CHAPTER 17
Forsooth, Lord, thy dooms be great, and thy words may not be (or be not able to be) fully told out; unlearned souls erred for these. [Forsooth great be thy dooms, Lord, and untellable thy words; for these the undisciplined souls erred.]
For the while wicked men hold for steadfast, (so) that they may be lords of (the) holy nation, they were fettered with bonds of darknesses, and of long night, and were closed under roofs; and they fugitives were subject to everlasting [or perpetual] purveyance.
And the while they guess them-(selves) to be hid in (their) dark sins, they were scattered by (the) dark hiding of forgetting [or by the dark veil of forgetting they be scattered], dreading hideously, and disturbed (or troubled) with full great wondering.
For the den that withheld them, kept not without dread; for why sound coming down disturbed (or troubled) them, and sorrowful persons appear-ing to them, gave dread to them.
And soothly no might [or strength] of [the] fire might give light to them, and the clear flames of stars might not lighten that hideous night.
Soothly sudden fire full of dread appeared to them [or Forsooth there appeared to them sudden fire, full of dread]; and they were smitten with the dread of that face, that was not seen, and guessed those things to be worse, that were seen.
And (the) scorns of witchcraft were laid to (it), and the glory of wisdom was chastising with despising. [And of divining craft the scorns were laid to (it), and the glory of wisdom correction with strife.]
For they, that promised themselves to put away dreads and disturbings [or perturbations] from a sick soul, were full with scorn, and were sick for dread.
For why though nothing of the wonders against kind disturbed them, they were moved [or stirred (up)] by the passing of beasts, and by the hissing of adders,
10 and they trembled, and perished [or fearful, they perished]; and denied, that they saw the air, which a man might not escape [or flee] (from), by any reason; for why worst things before-occupy often, while the conscience reproveth.
11 For since wickedness is dreadful, it is given into condemnation of (or by) all men; for why a conscience disturbed (or troubled) presumeth ever-[more] wicked things.
12 For why dread is nothing, but help of presumption, and showing of thought of helps [or (and a) betraying of the helps of thought].
13 And the while less abiding is from within, it guesseth greater power of that cause, of which it giveth torment.
14 Forsooth they, that came into a mighty night, and coming above (or up-on) from (the) lowest things, and from (the) highest things, they sleeping the same sleep, [They forsooth, that verily the unmighty night, and sleeping the same sleep, overcoming from the lowest, and from the highest,]
15 were hurled sometime by dread of wonders against kind, sometime the souls failed by leading over; for why sudden dread and unhoped (for), came on them.
16 Afterward if any of them had fell down, he was kept closed in (a) prison, without iron (bars);
17 for if any churl was, either shep-herd, either a workman of (the) fields, and was before-occupied, he suffered need that might not be escaped [or (was) unescapable]. For why all men were bound together by [or with] one chain of darknesses;
18 either a wind hissing, either (a) sweet sound of birds betwixt the thick boughs of trees, either the fierceness of water running down greatly,
19 either a strong sound of stones cast down, either the running unseen of beasts playing, either the strong voice of beasts lowing, either (an) echo sounding again from (the) highest hills, made them failing for dread. [or strong sound of stones falled down, or the unseen course of playing beasts, or the strong voice of lowing beasts, or the again-sounding rebounding of sound from the highest hills, made them failing for dread.]
20 Forsooth all the world was light-ened with clear light, and was not withholden in works hindered. [For-sooth all the roundness of (the) earth’s was lighted with clear light, and con-tained in works not letted (or hindered).]
21 But a grievous night, the image of darknesses, that was to coming on them, was set on them alone; there-fore they were grievouser to themselves than the darknesses. [Forsooth only to them was overset a grievous night, image of darknesses, that was to come onto, or unto, them; then they to them-selves were more grievous than the darknesses.]