‘Triumphs of sex over gender’. Both weras & wif, men and women, are to be judged on the Day of Judgement, and in Old English, if one of them is referred to, it is ‘he’, not ‘either he or she’. 29 Alger N. Doane (ed.), The Saxon Genesis (Madison, 1991), 267–8. He of course refers to the discussion by Hans Schabram, ‘Die Bedeutung von gāl und gālscipe in der altenglischen Genesis B’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur (Tübingen), 82 (1960), 265–74, where preference is given to the sense ‘pride’, right for Lucifer but difficult to sustain for the word gāl in Old English. 30 Alger N. Doane (ed.), Genesis A: A New Edition (Madison, 1978), 149; revised edn, Tempe, AZ: Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013), 448: ‘rūm-gāl adj. happy because of freedom, rejoicing in lack of confinement’; Scragg, Vercelli Homilies (1992), 37. 31 The dat. pl. willum is probably used adverbally, ‘gladly’, of God’s action; but it could be the dative object of forgieldan ‘to requite with delights’. 32 Genitive object of onfon 99b. See Mitchell, Old English Syntax, § 1092 s.v. on-fon. 33 MS hælela. 34 Alternatively, æfter foldan could mean ‘after burial in the earth’, repeating what has been said of burial (at 98b–99a), rather than, as in my translation, leaving behind an earlier terrestrial existence. 35 Adames bearn is a Hebraism, as in the King James Bible, Ecclesiasticus XL:1, ‘the sons of Adam’. The sense is that of rincas (105) ‘we humans’; ‘Adam’s children’ is a (feeble) compromise. 36 Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 163) is right to interpret to spræce as a legal term; he translates it as ‘to plead’; I think that ‘to (answer) the charge’ may be more precise. OE spræc involves speaking; the word means ‘accusation’ here. It might mean ‘court of justice, lawcourt’, or less technically ‘summoned to a council’, thus C. A. Jones, Old English Shorter Poems, I, 239; T. A. Shippey, Poems of Wisdom and Learning, 125, has ‘called to convocation’, which attractively enshrines the idea of ‘summons’, but may involve too many subtleties of who is qualified to be called in various institutions—in the University of Oxford all Masters of Arts worldwide, unlike Congregation, M.A.s in residence only; but on Doomsday all are summoned. 37 Grein (Dichtungen, II, 152) is right to interpret rincas as ‘wir Menschen’ (we humans), though rinc is usually gender-specifically male. 38 In Old and Middle English contrastive pairs, like hates & cealdes, are often used to express ‘everything’, and, when used of people, ‘one and all’. 39 For an attempt to show that this epithet of God is not illogical see fn. 8, above. 40 The meaning of us…wat is ‘lets us know; teaches us’. 41 Quoted from Charlton Hinman (ed.), The Norton Facsimile. The First Folio of Shakespeare (New York, 1968), Comedies, 179 [sig, (P6ro)], = The Merchant of Venice, IV. i.: ’Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes The throned Monarch better than his Crowne. 42 As an example of that democratic egalitarianism the epitaph, perhaps fictional, that is said to have delighted Abraham Lincoln, may be quoted; for Johnnie Kongapod (of the Native American Kickapoo people): Here lies poor Johnnie Kongapod; Have mercy on him, gracious God, As he would have if he were God And you were Johnnie Kongapod. Quoted from John E. Remsburg, Six historic Americans (New York, ?1906, 293. 43 I find it difficult to believe Shippey’s understanding of the end of the poem (Poems of Wisdom, 1976, 46): ‘The “ic” of the poem’s final section means you’, i.e. the sinner summoned on Judgement Day. 44 Poems, By J. D. with Elegies on the Authors Death (London: by M. F. for Iohn Marriot, 1633), 1, The Progresse of the Soule [title]. The poem is preceded by Infinitatum Sacrum…Metempsycosis, and that is explained [sig. A3vo], ‘the Pithagorian doctrine doth not onely carry one soule from man to man, nor man to beast, but indifferently to plants also’. The sense of Donne’s Progresse of the Soule [and he uses that title also (260) for ‘The second Anniversarie’ of An Anatomie of the World] is quite different from the soul’s journey on the Day of Judgement in the Old English poem. Familiarity with Pythagorean ‘metempsychosis’ (transmigration of the soul), as in Donne’s use, might further confuse if the title of Judgement Day I were changed to ‘The Progress of the Soul’. © The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Notes and Queries Oxford University Press

Judgement Day I or ‘The Progress of the Soul’: An Edition With Translation and Commentary

Notes and Queries , Volume Advance Article (2) – May 2, 2018

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Abstract

1. In the manuscript, Judgement Day I is two poems, or one poem in two parts As recorded in the Exeter Book, fols 115vo–117vo, Judgement Day I has two openings, as if of two poems, or of a poem in two parts. That is not how the poem appears in modern editions.1 The opening in the manuscript is similar in appearance to that of other beginnings of poems, Đæt ge limpan sceal þætte (‘That must come to pass that’), with ornamental initial Đ and punctus at the end followed by a space. The event destined to happen is Judgement Day, which forms the subject of lines 1–21: gæstes gryre ‘terror of the soul’ (21a). At line 80b, in accord with the manuscript (fol. 117ro), there is the punctuation of an end, and then a grand opening, Wile þonne forgieldan gæsta Dryhten willum æf |next line| ter] (‘The Lord of souls will then gladly requite in accordance with …’).2 The grand lay-out of the opening of lines 81 to 119, forming the end of the poem (if it is not a second poem), may well go back to the poet.3 There is no way of proving that; it does not look like a scribal decision to punctuate, after the last words of line 80, as a closure, and to begin line 81 with an ornamental wynn. The 119 lines as edited are about the Day of Judgement and the soul’s journey to face judgement and then to the soul’s eternal dwelling, and they seem to form a unit. Thorpe, in the first edition of this text, decided to treat lines 1–80 as Part I, and 81–119 as Part II. The epithet gæsta Dryhten ‘the Lord of souls’ occurs only as the second half-line of the opening line (81b) of the second part of this poem, and nowhere else in the Toronto Dictionary of Old English Corpus. A few lines later (91b) there is another unique epithet for God, gæsta Ealdor ‘the Lord of souls’. The first part of the poem opens by stressing gæstes gryre ‘terror of the soul’ (21a), that is the Day of Judgement. In view of the division of the poem into two parts (in the manuscript), it is appropriate to ask if the two parts have different emphases on Judgement Day, or if they are about different aspects of Judgement Day. Perhaps Part I is about mankind’s fears and hopes of the coming of Judgement Day, and Part II about the joys that will reward the virtuous and the sinners who have repented in time, and the eternal, terrifying chastisement that awaits the unrepentent sinner. It is easy to assert that the two Parts of Judgement Day I are so differentiated. I am not sure if that is true. 2. Epithets for God in Judgement Day I Epithets for God in Part I: 5b Þeoden user ‘our Lord’. 