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The Real Middle Earth

Introduction
For us . . . this was no mere earthly invention . . . nor is it a mere human opinion, . . . but truly God Himself, Who is Almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible, has sent from Heaven, and placed among men, Him Who is the Truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word, and has firmly established Him in their hearts. He did not, as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, or angel, or ruler, or any one of those who bear sway over earthly things, or one of those to whom the government of things in the heavens has been entrusted, but the very Creator and Fashioner of all things by Whom He made the Heavens by Whom He enclosed the sea with its proper bounds whose ordinances all the elements faithfully observe from Whom the sun has received the measure of his daily course to be observed Whom the moon obeys, being commanded to shine in the night, and Whom the stars also obey, following the moon in her course; by Whom all things have been arranged, and placed within their proper limits, and to Whom all are subject the Heavens and the things that are therein, the Earth and the things that are therein, the sea and the things that are therein fire, air, and the abyss the things which are in the heights, the things which are in the depths, and the things which lie between. The Epistle to Diognetus (A.D. ca 130) This passage from the early second century Epistle to Diognetus is remarkable for revealing the traditional sources of the hierarchical vision of Old English poetry. The pagan sagas are baptised by the Christian bards who went on to produce their own Catholic poems, from Caedmon to Cynewulf and from The Dream of the Rood to Piers Plowman. Most notable is the fact that these early Christian poets took over pagan notions such as the relationship between the King-Lord and his vassals or thanes with the concept of heroism and converted all into a world transformed by Grace. Pagan customs and ideas were thus saved by the Grace of the Incarnation and the Redemption. They were lifted up into the Real world of Faith. I hope to demonstrate this by examining one notion in particular in its context that of Middle Earth and thereby reveal the radical difference between a true Middle Earth and the false one of J. R. R. Tolkien. C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, along with many others who followed them, immerse the key events and ideas of Catholic Christianity into the world of a revived paganism and humanistic mythology. This perversion has been studied by the present writer in the book entitled Fairyland Is Hell and Magic Is Demon Power. In this present study, I hope to emphasize the more positive aspect of the subject and thereby show how the mind of the Catholic poet remains thoroughly Catholic when he builds various poetic worlds. Some brief comments on the sound patterns of Old English poetry are in order. Perhaps the first

characteristic we notice is the lack of rhyme. It is worth noting, before proceeding, that rhyme, in the opinion of most historians, originated with the ceremonials of the Church where it was used mainly as an aid to memory but came later on to be esteemed as the aesthetic quality it is very pleasing to the ear and the mind. The Dies Ir (12th century) is an example of one of the earliest uses of rhyme. Who does not thrill with pleasure at the sound of Dies ir, dies illa, Solvet sclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla especially when sung to the chant! This hymn uses both alliteration and rhyme. Old English did not employ rhyme but used instead a rhythmic pattern of accents or stresses combined with alliterative syllables that drew together the two halves of a long line. Thus, even in translation from the original, we can hear these patterns, as in the following from an anonymous poem: . . . The light beam brned round the hly hose until from the east the dawn-rush came.

Cndle of haven From evening gloom Over the deep-way

But perhaps even more forcefully characteristic a quality we can appreciate also in the translations is the Old English habit of repeating or elaborating upon a general idea or substantive, like the sun, in a congeries of kennings or metaphorical word-phrases. This is seen very beautifully in The Phoenix which is a primary example of the Christian poet assimilating and transforming pagan symbols into the world of supernatural truth. For the Phoenix becomes a fitting symbol of Christ our Lord and the sun is restored to its true identity as a creature of the Almighty Maker and Wielder of all things. The Editor-translator tells us that the legend of the Phoenix originated in the Egyptian worship of Ra, the Sun-god, whose cult was kept at Heliopolis. Here is a particularly striking passage from this poem: Ever keeping ward is a bird feather-strong; There the lone-goer bravely he dwells; on the plain of pleasure There must he behold coming up before him, the gladdening gem, when it comes up, over the sea-waves wondrously radiant, Gods bright token. over the wood its name is Phoenix. beholds the earth, death shall not touch him while the world stands. the suns pathway, Gods candle, watching eagerly noblest of stars, from the east shining the first work of the Father,

The sun here becomes Gods candle . . . the gladdening gem . . . noblest of stars . . . wondrously radiant / from the east shining, / Gods bright token and the first work of the Father. What in a

scientific treatise on the Phoenix or on the sun would be intolerable redundancy, becomes here in the poem a highly aesthetic pattern of sound and meaning. For not only is the idea of the sun elaborated upon by the metaphors and other phrases that describe its movement, but there is also an intricacy of internal relations that cause the poem to be shaped or structured much in the manner of a fabric woven of many delicate colors: over the wood is echoed but with contrast by over the sea-waves; beholds the earth and There must he behold the suns pathway relate by means of the verb behold, again with the contrast of earth and sky; Keeping ward and watching eagerly repeat in different shades of meaning the same general idea. Such echoes, contrasts, repetitions and patterns of sound delight the mind. This is poetry at its finest and this, too, is Catholic poetry. The reference in the poem to the sun as the first work of the Father requires some explanation and leads us to the next section of this study wherein it will be necessary to delve, at least briefly, into the cosmogony and cosmology of the Old English mind vis a vis reality.

