The Phoenix
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404 Bitter was the misery upon them there and upon their children too after the eating - a meal hurtful to their sons and daughters. Painfully their alacritous teeth were punished according to their guilt; they endured the wrath of God, bitter and baleful sorrow. Ever since, their children have paid for it, because they consumed that food against the word of the Everlasting. Thus, mournful of mood, they had to give up the bliss of their homeland through the serpent's envy, when it artfully seduced our parents in the former days, out of its deceitful spirit, so that far away from there in this vale of death they looked for somewhere to live, for dwellings more fraught with care. The worthier existence was hidden from them by obscurity and the hallowed plateau firmly closed through the devil's guile for a great number of years, until the King of glory, mankind's Joy, Comforter of the weary and the one Hope, through his advent opened it again to the holy.
424 Most similar to this, according to what scholars in their pronouncements tell us and writings testify, is the migration of this bird when, old and wise, he forsakes dwelling-place and homeland, and is grown elderly. Weary of mood he sets out, harassed by his years, to where he finds the lofty canopy of the woodland in which, with twigs and with the noblest herbs, he builds a new abode, the nest in the grove. A great longing is upon him that he might receive a fresh existence again through the holocaust of fire, life after death, and be young anew; and that he might seek his ancient home, a dwelling radiant with sunlight, after his fiery bath. Just so, those forbears, our parents, left that lovely plateau and that precious seat of glory behind them and made the long journey into the grasp of malignant beings, where their persecutors, miserable monsters, harmed them often.
443 Yet there were many who served the Lord well below the heavens with holy virtues and praiseworthy deeds so that the Lord, the heavens' high King, was well-disposed towards them in his heart. This is the lofty tree, in which the holy now keep their habitation, where none of the ancient enemies can harm them at all with their venom, the token of their wickedness, during this perilous time. There the Lord's warrior builds himself with praiseworthy deeds a nest against every malicious attack when he distributes alms to the destitute and to those without means and calls upon the Lord and Father as his help; onwards he hastens; the vices of this ephemeral existence, the dark doings of evil, he stifles; he keeps the law of the ordaining Lord, confident in his bosom and turns to prayer with pure intentions and nobly bows his knee to the earth; he flees every evil and dire sin out of awe for God; joyous of spirit he yearns to accomplish the greatest number of good deeds. To him the Lord, Disposer of victories, generous Benefactor of the multitudes, is a shield. These are the herbs and the fruits of the plants which the wild bird gathers from far and wide below the sky to his lodging-place, where he builds a nest marvellously secure against every malicious attack.
470 Thus, here in these habitations and now, by courage and by main strength, the soldiers of the Lord accomplish his will and strive towards glories. For this the everlasting Almighty will recompense them with a blessed meed. Out of those herbs a habitation shall be founded for them in the heavenly city as reward for their works, because they passionately cherished holy precepts in their heart. With fervent purpose by day and by night they show love to the Lord; with shining faith they choose the Beloved above the world's wealth: not for them is the comfortable expectation that they will inhabit long this ephemeral existence.
482 Thus the blessed man earns by valour joy everlasting and a heavenly home with the high King until an end comes to his tally of days, when death, the warrior gluttonous for carnage, fortified with weapons, snatches the life of each individual man and swiftly dispatches the ephemeral corpses, robbed of their souls, into earth's embrace where they will long remain concealed in the ground until the coming of the fire. Then the multitude of humanity will be led into congregation: the Father of angels, true King of victories, will hold a synod and the Lord of the elect, with justice, will pass judgement. Then shall all the people in clay achieve resurrection as the mighty King, Ruler of the angels, Saviour of souls, proclaims his summons by the powers that dark state of death shall be ended for the blessed. The noble beings will depart, in squadrons they will go thronging, when this sin-working world burns in disgrace, kindled with flame. Each single man will grow fearful in spirit when fire destroys the dry land's ephemeral wealth and flame devours all the chattels of the earth, voraciously attacks the beaded gold and greedily swallows the treasures of the dry land.