6b mægencyninga Hyhst ‘the Highest of kings of might’. 7b Brego moncynnes ‘Lord of mankind’. ? 15a hyra hlaforde (dat. sg.) ‘their lord’.4 53b leohtes Weard ‘Guardian of light’. ? 57b Mægencyninges þrea ‘castigation of the mighty King’.5 64b user Hælend (MS hælendes) ‘our Saviour’. 65a middangeardes Meotud ‘Lord of the earth’. 67b Crist ‘Christ’. Even with such undistinctive appellations as Þeoden user, user Hælend, and Crist this list of eight or nine epithets in 80 lines amounts to only one in every ten lines. The density in Part II is greater: 81b gæsta Dryhten ‘Lord of souls’. 82b wuldres Ealdor ‘Prince of glory’. 85b lifes Waldend ‘Ruler of life’. 86a heofona hyrde ‘Guardian of the heavens’. 90b beorht Fæder ‘resplendent Lord God’.6 91b gæsta Ealdor ‘Lord of souls’. 92a Sigedryhten ‘glorious Lord’.7 94b se Waldend ‘the Lord’. 95a ealra cyninga Cyning ‘King of all kings’. 96b Dryhtne (dat.) ‘the Lord’ 108a heofoncyninga Hyhst ‘the Highest of heavenly kings’.8 112a Waldendes (gen.) ‘the Lord’. Twelve epithets for God in 39 lines, one in about 4½ lines, is a much higher density of occurrences in Part II of the poem than the density of one in ten lines in Part I. Such distribution differences need not amount to anything significant. There are between lines 96b and 108a, eleven lines without the naming of God by any appellation. Before the poem gets to that godless patch, God is invoked ten times in sixteen lines. This gives the opening of Part II a feel of joyousness in God, not the overwhelming fear and awe that fill much of Part I. There is a difference of tone, controlled by a thoughtful governance of hope and fear in Part II. 3. Sentences with the personal pronoun ‘I’ as subject In both Parts I and II there are sentences with ic as subject, ic a wille | leode læran (‘I purpose ever to teach the people’, 46b–47a) expressing a wish to fulfil a primary priestly duty; and in Part II acknowledgement that the events of that Day are beyond the influence of the persona ic to alter, ic gewægan ne mæg wyrd under heofonum (‘I cannot annul what is destined beneath the heavens’, 115). 4. The opening of Part I: the terror is water In lines 1–6, water, not fire, is the destructive element to be feared: Đæt gelimpan sceal, þætte lagu floweð, flod ofer foldan, feores bið æt ende anra gehwylcum. Oft mæg se þe wile in his sylfes sefan soð geþencan: hafað him geþinged hider Þeoden user  5 on þam mæstan dæge, mægencyninga Hyhst. [That must happen, that water will flow, a flood covering the earth, the life of each and every one will be at an end. Whoever wishes to do so can consider many times in his own mind the truth: (5) our Lord, the Highest of kings of might, will have purposed to come here on that greatest day.] Water and fire are the terrors humanity will have to experience on the Day of Judgement.9 The poet uses twice the half-line on þam mæsta dæg, line 6a near the beginning of Part I and line 104b towards the end of Part II. It occurs nowhere else in Old English verse.10 Of course, that in itself is not proof that the whole of the 119 lines of Judgement Day I (as usually edited) are to be regarded as one single poem, and not a poem in two Parts; but this phrase occurring twice significantly demonstrates a singleness of poetic mind on a single subject, and confirms the likelihood that the two Parts form a single poem. The half-line mægencyninga Hyhst must be seen in the historical context of absolute kingship. A subject, lay or religious, has reason to be in awe of a king, a sovereign of great power in his country. One must fear such an earthly king, when he announces that he intends to come. At lines 5–6 we learn that the Highest, one higher, mightier than all of the mighty kings on earth, is about to come. The news that mankind will be in the presence of the Lord is a truth, soð (4 b), of the greatest significance. 5. Next, fire is to be feared, and hell-fire is described Overwhelming water first, next the all-consuming final conflagration, these afflictions open Judgement Day I. Lines 7–29 begin with the terror of fire: Wile þonne forbærnan brego moncynnes lond mid lige. Nis þæt lytulu spræc to geheganne: hat bið onæled11 siþþan fyr nimeð foldan sceatas,     10  byrnende lig, beorhte gesceafte. Bið eal þes ginna grund gleda gefylled, reþra bronda, swa nu rixiað gromhydge guman, gylpe strynað, hyra hlaforde gehlæges tilgað,      15  oþþæt hy beswicað synna weardas, þæt hi mid þy heape helle secað, fleogað mid þam feondum. Him biþ fyr ongean, droflic wite, þær næfre dæg scineð leohte of lyfte, ac a bilocen stondeð   20  siþþan þæs gæstes gryre agiefen weorþeð. Ufan hit is enge, & hit is innan hat. Nis þæt betlic blod,12 ac þær is brogna hyhst, ne noht hyhtlic ham, ac þær is helle grund, sarlic siðfæt þam þe sibbe ful oft    25  tomældeð mid his muþe. Ne con he þa mircan gesceaft hu hi butan ende ece stondeð þam þe þær for his synnum onsægd weorþeð, & þonne a to ealdre orleg dreogeð. [It is the Lord of mankind’s will to burn up then the earth with flame. That will be no trifling conversation to hold:13 heat will be ignited (10) when fire, burning flame, seizes the corners of the earth, (this) beautiful creation. All this vast espanse will be filled with burning coals, with cruel flames, the very places where now men with hostile intent bear sway, amass pride, (15) treat their master with scorn, until the guardians of sins ensnare them, so that they with that company go to hell, fly (there) with those devils. Fire will be facing them, a troublous punishment, where day never shines (20) bright from the sky, but for ever remains shut out, when this terror of the soul will be unleashed. From above it is restrictive, and within it is hot. That building is not grandiose, but there is the most extreme of terrors, not at all a hope-inspiring home, but there is the abyss of hell, (25) a sorrowful journey’s end14 for him who very often lets his mouth destroy the peace. He does not know that dark (aspect of) creation, how it will eternally remain without end, for him who will then be hurled down to that place for his sins, and then will suffer (his) fate for ever and ever.] That the sinners condemned to hell are accompanied on this their last journey by the synna weardas (16b) is in line with the prominence in this poem on journeyings of souls, in this passage to their infernal abode. The ‘guardians of sins’, who have ensnared the damned, are a significant detail of the way to hell. Their accompaniment on the sinners’ final journey is part of the traditional depiction of the Last Judgement.15 Representations of that Judgement are likely to have been seen by an Anglo-Saxon in the ninth century (or before) if he had access to grand manuscripts, and perhaps to be seen by all on church walls, although very few frescoes so early have survived in England. As always with Old English poetry, other than Cædmon’s Hymn, Bede’s Death Song, and the poetry of King Alfred—and sceptical voices have been raised against even these ascriptions,—it is anonymous. The immediate location where the poems were composed, whether monastic or secular, is a matter of inference from the texts themselves. In Judgement Day I the strange words, þam þe sibbe ful oft | tomældeð mid his muþe ‘for him who very often lets his mouth destroy the peace’ (25b–26a), lead to the inference that the poem was written by a religious in a monastery. The sins of violence, sexual misdemeanour, bearing false witness, or covetousness, all of them breaches of divine ordinance for the world in general, are less common, rare even one may hope, in a monastery, but violent and discordant speech often breaks the peace of such a community. A cœnobitic poet would have reason to think of that immediately when reflecting on sinfulness. Such a thought is unlikely to come prominently to a secular, worldly-wise poet. 6. A rhetorical question—Who is then so predictively wise?