Andreas, lines 122-229

Matthew is heartened by God’s promise, but the evil warriors gather in a crowd outside his prison. They have written a document which says when a prisoner will be eaten. According to the document, Matthew has only three days before they will tear apart his body and eat him, as is their custom.

God, knowing Matthew’s situation, speaks to Andreas in Achaia, where he is preaching. God tells him to go on a journey to the land of the cannibals to rescue Matthew.

Andreas asks God how he will get to Myrmedonia when it is so far away, and God tells him not to hesitate, but to be ready for the journey.

Andreas, lines 1-121

Like Beowulf, Andreas begins with “Hwaet!” and continues with an introductory passage that summarizes some of the story and establishes it as being heard by “we.”

Matthew, the author of the first gospel, finds himself in the city of the cannibals, whose terrors the poet describes with relish. They blind captives with their spear points and then make them drink a potion that causes them to become like beasts and eat grass.

The cannibals learn that Matthew is in their city to evangelize, so they capture, tie and blind him. They even give him the poison drink. Matthew prays to God for deliverance from this plight.

A bright light comes into Matthew’s prison, and the voice of God tells him that he shall be free him from bonds. God says that he will send Andrew to rescue Matthew in only 27 days.