Guthlac B, lines 819-915

God created men out of the earth. Adam was the first, brought forth into Paradise, which was perfect, full of endless joys and free of death. But too soon he and his wife tired of following the Ruler’s law. His wife took the fruit that the as the serpent convinced her to. Then Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise and thrust into exile and toil. From then on, women and men would have to pay for sins through death. The devil ruled the world and, no matter how hard one tries to follow God’s laws, no one can avoid the bitter drink that Eve served to Adam.

Death has ruled over all earth-dwellers. But there have been a great many saints who have done God’s will. Books tell us how Guthlac reached perfection among the English. His miracles were known far and wide through Britain. He healed many people. No one can count all the miracles he performed.

Often troops of devils invaded his dwelling place. They would make a loud noise in the wilderness. But Guthlac would withstand their torment. The devils would take various forms, including that of a dragon or of humans. But Guthlac persevered no matter how the devils threatened him.

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