Hymns And Homilies Of Ephraim The Syrian by Ephraim the Syrian
Hymn LXVIII. O, Death, be not thou boastful, over the just
1. Man., O, Death, be not thou boastful, over the just: the sons of thy Lord who at His command, come to dwell with thee. -- 2. R., To thee be glory that by Thy command, Death has reigned: and by Thy Resurrection has been humbled to low estate! -- 3. Death., Herein am I exceeding great, according to thy saying: that though I be bond-man I trample on them that are free. -- 4. M., Adam was chosen and ruler, and under his yoke: thou, Death, and the Evil One, thy fellow, became bondmen. -- 5. D., This is our pride that lo! the slaves have become lords: Death, and Satan, his fellow, have trampled on Adam. -- 6. M., Lo! the humbling of thee and thy fellow, accurst servants! how Enoch trampled on you both, and rose aloft and reigned. -- 7. D., If so be Enoch made me grieve, yet have I comfort for on Noah's dust in Sheol, lo! I trample. -- 8. M., Tremble, O Death, before man, for though a servant, the yoke of his dominion reigns on all creatures. -- 9. D., I rejoice then that they are no mean foes that I have overcome: for according to the greatness of the vanquished, he is great that overcomes. -- 10. M., Well does thy voice sing triumph, O Death, over the just: for Enoch and Elijah have broken thy pair of wings. -- 11. D., I know how to weigh my sorrows with my comforts: in place of two, lo! many are come and coming. -- 12. M., All that are come and coming to thee dwell as sojourners, and depart from thy abode as Lazarus. -- 13. D., This thy saying hurts me not, rather it heals me: for Lazarus who rebelled against me, I again subdued. -- 14. M., Make answer, O Death, and argue what constrained him, to be raised unless it were a mystery, showing forth his resurrection. -- 15. D., Ye are famous in arguing as idle ones, while I labour in my task to discern and perform -- 16. M., Thou wast well prepared for argument, what has checked thee? The truth of our resurrection has constrained thee by its reputations. -- 17. D., Ye have made me hated by you, though I be not hateful: I am he that gives rest to your aged, and your afflicted. -- 18. Ye have made me as one that troubles, O ye mortals: Adam brought death upon you, and I bear the blame. -- 19. Gently will I expose you, for I am a slave, and ye are they that by your sins have made me king. -- 20. The will of Adam roused me for I was at rest: I was dead and ye quickened me, that ye might die by me. -- 21. I accuse the lying ones, who slew and denied it: for Adam slew himself and charges me. -- 22. The beginning of strife was the accursed serpent which has rightly been crippled: which crept, entered, and set enmity between me and you. -- 23. Satan is passed by and it is against me that ye are roused: go, strive with the Evil One who made you transgress. -- 24. He is my comrade and I deny it not, but though he be much hated, what need that I be blamed for him. I deny him henceforth. -- 25. Hearken to my words, O mortals, and I will console you: I have afflicted you and I confess the life from the dead. -- 26. For there begins to steal into my ears a voice of preparation: of the trumpet that holds itself ready to sound. -- 27. Hear my words and put much oil into your lamps: for hindrance from my part there is none for you. -- 28. Yet, Know ye that even although I have said these things, dear is the sound of your voice in the solitude of Sheol. -- 29. For man has been weighed by me, and great is his peace: for snakes and fishes and birds come to meet him. -- 30. But it is a marvel that to the Watchers, too, his converse is dear: yea, the Evil One in Gehenna, desires his presence. -- 31. Ye shall have life from the dead, O ye mortals, and I who am bereft shall be bereft in the midst of Sheol. -- 32. Let praise ascend from all to Thee Who quickenest all, and from every quarter gatherest the dust of Adam!