Cosmogony and Cosmology


The Old English dialogue poem of Salamon and Saturn is the earliest extant version of a legend found in the literature of many European countries. It belongs to the time before the great Greek Schism of 1054, to a time when the Church of East and West was one. Margaret Williams says, It seems strangely out of harmony with the rest of Old English poetry,. . . Its exotic character is in keeping with its Eastern origin,. . . The germ of the tale is found in Jewish sources. . . The Queen of Sheba had come to Solomon to try him with questions. How Saturn comes into the Old English version is a puzzle to historians, but Williams speculates it may have come in through some obscure channel of Nordic mythology, which had early become confused by an interchange of names with Roman deities. In any case, the Anglo-Saxon poet makes him, Saturn, the spokesman of heathenism, while Salamon, with sublime indifference to chronology, becomes the champion of Christ and his Pater Noster . . . (pp. 158-9) There are two references in this long poem to middle earth. The first occurs in one of the several prose passages with which the poetic dialogue is interspersed: Salamon: Pater Noster has a golden head and silver hair, and though all the waters of earth should be mingled with the waters of heaven above into one channel, and it should begin to rain together upon the earth with all its creatures, yet might it stand dry under one single lock of Pater Nosters hair. And his eyes are twenty-one thousand times brighter than all this middle-earth though it should be overbraided with the brightest lilly blossoms and the leaf of each blossom had twelve suns, and each blossom twelve moons, and each moon were twelve thousand times brighter than it was ere Abels murder. Disregarding the numerical excesses which are typical of the oriental tales, there are at least two major topics that are noteworthy in this passage. First of all, it is clear that all this middle-earth is a repetitive phrase for the earth with all its creatures. Then I cannot forbear calling attention

to the fact that all the waters of earth mingling with the waters of heaven above and coming down as rain upon the earth is a rather precise description of what happened at the time of Noahs Flood. This reference to heaven above and the rain coming down upon the earth reveals the poets acute awareness of the up and down cosmology of Traditions. In other words, the earth here is situated mid-way between the heavens above and the abysses beneath, so envisioned even when not all the places are mentioned. Then there is the reference to the moons light ere Abels murder. The Editor-translator tells us in a footnote that There was an old belief current that when Cain murdered Abel the lights of the universe were dimmed. Some say this dimming of the lights of the universe happened at the Fall of Adam. But this is a minor difference. The great reality alluded to here is Sin, the Sin at the very origin of history. In the later poem The Dream of the Rood the poet says that all Creation wept, bewailed the Kings death, Christ on the rood. This is the Death or Fall of the Second Adam, undoing the Fall into Sin of the First Adam. And the Second Eve, the Ever-Virgin Mary, is at His side. We know from the Gospel, too, that all Creation did, indeed, react, in the darkness and in the great earthquake, felt world-wide, at the death of Christ our Lord on the Cross. The Old English poets were well aware of mans place in the universe and the equally important fact that whatever man does on earth has repercussions throughout the entire cosmic order. Later in this same dialogue poem, there is a passage that raises all kinds of questions as to the cosmogony and cosmology the poet envisioned, though the concept may be due to unassimilated pagan influences of the East. The reference to the sun as coming, along with all creation, from some primordial fire and an implicit relation of Light that has the hue and kind of the Holy Ghost to this original fire all this, even with the mystical identity of Light with the Holy Ghost, sends forth echoes of the most ancient Greek philosophers, such as Anaximenes and Heraclitus who spoke of the four elements as the most basic constituents of the natural world. Recall, too, the reference in the Phoenix poem to the sun as the first work of the Father. Here is the passage from Salamon and Saturn: Salamon. Light has the hue and kind It makes known Often if the unwitting, Hold it without bond breaks and burns Steep and high it lours, climbs by its own kind. strives towards its first source back to the home It is in all things, those who can share For there is no creature no fowl nor fish nor waters wave of the Holy Ghost. the nature of Christ. for any while it goes through the roof, the house timbers. it towers aloft, Fire when it can in the Fathers dwelling, whence it came of old. a sight for men in the Lords lamp. of those quick-living, nor stone of the field, nor wood-bough,

nor mount nor moor that comes not forth

nor the middle-earth from fires kind. . . .

