Beowulf

Depths of darkness lie deep in the heart,
Though hale and happy as Heorot it may seem;
A greater foe than Grendel growls dreadfully
Fain to feel the flailing throes.
Like a scop’s song is slashing to him,
Mournful music is his merriment;
Whatever wounds and wails proves wonderful
And Abaddon’s abandon avails him joy.
No steel of sword or spear-point pierces
Through his heavy, horrible hide;
He feeds and flourishes from the futile assaults,
Bloated from the blood of badly schemed sieges.

God has granted a grander warrior,
The Commander of celestial cavalry;
Braver and better is He than even Beowulf,
Heorot’s Heavenly General, leader of the Hosts.
In Grendel’s grip He gladly yielded,
Was slain by his sinister swipe.
He was regally raised to raid in power
And overthrow all the dread Enemy’s force.
The fiend fiercely rages, knowing he’s fallen;
His leaking, wounded limbs now leave proof
That his vaunted victory was vainly claimed
And with Death he is destined to die.

This Better-Beowulf who bested the foe
Is fierce and fiery in the face of any
Who bring blows against His beloved.
He deigns to defend His dearly adopted ones
And lavishes love on them, life without end.
Trains He the hands that hold the sword;
He strengthens their shield-grip to make it sure.
He sweetly shows the saving wounds
And lifts them to look at the limb that’s torn
As promise and payment of entrance to Paradise.
Trust Him, True and Faithful, treading the presses
Of wrath that a wealth of wine to us to serve.

1-23-2015

I’m currently reading Tolkien’s translation and commentary on Beowulf, as well as Douglas Wilson’s new verse rendering. What’s interesting about Wilson’s is that he keeps the alliterative feel of the original Old English. This is my attempt to copy that style.

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Music Monday: Release Me From This Snare by Beautiful Eulogy

It’s not often that Music Monday will come with free albums, but the extremely generous gents from Beautiful Eulogy have made the entire album Instruments of Mercy for download at Noisetrade. (Their debut album, Satellite Kite, is also available at Noisetrade.)

Both the song and the video (above) masterfully present the plea of the repentant believer. Verse 1 begins with Psalm 32:5 ESV, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not cover my iniquity.” The verse then discusses the reality that God already sees and knows all things; hiding from Him is as foolish as it is impossible.

The twin extremes of repentance are flippancy and wallowing. Beautiful Eulogy expertly navigate between these dangers by taking sin seriously, but by finding hope in Jesus’ cleansing and forgiveness.

Give me the faith to believe what You say
And to trust in Your word when I’m tempted to stray
And to patiently wait for the day You return
I hate my sin; it burns

And,

Oh God, my sin is great–there’s no escaping it
I hate my sin but I still partake in it

I begin to better understand confession
When I understand the weight of my sin and its effect
How it’s a direct revelation of my selfishness
And recognize God’s correct assessment
I don’t have to hide behind my own pride
Tear myself up from the guilt inside
Because I’ve been given everything I’ve ever needed
To stand clean and forgiven when I received Jesus

Please, please take advantage of an album that is food and medicine for your soul. These men passionately love Jesus and are world-class wordsmiths.