—begins the next portion of Part I of the poem Rhetorical questions extending over several lines of verse are not common in Old English.16 Lines 30–34a provide an example, introducing the events of the Last Judgement, lines 30–59: Hwa is þonne þæs forðgleaw oþþe þæs fela cunne30  þæt æfre mæge heofona heahþu gereccan, swa georne þone godes dæl swa he gearo stondeð clænum heortum, þam þe þisne cwide willað ondrædan þus deopne? Sceal se dæg weorþan þæt we forð berað firena gehwylce,35  þeawas & geþohtas. Þæt biþ þearlic17 gemot, heardlic heremægen. Hat biþ acolod. Ne biþ þonne on þisse worulde nymþe wætres sweg    fisces eþel.18 Ne biþ her ban ne blod, ac sceal bearna gehwylc40  mid lice & mid sawle leanes fricgan, ealles þæs þe we on eorþan ær geworhtan,19 godes oþþe yfles. Ne mæg nænig gryre mare geweorþan æfter woulde, & se bið wide cuð. Ne tytaþ her tungul, ac biþ tyr scæcen,45  eorþan blædas. Forþon ic a wille leode læran þæt hi lof Godes hergan on heahþu, hyhtum to wuldre lifgen on geleafan, & a lufan Dryhtnes wyrcan in þisse worulde, ær þon se wlonca dæg  50 bodige þurh byman brynehatne leg, egsan oferþrym. Ne bið nænges eorles tir leng on þissum life, siþþan leohtes Weard ofer ealne foldan fæþm fyr onsendeð; lixeð lyftes mægen, leg onetteð,  55  blæc byrnende blodgyte weorþeð mongum gemeldad Mægencyninges þrea. Beofað eal beorhte gesceaft; brondas lacað on þam deopan dæge, dyneð upheofon. [Who is then so predictively wise20 or knows so much that he can ever tell so keenly the height of the heavens, the vastness of (its) bounty, as it exists ready21 for clean hearts, for such as are willing to regard with awe this pronouncement, thus profound? The day will assuredly come (35) when we make known each one of (our) sins, (our) moral qualities and thoughts. That (we, humanity before the divine Judge) will be a patiently enduring gathering, a needy multitude. Heat will cool off. There will then be in this world nothing but the roar of water, the homeland of the fish. (40) Neither bone nor blood will there be, but each one of the children (of mankind)22 must with body and soul bring into question the recompense for all that we had done on earth, good or evil. There can be no greater fear in all the world, and that will be widely known. (45) No stars will here peep forth, but the glory will have departed, the prosperities of the world. Therefore I purpose ever to teach the people that they laud God’s praise to the height, that in hopes of glory they live in faith, and ever (50) strive for the love of the Lord in this world before that worshipful Day will proclaim through trumpets fiery-hot flames, an overwhelming force of terror. No man’s fame will last longer in this life from the time that the Protector of light23 sends forth fire over all the length and breadth of the earth; (55) aerial power will shine out, flame hasten forward burning bright, slaughter will be revealed to many a one by the affliction sent by the mighty King. All the radiant creation will tremble, fires will dance on that deep day, the heavens above will resound.] The rhetorical question ‘who is so wise?’ invites the negative answer, ‘no one is so wise’. It leads into the description of Judgement Day and the priestly duty of instructing the laity to fear that day and to praise all-powerful God, who will unleash that terror. It is a long rhetorical question, nine half-lines long. The most impressive examples of that figure are short in English literature; thus Spenser’s negative rhetorical question recalling in five words a poetic world gloriously created by him earlier, with the shepherd Colin Clout piping, while the Graces dance about him:24 ‘who knows not Colin Clout?’ Succinctness is not among the gifts of the poet of Judgement Day I, whose rhetorical question does, however, achieve immediacy in the answer, the terror ‘on that deep day’, on þam deopan dæge. DOE tells us that the adjective dēop occurs some 250 times in the corpus. It has this quotation as the last sense, unique it seems: ‘B.7. of the day of judgement: profound, solemn, mysterious’. It is that and more. Holthausen’s etymological dictionary does well:25 ‘deep, high; terrible, mysterious; solemn, celebratory’. At this point of Judgement Day I, 58–59a, ‘All the radiant creation will tremble, fires will dance on that deep day’—the Graces are not dancing here, as they dance in one of the most gracious scenes of the English Renaissance—evoked by the rhetorical question—when Colin pipes: in the Old English poem, the flames summoned by God ‘are dancing on that deep day’, lacað | on þam deopan dæge. 7. ‘The clean of heart’, not a warlike host The half-lines, swa he gearo stondeð | clænum heortum (32b–33a) is related to the sixth Beatitude (Matthew V: 8), Beati mundo corde, rendered in the Rhemes New Testament:26 ‘Blessed are the cleane of hart’; cf. the more direct syntax, þa clænheortan in all West-Saxon versions, and þa clæne heortan in the Mercian of the Rushworth MS. The compound clænheort does not not occur in verse, but is not rare in prose and glosses (fourteen occurrences). The later reference in the poem (93b–94a) to the ‘clean’ is immediately followed by swa se Waldend cwæð, ‘as the Lord said’, and that confirms that it is the Beatitude as spoken in the Sermon on the Mount. A use in the Martyrology exemplifies its special appropriateness when death is near, not yet Doomsday, but at the first stage of the soul’s progress, æfter heonansiþe ‘the journey away from this world’ (the term used at line 86b):27Heofones God ond eorðan, onfoh mine sawle, forðon ic wæs unsceðþende ond clænheort (‘God of heaven and earth, receive my soul, because I was unhurtful and pure of heart’). As the adjectives þearlic and heardlic have been traditionally interpreted, lines 36b–37a make the human multitude seem a warlike host summoned to appear before God the Judge: Grein (Dichtungen, II, 151), ‘die Versammlung ist furchtbar, die Heeresmacht stark!’ (the gathering is redoubtable, the military might strong!); similarly Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 159), ‘That will be a stern assembly, a dread congregation.’ But on the Day of Judgement we, appearing before God, will no longer be in a position to look fierce and to inspire fear; our time of earthly authority and nationhood, for which armed forces clash, is past. The adjectives *þear(f)lic and heardlic combine to describe humanity ‘ready to endure’, perhaps to endure bravely. 