Guthlac B, lines 1278b-1379 [end]

The sun sets, but then a holy light comes from the heavens and illuminates the tumulus all night long.  At dawn, Guthlac rises and tells the servant that it was now time to carry out the tasks Guthlac had assigned him.  Then he lifts up his hands, opens his eyes, and sends his soul to heaven.

A heavenly light surrounds the tumulus as singing angels carry Guthlac to heaven.  The area is filled with sweet smells and beautiful songs.  Then the servant traveles in a boat to see Guthlac’s sister.  He tells her of the saint’s death, saying that he himself is sad at the death of Guthlac, but that the saint has gone to God’s light.  He tells the sister that she should bury Guthlac’s body.

Guthlac B, lines 1197-1278a

The servant is very distressed, and he asks Guthlac a question that has been troubling him: “I have heard you debating with someone in the nights. Where did this person come from?” Guthlac answers that, although he does not want to brag, that he has been speaking to an angel who has been sent from God every evening after the second year in which Guthlac started living at the tumulus.  But Guthlac has always kept knowledge of these visits secret–until today.

The Guthlac’s soul set forth from his body, and from his mouth came out the sweetest smell, like summer herbs covered with honey.

Guthlac B, lines 1094-1196

Easter arrives and Guthlac gets up from his sickbed. He preaches the gospel so beautifully to his servant than no one has ever previously heard the like: it seems to be the words of an angel.

It had now been four days since Guthlac’s illness began, and he endures without fear even though Death is sneaking nearer. Then it is seven days since the sickness began. Guthlac’s servant visits him and finds him lying on the ground. In the sixth hour, Guthlac can barely speak, but he says to the servant that he should listen to Guthlac’s final words. The servant agrees. Guthlac tells the servant to go to Guthlac’s sister once the saint is dead and tell her that he expects to see her in heaven. He should tell the sister to put Guthlac’s body in a dark tomb where it will abide for a long while in its sandy house.

Guthlac B, lines 999b-1093

One servant remaines with Guthlac.  When he notices that Guthlac is deathly ill, the servant asks him how he has become sick and if the disease can be cured.  Guthlac says that pain came upon him in the night and that soon he will be dead.

The servant mourns.  Guthlac understands and comforts him, saying that it is no real hardship to suffer the will of the Lord.  Nor does Guthlac fear hordes of devils.  He tells the servant not to be troubled in mind, because Guthlac is yearning to come to heaven and gaze upon the Lord.  He knows that after his body’s death he will receive a reward that is not fleeting.

Guthlac B, lines 916-999a

Sometimes the birds would come to Guthlac and he would feed them.  Sometimes people would visit him.  Guthlac would heal those who were suffering.

It was now close to Guthlac’s death day.  He had spent fifteen years in the wilderness when suddenly a sickness afflicted him.  God did not want Guthlac to suffer a long time.  Guthlac’s strength was spent but his spirit did not yield.  Human must drink the cup of death that Eve brewed for Adam.  Death approached Guthlac.

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.