Front Page Titles (by Subject) IV - The Consolation of Philosophy
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IV - Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy [520 AD]
King Alfred’s Version of the Consolations of Boethius. Done into Modern English, with an Introduction by Walter John Sedgefield Litt.D. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900).
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‘O THOU Creator of heaven and earth, that rulest on the eternal throne, Thou that makest the heavens to turn in swift course, and the stars to obey Thee, and the sun with his shining beams to quench the darkness of black night, (so too the moon with her pale beam maketh the stars to grow dim in the heaven, and at times robbeth the sun of his light, coming between him and us men; and that bright star too that we call the morning star, and which by its other name we call the evening star), Thou that givest short hours to the days of winter, and longer ones to those of summer, Thou that in autumn with the strong north-east wind spoilest the trees of their leaves, and again in spring givest them fresh ones with the soft south-west winds, lo! all creatures do Thy will, and keep the ordinances of Thy commandments, save man only; he setteth Thee at naught.
‘O Almighty Creator and Ruler of all things, help now Thy poor people! Wherefore, O Lord, hast Thou ever suffered that Fate should change as she doth, for she oppresseth the innocent and harmeth not the guilty at all? The wicked sit on thrones, and trample the saints under their feet; bright virtues abide in hiding, and the unrighteous mock the righteous. False swearing bringeth no harm to men, nor false guile that is cloaked with deceits. Wherefore well-nigh all men shall turn to doubt, if Fate shall change according to the will of wicked men, and Thou wilt not check her.
‘O my Lord, Thou that beholdest all that Thou hast made, look now in Thy lovingkindness upon this miserable earth, and also upon all mankind, for that at this present it is all struggling with the waves of this world.’