8. The end of Part I of Judgement Day I The twenty lines that conclude the first part of the poem elaborate the effects on humanity of the Day of Judgement, joyous for him hwa in clænnisse | lif alifde ‘who has lived (his) life in cleanness’ (62b–63a); a different effect, a worse lot, wyrs gescaden (75 b), is assigned to those damned. Lines 60–80: Þonne weras & wif woruld alætað,  60  eorþan yrmþu, seoð þonne on ece gewyrht, þonne bið gecyþed hwa in clænnisse lif alifde. Him bið lean gearo. Hyht wæs a in heofonum siþþan user Hælendes wæs, middangeardes Meotud, þurh þa mæstan gesceaft65  on ful blacne beam bunden fæste cearian clomme. Crist ealle wat, gode dæde. No þæs gilpan þearf synfull sawel þæt hyre sie swegl ongean þonne he gehyrweð ful oft halge lare,  70  brigdeð on bysmer. Ne con he þæs brogan dæl, yfles &giet ær hit hine on fealleð. He þæt þonne onfindeð þonne se fær cymeþ geond middangeard monegum gecyþeð, þæt he bið on þæt wynstre weorud wyrs gescaden75  þonne he on þa swiþran hond swican mote. Leahtra alysed lyt þæt geþenceð, se þe him wines glæd wilna bruceð, siteð him symbelgal siþ ne bemurneð hu him æfter þisse worulde weorðan mote.80  [When men and women depart from the world, from the wretchedness of the earth, (and) contemplate then (their) eternal desert, then it will be revealed who has lived (his [or her]) life in cleanness. For such the reward will be ready. That joyous hope has always been in the heavens from the time that, by the greatest dispensation, our Saviour, (65) the Lord of (this) earth, was bound with grievous fettering force on the gloriously effulgent Cross. Christ knows them all, the good deeds. The sinful soul has no reason to boast that heaven will be (reaching out) toward him, (70) when he (the sinner) has very often scorned sacred doctrine, has distorted (it) into profanity. He does not know the apportionment of terror, has no concept of the calamity before it befalls him. Then he finds that out, when the peril comes all over the earth, revealing itself to many, (75) that the sinner is separated out to the worse group, the crowd on the left, when cleansed from sins he might have gone off into the right-hand (crowd). Anyone who, merry with wine, is enjoying delights, gives little thought to it, sitting lecherous with feasting, not bewailing where it takes him, how it may be with him after this world.] Several details in this translation are insecure, beside the usual difficulty that Old English uses the present tense where perfect or future is appropriate in Modern English. It is regrettable that the translation is often gender-specific, as is the Old English at line 60, weras & wif ‘men and women’. At 63b the text has him dat. sg. masc., and there we can in translation use ‘for such’ gender-unspecific. At 69a synfull sawel ‘sinful soul’ is feminine, and therefore hyre ‘her’, but the translation has ‘to him’, justified because the text immediately goes on with he (70a), and so again several times later, never feminine. Politically correct grammar does not grace Old English discourse.28 In fact, it looks as if at lines 78–79 it is more than a matter of grammar. These lines are not about both men and women and the souls of either sex, but of male wine-bibbers, and him is used three times in the sentence, 77–80. The word symbelgal occurs only here; and verse compounds related in meaning are wingal, ealogal, medugal; galferhð, galmod, galnys; and though the word hygegal itself is perhaps less explicit, the context (Riddle 12, line 12a) is clearly about sexual abuse. There is no denying that ‘lust, lechery’, the sin Luxuria, is often involved. Much has been written on galscipe (Genesis B 341a), and a recent edition, with a long discussion of gal, uses ‘state of elation’ in the glossary, pride in one’s prosperity is an aspect of Lucifer’s sin.29 There is also rumgal (Genesis A 1466a), and rumgallice (Vercelli Homily IV, line 37), words of importance if the fundamental asexuality of OE gal is to be understood.30Genesis A 1466a, rumgal is wholly innocent of sensuality; it describes the feeling experienced by Noah’s dove, no longer confined to the Ark, but free to pluck off an olive leaf from a tree no longer under water, and to bring it to Noah (Genesis 8: 9–11) as symbolic proof that the Flood is at an end. The word means ‘rejoicing in the spaciousness’; the dove could be said to be wanton in the spaciousness, with gal in sense close to innocent ‘wantoning’ and rum etymologically close to the stem of roominess. The context of the adverb rumgallice is evil, robbery, not sexuality: Þa þe her rumgallice ofer Godes riht ricsiaþ, þa bioð þær on mæstum racentegum (‘Those who here [on earth] rule wantonly [and] at large beyond God’s justice, they shall be there [in hell] in the heaviest fetters’). In this part of Vercelli Homily IV the contrast between ‘here’ and ‘there’ is insistently stressed by repetition. The Vercelli Homily expresses a devout understanding of eternal damnation, ‘in the heaviest fetters’. No such simple understanding of restricted movement is to be found in Judgement Day I, lines 64–67, in which bunden fæste | cearian clomme (‘fettered with grievous restraining force’) is said to have led to hyht…in heofonum. Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 159) renders that as ‘joy in the heavens’. The heavenly ‘joy’ produced by Jesus ‘fettered with grievous restraining force’ might seem an incongruous combination, and unlikely preachment on the subject of the Day of Judgement. The poem is, however, theologically more profound; the centre of this combination is the word hyht. That noun is of ‘a forward-looking joy, a hope’. In the heavens Christ’s tortured death on the Cross was recognized as the redemptive act giving hope and joy. In the description of feasting and drunkenness in Judgement Day I the pronouns are all masculine. That need not mean that the poet, or Anglo-Saxons more generally, thought that such excesses of feasting as are described in lines 77b–80 must be of men only. Riddle 12, line 9a has dol druncmennen ‘female servant drunk and foolish’, but perhaps it indicates that no lady is likely to be involved in that kind of behaviour, only a female of the lower orders, a foolish serving woman. It may be chance, or the result of the masculine dominance in grammar, that Judgement Day I does not mention weras & wif, ‘men and women’, when speaking of him wines glæd ‘him merry with wine’ and him symbelgal perhaps ‘him lecherous with feasting’; or less sexually ‘him boisterous at the feast’, which is a better translation, because such merriment is mentioned to explain why the sinner, heedless in his happy state here, fails to think of the judgement to come. This is a minor consideration in Part I of a text, the subject of which is the assigning, on Judgement Day, of a place in the disposition: on þæt wynstre weorud wyrs, ‘to the worse lot, the crowd on the left’, that is, to eternal damnation. 