Hymns And Homilies Of Ephraim The Syrian by Ephraim the Syrian
Hymn LXII. Lo! Death, the King of silence, complains, my brethren
1. Lo! Death, the King of silence, complains, my brethren: that we have filled his abode with the wailing, of Hope cut off. -- 2. R., To Him be great praise Who comest down, to us here below: and suffered and rose again and in His Body, raises our bodies! -- 3. While we weep like madmen, at the gates of Sheol: hearken what Death says, reproaching us. -- 4. It shames me, says Death, that ye, have overcome me: the half of Sheol suffices not, to contain your slain. -- 5. For alien corpses together, lie heaped in Sheol: there are two divisions there, the dead, the slain. -- 6. Whereas I should complain that ye have wronged me, lo! ye are weeping: ye have burst the gate of Sheol, and done me hurt. -- 7. For ye are like unto an infant, which while yet weeping: laughs again as ye also, over your dead. -- 8. For there is no discretion in your mourning, and no understanding: in your laughter -- for to me ye seem like, to a weaned babe. -- 9. One hour weeping and wailing, and after a little: both jesting and wantonness, as of children. -- 10. For ye are unable to become, perfect men: that weep not yea and laugh not, as the discreet. -- 11. Touching your books we are grieved, that they have toiled over them: who should read them unto you, even the divine Scriptures. -- 12. The readers are crying aloud, for ye are deaf: this their crying proves concerning you, that ye are as stocks. -- 13. For since the reader and the interpreter, are crying aloud: your ears therefore are heavy, or else your hearts. -- 14. For if there were with you an ear, open to persuasion: it were meet to hear little, and to do much. -- 15. But because its hearing is closed, whoso knocks at it: the voice returns back to him, who sent it forth. -- 16. There is no crying with me of mine, I am not deaf: none that reads or interprets for me, I am not dull. -- 17. The breath that is from Him commands me, sons the God of truth: and with the command there follows, also the fulfilment. -- 18. With me is no holding back, no turnings aside: I wot no arrow even, could outstrip me. -- 19. But your voices are scorned by me, when ye are weeping: over the graves of your departed, in the cutting off of hope. -- 20. Were it possible or permitted, when ye are weeping: I would go forth and tell you, to your faces. -- 21. |I am endeavouring to give, an account of the death: and your voices disturb me, that I err in my count.| -- 22. Ye nations, let not your understanding, become childish: like that nation whose intelligence, was never great. -- 23. In which prudence bestows not itself, as in a fool: for its thoughts are darkness, without discernment. -- 24. For your infants and your sons, in the resurrection: they shall be foremost to come forth, as the first fruits -- 25. Then after them shall come the just, as victorious: last shall come forth the sinner, as put to shame. -- 26. For although in the twinkling of an eye, they be quickened: yet is it in order that their ranks, come forth from Sheol. -- 27. Prophets come forth and Apostles, and holy Fathers: following them in due array, according to command. -- 28. Lo! that which now is sown, in random mixture: is yielded back in great order, as garden-herbs. -- 29. For though one in the sowing, should mix all seeds: that which is earlier than its fellow, prevents its fellow, -- 30. And not as their going down was confused, so disordered shall be: their coming up from the earth, for its order is fixed. -- 31. Lo! I have been against myself, in what I have said: for secret things which ye comprehended not, from me ye have learned. -- 32. Instead of the tears that profit not, which are at the tomb: pour them forth in your prayer, in the midst of the Church. -- 33. For to the dead there is profit in these, and likewise to the living: weep not with a weeping that afflicts, both dead and living!