9. Part II teaches the meaning of both eternal punishment and eternal reward Part II is about life after death, and that is shaped by desert for deeds done on earth, and repentance: the body, covered with earth and clay, will be reunited with the soul on the Day of Judgement, to face eternal damnation or everlasting joy in glory; lines 81–97: Wile þonne forgieldan gæsta Dryhten willum æfter þære wyrde, wuldres Ealdor, þam þe his synna nu sare geþenceþ, modbysgunge micle dreogeð. Him þæt þonne geleanað lifes Waldend,85  heofona Hyrde, æfter heonansiþe godum dædum, þæs þe he swa geomor wearð, sarig fore his synnum. Ne sceal se to sæne beon, ne þissa larna to læt, se þe him wile lifgan mid Gode, brucan þæs boldes þe us beorht Fæder  90  gearwað togeanes, gæsta Ealdor. Þæt is Sigedryhten, þe þone sele frætweð, timbreð torhtlice: to sculon clæne, womma lease, swa se Waldend cwæð, ealra cyninga Cyning. Forþon cwicra gewylc  95  deophydigra, Dryhtne hyreð þara þe wile heofona heahþu gestigan. [The Lord of souls, the Prince of glory, will then gladly31 requite him after the event (of the soul’s departure), (will requite) him who now considers his sins sorrowfully, enduring severe anxiety of mind. (85) The Ruler of life, Guardian of the heavens, will then recompense him for that (his conduct on earth), after the (soul’s) journey from this world, (recompense him) with good things, because he had been so mournful, so sad because of his sins. He who wishes to live with God must not be too neglectful, too heedless of these precepts, (he who wishes) (90) to enjoy the use of the (heavenly) abode, which the resplendent Lord God, the Lord of souls, prepares in readiness for us. That is the glorious Lord, who has ornamented that dwelling, has constructed (it) illustriously: the sinless are to come to it, free from defilement, as the Lord said, (95) the King of all kings. Therefore everyone alive, deep-thinking, wishing to ascend to the height of the heavens, will obey the Lord.] The subject of these lines is the poet’s teaching, that one must not be heedless þissa larna ‘of these precepts’. The poet is preaching, reminding us of spiritual cleanness, swa se Waldend cwæð (94b) ‘as the Lord said’: a good preacher’s teaching follows God’s teaching. In this poem of 119 lines clæne and clænnes occurs three times clænum heortum (‘for clean hearts’, 33a), in clænnisse (‘in cleanness; in freedom from sin’, 62b), clæne (‘the sinless’ (pl.), 93b). On the Day of Judgement sinners cleansed by contrition shall have their reward eternally. Part II opens with the contrast, þonne (81a) ‘then (in the future)’, and nu (83a) ‘now’; then God will compensate us as we deserve, now we must engage penitently in thinking about our sins if we are to enjoy the good things prepared for us. Old English is not precise in its handling of tenses. The opening of Part II, wile the first word (81a), with willum (82a), is perhaps an enhanced future, ‘the Lord will gladly’, or an enhanced ‘wishing’, ‘the Lord wishes desiringly’. Important in the opening sentence is æfter þære wyrde (82b). Grein (Dichtungen, II, 152) translates the phrase ‘nach dem Tode’ (after death); Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 161) translates it ‘as is destined’. The much-discussed noun wyrd, the abstract of weorþan ‘to become, come to pass, etc.’, is not to be identified with ‘death’. If the poem is, as I believe, a single text in two parts, æfter þære wyrde (82b), in the third half-line of Part II, reaches back to æfter þisse worulde (80a), in the last line of Part I: God’s decree unites the two parts. The soul’s journey begins at the end of Part I, ‘after this world’, and, having arrived, the journey ends, æfter heonansiþe (86b) ‘after the (soul’s) journey from this world’. Phrases using æfter occur six times in the poem: æfter worulde 44a = æfter þisse worulde 80a, æfter þære wyrde 82a, æfter heonansiþe 86 b, feores32æfter foldan 100a ‘after existence on earth’, siþþan æfter þam lige 118a ‘then after that fire’. The last of these six is æfter the Day of Judgement, when the soul’s eternal residence is established. The others are all about the journey from this world. There is in lines 90a–93a an account of heaven. Heaven has been built and ornamented for us, made ready by God to receive us, that is our souls, as we progress to it, to sculon 93b; and swa se Waldend cwæð 94b refers back to lines 32b–33a, the Sixth Beatitude. If we are thinking deeply about that happy future, hoping to reach heaven, it is imperative that we have obeyed the Lord. 10. The poem continues about the eternity after the Day of Judgement Burial is not the end but the beginning when Judgement Day comes, full of joy for some, and therefore something to look forward to with hope; eternally and harshly punitive for others. Lines 98–119: Hwæþre þæt gegongeð, þeah þe hit sy greote beþeaht lic mid lame, þæt hit sceal lif onfon, feores æfter foldan. Folc biþ gebonnen,100  Adames bearn, ealle to spræce. Beoð þonne gegædrad gæst & bansele, gesomnad to þam siþe. Soþ þæt wile cyþan þonne we us gemittað on þam mæstan dæge. Rincas æt þære rode secgað þonne ryhta fela,  105 eal swylce under geofonum gewearð, hates & cealdes, godes oþþe yfles. Georne gehyreð heofoncyninga Hyhst hæleþa33 dæde. Næfre mon þæs hlude horn aþyteð, ne byman ablaweþ, þæt ne sy seo beorhte stefn110  ofer ealne middangeard monnum hludre Waldendes word. Wongas beofiað for þam ærende þæt he to us eallum wat. Oncweþ nu þisne cwide! ‘Cuþ sceal geweorþan þæt ic gewægan ne mæg wyrd under heofonum,115  ac hit þus gelimpan sceal leoda gehwylcum ofer eall beorht gesetu, byrnende lig.’ Siþþan æfter þam lige lif bið gestaþelad, welan ah in wuldre, se nu wel þenceð. [Nevertheless it will happen that, though the body is buried in the earth, covered with dust, with clay, it shall receive animate existence, (100) life after (life on) earth.34 People, all Adam’s children,35 will be summoned to (answer) the charge.36 The soul and (its) enfolding bone-structure will then be reunited, reassembled for that journey, (that is) the truth that will be proclaimed when we meet on that greatest day. (105) In the presence of the Cross we humans37 will then say many truths, all that took place beneath the heavens, both hot and cold,38 good or evil. The Highest of heavenly kings39 will listen keenly to the deeds of men. Never did any human sound a horn, (110) nor blow a trumpet so loud, that the bright voice, the word of the Lord, is not louder for mankind over all the world. The wide surfaces will quake for the message which he teaches40 us all.  Declare now this principle: ‘It shall be known (as an article of faith), (115) that I cannot annul what is destined beneath the heavens, but it must happen thus to each of the nations, burning fire throughout all (their) bright dwellings.’ After that fire life will be re-established: whoever now intends well shall prosper in glory.] The Day of Judgement is viewed by the poet in legal terms. Those summoned are to be allowed to defend themselves. As a first reaction it might seem theologically mistaken to believe that, when summoned to appear before the Supreme Judge, humans shall have the right to defend themselves, refuting any accusation: the Judge is omniscient, those before him on that Day are therefore justly accused. The poet might seem to disregard divine omniscience, for at 107b the highest King keenly listens, georne gehyreð, as deeds are related. Pleas for mitigation are of course in the liturgical tradition of prayer for divine mercy in the hope that God, though omniscient, will listen. Portia’s words on ‘The quality of mercy’ apply to heofoncyninga Hyhst:41 More of that speech is relevant. In the Old English poem we are shown how our understanding of earthly power when ‘likest God’s’ may help us to understand hope for divine mercy on the Day of Judgement; in Portia’s words, ‘earthly power doth then shew likest Gods | When mercie seasons Iustice.’ God is always to be feared as an absolute monarch, and throned monarchs are absolute in Shakespeare. Absolute kingship is difficult to entertain with humility in our age of democratic egalitarianism.42 Our limited power on the Day of Judgement is stressed in the striking direct command by the poet, that we should rehearse words the subject of which is ‘I’, the persona of the poet,43 as he recites them for us to follow, words on the limited power of those who are judged on that Day, when fire will destroy everything on earth. That is the usual Doomsday message; but the last two lines are very unusual. They are about life after Doomsday, life of hope for those who strove virtuously while here on earth. 11. Should a different title be imposed on this poem, not Judgement Day I but ‘The Progress of the Soul’? We have come a long way in this poem. From terror to hope. It is a poem about a journey, heonansiþ (86a), siðfæt (25a), siþ (79b), siþe (103a), the soul’s journey, a concept that might be called ‘The Progress of the Soul’: it would be a good title for this poem, if it had not been used by Donne, and if in general changing established titles for something newer, perhaps more appropriate, were not almost always a bad idea.44 The poem includes the terror of Judgement Day, as it ranges widely. Like the other short religious poems of the Exeter Book, it is an intellectual statement in verse, its subject, though not its title in the editions, is the progress of the soul. Footnotes 1 R. W. Chambers, Max Förster, and Robin Flower (introd.), The Exeter Book of Old English Poetry (London, 1933). For the text Dobbie’s edition is probably still the standard, in George Philip Krapp and Elliott Van Kirk Dobbie (eds), The Exeter Book, Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, III (New York, 1936), 212–15; on the ‘sectional division’ cf. pp. xvii, lxxv. 2 The sense of gæst in gæsta Dryhten is ‘soul’; cf. gæsta Ealdor (91b), a comparable epithet for God, ‘the Lord of souls’. Benjamin Thorpe (ed.), Codex Exoniensis. A Collection of Anglo-Saxon Poetry … with an English Translation (London: by William Pickering for the Society of Antiquaries, 1842), 450, ‘the Lord of spirits’; C. W. M. Grein (trsl.), Dichtungen der Angelsachsen stabreimend übersetzt. 2 vols (Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, 1857, 1859), II, 152, ‘der Geister König’; W. S. Mackie (ed.), The Exeter Book Part II, EETS, o.s. 194 (1934), 161, ‘The Lord of spirits’; Angus Cameron, Ashley Crandell Amos, and Antonette diPaolo Healey (eds), 1986–, Dictionary of Old English [DOE] (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, for Centre of Medieval Studies, University of Toronto), s.v. gāst, 10b, ‘in genitival phrases in epithets for God / Christ’. The word gāst ‘soul’ is always spelt with ǣ (gæst) in the Exeter Book. For willum ‘gladly’ see fn. 30, below. 3 All editors begin a new paragraph with line 81. For example, among fairly recent editions, T. A. Shippey (ed.), Poems of Wisdom and Learning in Old English (Cambridge, 1976), 122, with a long and valuable critique of the poem, 43–6; Bernard J. Muir (ed.), The Exeter Anthology of Old English Poetry. 2 vols (Exeter, 1994), I, 337, with an instructive footnote on MS punctuation at the end of sections and poems. Christopher A. Jones (ed.), Old English Shorter Poems, I. Religious and Didactic (Cambridge, MA, 2012), 236–7, similarly indents for a new paragraph. 4 The noun gehlæg (in hyra hlaford | gehlæges tilgað) is very rare. Etymologically it is close to hlyhhan ‘to laugh, deride’; gehlæges tilgað perhaps ‘treat with ridicule, with scorn’. Grein’s translation (Dichtungen, II, 150), ‘wider ihren Herren Hochverrath begehen’ (commit high treason against their lord), seems to be too detailed a crime, though it is likely that at line 15 hlaford is of an earthly ruler. The word is rarely used for ‘the Lord God’ in verse; such epithets as heofona hlaford (Dream of the Rood 45a, and cf. Cynewulf’s Christ II 518) are more probably of God as the master of the heavens. Mackie, EETS, o.s. 194, 157, is probably wrong to translate (with ‘Lord’ capitalized, for God), ‘strive after scorn towards their Lord’. An earthly lord fulfils a function laid upon him by God. That is why treating a king with scorn is sinful, though it may seem disproportionate to list that sin so early, before murder, adultery, fornication (none of these named in the poem). In defence of Mackie’s rendering it might be averred that the order of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1–17) places offences against ‘a jealous God’ before all others. 5 The compound mægencyning obviously refers to God; it is a compounded appellation, in formation unlike periphrastic epithets such as leohtes Weard. 6 Waller Deering, The Anglosaxon Poets of the Judgment Day (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1890), 30–1, has adduced evidence to show that fæder is used not only for God the Father, but also occasionally for Christ, the Son. See also Anne Scheller, Bezeichnungen für die christliche Gottheit im Altenglischen, Schriften zur Mediävistik, 17 (Hamburg: Dr. Kovač, 2010), 127–8. 7 Translations like ‘Siegeskönig’ (Grein, Dichtungen, II, 152) and ‘victorious Lord’ (Mackie, EETS, o.s. 194, 161) are inappropriate for God; ‘victory’ is a specialized sense of sige, ‘glory, triumph’; see E. G. Stanley, ‘Some Problematic Sense-Divisions in Old English: “glory” and “victory”; “noble,” “glorious,” and “learned” ’, in Helen Damico and John Leyerle (eds), Heroic Poetry in the Anglo-Saxon Period: Studies in Honor of Jess B. Bessinger, Jr. (Kalamazoo, MI, 1993), 171–226, at 187–8. 8 There is possibly an illogicality in this epithet. Heaven has only one heofoncyning, God. One might wish to emend boldly, leaving off final -a of heofoncyninga, ‘the Highest, the King of heaven’, but the scansion of *Heofoncyning Hyhst is questionable. The transmitted heofoncyninga Hyhst is perhaps to be defended as a rhetorically magnified superlative, if there were kings in heaven God would be the highest among them. 9 Being destroyed by fire and drowned in water are listed among the terrors in the Judgement Day Homily II of the Vercelli Book, D. G. Scragg (ed.), The Vercelli Homilies and Related Texts, EETS, o.s. 300 (1992), 52–64, at 54, line 14. The variant in the related homily (in Corpus Christi College Cambridge MS 419, 182–204) is printed by Scragg at 55, line 26. Cf. Max Förster (ed.), Die Vercelli-Homilien, Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa, XII (1932; rptd, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964), 42–53, at 45, line 16 (and note 8). 10 Related wording occurs in prose in Wulfstan’s homily ‘De Fide Catholica’, line 115: Đær bið þonne on dæg gryre se mæsta, forðam þurh Godes mihte bið eal astyred ge heofonwered ge eorðwered ge hellwered, & eal hit bið bifiende & cwaciende (‘On the day there will then be the greatest terror, because through God’s might all will be set in motion, the inhabitants of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth and the inhabitants of hell, and it will all be shaking and quaking’); Dorothy Bethurum (ed.), The Homilies of Wulfstan (Oxford, 1957), 162; she draws attention to a closely related use, in Arthur Napier (ed.), Wulfstan: Sammlung der ihm zugeschriebenen Homilien… (1882; republished with a bibliographical appendix by Klaus Ostheeren, Berlin, 1966), XLII, ‘De temporibus Antichristi’, 203 lines 4–7 (cf. Ostheeren, 34, 8). 11 MS onhæled with <h>. 12 The editors emend blod to bold; such metathesis is found often, especially involving /r/ and /l/; and may not be just scribal blundering. See Fred C. Robinson, ‘Metathesis in the Dictionaries: A Problem for Lexicographers’, in Alfred Bammesberger (ed.), Problems of Old English Lexicography: Studies in Memory of Angus Cameron. Eichstätter Beiträge, 15, Abteilung Sprache und Literatur (Regensburg, 1985), 245–65, at 251. 13 This rendering is from the Toronto DOE, s.v. g·hēgan b. The sense may well be something like ‘no little thing to talk about’. 14 The rendering ‘journey’s end’ for siðfæt is interpretative, as are several other translations of a word that occurs some 180 times according to the DOE Concordance, and has many figurative uses, comparable to MnE journey, way, course. Some translations suggest that the journey is where fate requires the sinner to go, Grein (Dichtungen, II, 150) has ‘schmerzliches Geschick’ (painful destiny). Five years later C. W. M. Grein published the last volume of his Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie, 4 vols, vols III and IV forming the Sprachschatz der angelsächsischen Dichter (Göttingen: Georg H. Wigand, vols III and IV Cassel and Göttingen, 1857, 1858, 1861, 1864), Sprachschatz, II, 445–6, s.v. sîð-fät, and there he has given up that rendering, listing the use as iter, peregrenatio, expeditio, cursus, though he has the sense, wie es einem ergeht, Schicksal, quod accidit alicui (as it fares with someone, fate, what happens to someone) for a use elsewhere (Juliana 537 [with wyrd in the next line, comparable to orleg ‘fate’ in Judgement Day I, 29b]). What exactly this sarlic siðfæt is at line 25a is made explicit at line 28b: the sinner onsægd weorþeð ‘is hurled down flat’. Modern English sentence structure demands that, in editing and translating these lines, a new sentence begins in the middle of line 26, seeming to cut off 25a from 28b; the sentence structure of Old English verse is looser, and there is no break in the sense. 15 The poet’s use of mid þy heape is factual, not dismissive or supercilious or ironic. We would go wrong to translate heap here as anything other than ‘multitude, company, crowd, throng’. OED (the part with heap published in 1898) is good on heap: this sense dies out after the age of Shakespeare. Our colloquial use of the noun is no earlier than the seventeenth century. 16 See Gabriele Knappe, Traditionen der klassischen Rhetorik im angelsächsischen England, Anglistische Forschungen, 236 (Heidelberg, 1994); she has no example of ‘rhetorische Frage’ in Old English verse. 17 I have left the manuscript reading (usually interpreted, ‘warlike; stern’); but I believe it is a spelling of *þearflic ‘necessitous, needy’, with loss of medial consonant in a consonant cluster; cf. Alistair Campbell, Old English Grammar (Oxford, last revised 1983), § 477 (6). 18 The seemingly isolated phrase, fisces eþel, outside the alliterative system, has been subjected to much comment and some inventive emendation, summarized by Dobbie (ASPR III, 353): ‘Although there is no indication of a loss in the MS., a half-line is evidently missing, and Grein supplied and frecne grimmeð as the first half of l. 39. Sievers, Beitr. X, 515, questions Grein’s half-line on metrical grounds. Assmann, Williams, and Mackie indicate the loss of a first half-line, but supply nothing.’ [Bruno Assmann (ed.), Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Prosa, III/1 (Leipzig: Georg H. Wigand, 1897), 172; Eduard Sievers, ‘Zur rhythmik des germanischen alliterationsverses, II’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, x (1885), 451–545, at 515; O. T. Williams, Short Extracts from Old English Poetry Chiefly for Unseen Translation (Bangor: Jarvis & Foster, 1909), 70.] There is no reason for thinking that Old English verse should have danced to the metrical tune prescribed for it at the end of the nineteenth century, pre-eminently by Sievers; it is more flexible than metrical martinets think proper, and long lines consisting of three half-line phrases exist. (I have left the line number as 39, so that the line-numbering is not affected by that belief.) 19 The MS had geweorhtan, and the <e> is subpuncted for deletion. 20 Ever since Grein, Bibliothek, I, 196, emended MS forð gleaw to ferðgleaw, most editors and lexicographers have followed him. Grein, Dichtungen, II, 150, renders it geisterklug—perhaps ‘wise in relation to the dead’—but it could be a misprint for geistesklug ‘wise in thinking’ (there are, however, very few misprints in Grein’s publications, and this suggestion is unlikely). Probably he thought of ferhðgleaw ‘discerning of mind’, which occurs three times in Old English verse, and there is also gleawferhð (twice in Genesis A). Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 156,157) does not emend and renders the adj. ‘very wise’; perhaps he had forðmære in mind, which occurs (line 69a) in the poem called ‘The Order of the World’ in ASPR III, Mackie’s The Wonders of Creation; he translates it (53), ‘ever-famous’. I have translated it, ‘outstandingly glorious’ [‘The Wonder of Creation: A New Edition and Translation, with Discussion of Problems’, Anglia, cxxxi (2013), 475–508, at 485]. 21 Locutions with standan and gearo or gearwe (adv.) occur not infrequently in verse, and are a way of expressing ‘to be ready’. 22 Gen. pl. bearna means ‘of all mankind’; it is tempting to use ‘of all of God’s children’, that is, ‘of all humanity created by God’, but while getting the sense of bearn right, that interpretation conflicts with the alterity of God and man on the Day of Judgement. 23 The appellation leohtes Weard, for God, occurs only here; leohtes hyrde (liohtes hiorde at Psalm 50 101, leohta hyrdes at Coronation of Edgar 13) is more frequent (5 times). In Old English verse leoht occasionally approaches ‘life’ in sense, thus near the end of Widsith 141b–142a, oþþæt eal scæceð | leoht & lif somod, ‘until all passes away, light and life together’. At Genesis B 310b leoht has long been understood as having the sense of Old Saxon and Old High German lioht [well defined in Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch, V, cols 1148–52 (2008), s.v. lioht, II, Licht im christl. Bereich; more summarily, Fr. Klaeber (ed.), The Later Genesis (Heidelberg, 1931), 49, 258. lēoht ‘light, life, world’]. 24 Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene. Disposed into twelue bookes, Fashioning XII. Morall vertues (London: for William Ponsonbie, 1596), 484, Bk VI, Cant. x [stanza 16], lines 3–7: That iolly shepheard, which there piped, was Poore Colin Clout (who knowes not Colin Clout?) He pypt apace, whilest they him daunst about. Pype iolly shepheard, pype thou now apace Vnto thy loue, that made thee low to lout. 25 F. Holthausen, Altenglisches etymologisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg: Carl Winter, 1934), 72: ‘tief, hoch; schrecklich, geheimnisvoll; ernst, feierlich’. Of course, these adjectives cover all the senses of dēop, and DOE has selected, at sense B.7., the three that seemed to its editors appropriate for this citation, from a wide range of meanings. 26 The New Testament of Iesus Christ, Translated Faithfully into English out of the authentical Latin (Rhemes: by Iohn Fogny, 1582), 11. For the West-Saxon and Mercian Gospel texts, see Walter W. Skeat (ed.), The Gospel according to Saint Matthew in Anglo-Saxon, Northumbrian, and Old Mercian Versions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1887), 44-5. The King James Bible prefers ‘the pure in heart’. 27 Christine Rauer (ed.), The Old English Martyrology (Cambridge, 2013), 200–1, 18 October, Justus. For unsceðþende I prefer the more transparent (but unidiomatic) ‘unhurtful’ to the etymologically equivalent ‘innocent’ of Rauer’s accurate translation. MnE innocent renders Latin innocens and OE unsceðþende is calqued on it. A good example of the sense is found in Thomas Miller (ed.), The Old English Version of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People [part I, 1, EETS, o.s. 95 (1890)], 60–2, wæron wundriende þa bilwitnesse þæs unsceðþendan lifes ‘they marvelled at the unworldliness of that innocent life’, rendering Bertram Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (eds), Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (Oxford, 1969), 76–7, ch. XXVI, mirantes simplicitatem innocentis uitae ‘marvelling at the simplicity of (their) innocent lives’. 28 The old rule for MnE used to be, expressed with supposed jocularity now found offensive, that ‘masculine embraces feminine’, and that applies to Old English too. Bruce Mitchell, Old English Syntax. 2 vols (Oxford, 1985), has many sections on grammatical concord, and he heads §§ 69–71 ‘Triumphs of sex over gender’. Both weras & wif, men and women, are to be judged on the Day of Judgement, and in Old English, if one of them is referred to, it is ‘he’, not ‘either he or she’. 29 Alger N. Doane (ed.), The Saxon Genesis (Madison, 1991), 267–8. He of course refers to the discussion by Hans Schabram, ‘Die Bedeutung von gāl und gālscipe in der altenglischen Genesis B’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur (Tübingen), 82 (1960), 265–74, where preference is given to the sense ‘pride’, right for Lucifer but difficult to sustain for the word gāl in Old English. 30 Alger N. Doane (ed.), Genesis A: A New Edition (Madison, 1978), 149; revised edn, Tempe, AZ: Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2013), 448: ‘rūm-gāl adj. happy because of freedom, rejoicing in lack of confinement’; Scragg, Vercelli Homilies (1992), 37. 31 The dat. pl. willum is probably used adverbally, ‘gladly’, of God’s action; but it could be the dative object of forgieldan ‘to requite with delights’. 32 Genitive object of onfon 99b. See Mitchell, Old English Syntax, § 1092 s.v. on-fon. 33 MS hælela. 34 Alternatively, æfter foldan could mean ‘after burial in the earth’, repeating what has been said of burial (at 98b–99a), rather than, as in my translation, leaving behind an earlier terrestrial existence. 35 Adames bearn is a Hebraism, as in the King James Bible, Ecclesiasticus XL:1, ‘the sons of Adam’. The sense is that of rincas (105) ‘we humans’; ‘Adam’s children’ is a (feeble) compromise. 36 Mackie (EETS, o.s. 194, 163) is right to interpret to spræce as a legal term; he translates it as ‘to plead’; I think that ‘to (answer) the charge’ may be more precise. OE spræc involves speaking; the word means ‘accusation’ here. It might mean ‘court of justice, lawcourt’, or less technically ‘summoned to a council’, thus C. A. Jones, Old English Shorter Poems, I, 239; T. A. Shippey, Poems of Wisdom and Learning, 125, has ‘called to convocation’, which attractively enshrines the idea of ‘summons’, but may involve too many subtleties of who is qualified to be called in various institutions—in the University of Oxford all Masters of Arts worldwide, unlike Congregation, M.A.s in residence only; but on Doomsday all are summoned. 37 Grein (Dichtungen, II, 152) is right to interpret rincas as ‘wir Menschen’ (we humans), though rinc is usually gender-specifically male. 38 In Old and Middle English contrastive pairs, like hates & cealdes, are often used to express ‘everything’, and, when used of people, ‘one and all’. 39 For an attempt to show that this epithet of God is not illogical see fn. 8, above. 40 The meaning of us…wat is ‘lets us know; teaches us’. 41 Quoted from Charlton Hinman (ed.), The Norton Facsimile. The First Folio of Shakespeare (New York, 1968), Comedies, 179 [sig, (P6ro)], = The Merchant of Venice, IV. i.: ’Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes The throned Monarch better than his Crowne. 42 As an example of that democratic egalitarianism the epitaph, perhaps fictional, that is said to have delighted Abraham Lincoln, may be quoted; for Johnnie Kongapod (of the Native American Kickapoo people): Here lies poor Johnnie Kongapod; Have mercy on him, gracious God, As he would have if he were God And you were Johnnie Kongapod. Quoted from John E. Remsburg, Six historic Americans (New York, ?1906, 293. 43 I find it difficult to believe Shippey’s understanding of the end of the poem (Poems of Wisdom, 1976, 46): ‘The “ic” of the poem’s final section means you’, i.e. the sinner summoned on Judgement Day. 44 Poems, By J. D. with Elegies on the Authors Death (London: by M. F. for Iohn Marriot, 1633), 1, The Progresse of the Soule [title]. The poem is preceded by Infinitatum Sacrum…Metempsycosis, and that is explained [sig. A3vo], ‘the Pithagorian doctrine doth not onely carry one soule from man to man, nor man to beast, but indifferently to plants also’. The sense of Donne’s Progresse of the Soule [and he uses that title also (260) for ‘The second Anniversarie’ of An Anatomie of the World] is quite different from the soul’s journey on the Day of Judgement in the Old English poem. Familiarity with Pythagorean ‘metempsychosis’ (transmigration of the soul), as in Donne’s use, might further confuse if the title of Judgement Day I were changed to ‘The Progress of the Soul’. © The Author(s) (2018). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)

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