Now here the denotation of middle-earth could well be a certain place in the midst of the earth as a whole; but in view of the enumeration of all the specific places mentioned fowl, fish stones, water and woods, mountains and moors it could also be a culminating reference, a summation of all the other places. However, such an idea that all creatures with middle-earth came forth originally from fire was hinted at by some of the ancient Greeks but did not appear explicitly and in a developed form until the influence of the Copernican revolution, in such philosopher-scientists as Rene Descartes, Leibnitz, Buffon, Kant, Laplace, and the modern Catholic scholar, Fernand Crombette. (See this writers From the Beginning, vol. 2) Crombette took his ideas from the ancient Coptic, so perhaps there could be some unknown influence from the Eastern Egyptian to the Old English poets and scholars. But I believe it would have to have been filtered through the early Fathers of both East and West. Anaximenes had said that all was air and that air, when rarefied, becomes fire. Further, when air is condensed it becomes wind, then cloud, and with increased condensation, it becomes successively and cyclically, water, earth and all else. And this is not unlike what Heraclitus had said: Fire lives in the death of earth, air in the death of fire, water in the death of air, and earth in the death of water. Further, Heraclitus seems to have equated the Logos with the primordial fire from whence everything else came, according to Anaximenes. The early Fathers of the Church took these ideas, especially those of the four elements, and explained them in terms of the Six Days of Creation as revealed in Genesis. Saint Basil, for example, whose Hexaemeron was the most influential of all such works, (see From the Beginning, vol. I). spoke of the light of the First Day as being not the light of the sun but the very nature of light (the word kind in the Old English poem above means nature) whereas God made the sun, moon and stars on the Fourth Day. The implicit connections between light and fire and the Holy Ghost in these poems might well be a kind of poetic fusion or con-fusion of these Traditional ideas. We can never hold the poet to the kind of precision of discourse that we can hold and must hold the scientist and even, to a large extent, the rhetorician. Poetry, Rhetoric and Scientific discourse are three modes of speech with different ends or purposes, and these purposes greatly affect the form of the speech produced. Poetic speech is speech unlike all others; it is made for itself alone and simply for the contemplation of those who regard it. Scientific discourse and to a certain extent also, rhetorical discourse, invite and even compel us to look at the objects being described. The poet, on the other hand, induces or seduces us to look at the beauties of his language, the images and their intricate patterns of sound and meaning. A runic poem attests to this same kind of celebration of Light and Day without any specific or direct reference to the sun:

Day: Day is the Lords herald The Makers mighty light; To the happy and wretched; dear to man, mirth and hope useful to all.

St. Bede the Venerable (d. 735) wrote in his De Natura Rerum about the creation and showed the influence of St. Augustine. Margaret Williams, who gives us a passage from this book, prefaces her translation with these words: .. . . how deep-reaching was the influence of Saint Augustine, and how far back in time stretched the foreshadow of Saint Thomas, in the long philosophic tradition of the Church. St. Bede wrote: The divine operation which created and governs the universe may be considered under four aspects. First, there are those things which are not made but which are eternal in the dispensation of the word of God, who predestined us, as the Apostle says, before the world, unto His kingdom; second, all the elements of the world were made together equally in formless matter when He Who lives forever created all things at once; third, that same matter is formed into creation, that is, heaven and earth, not now all at once but in six days, by causes which were formerly created all at once; fourth, from the seeds and primordial cause of this creation the progression of the universe develops its natural course, as the Father works even until now, and the Son, who feeds the ravens and clothes the lillies. This is indeed a most conciliatory reconciliation of St. Augustine and Saint Thomas (though St. Thomas often insisted that matter is never form-less). M. Williams paraphrases what follows. Would that she had let St. Bede continue, but she did not and I am not fortunate enough to have or to have access to a copy of the De Natura Rerum. Williams says: There follows a clear discussion of the universe, beginning with its elements of earth, air, fire and water, and their structure into the ordered system of concentric spheres moving about the earth, that Ptolemaic system which underlay the scientific, philosophic and poetic thought of educated men from the ancient days till those of Milton, and through the steep circles of which Dante carrying the medieval world on his shoulders, climbed to Beatitude. . . . I doubt that St. Bede referred to Ptolemy, for his geocentric universe was based on Holy Scripture rather than on the Greek scientist. The monk and Abbot Aelfric (955-1010) made a paraphrase of St. Basils Hexaemeron which may serve us as the model for all Old English cosmogony and cosmology, especially in its lack of specificity. M. Williams says that he freely interprets his own sources. Saint Basil had told the story of Genesis in a picturesque, even popular way. (see this writers From the Beginning, vol. I.) Aelfric, in his turn, retold the story of creation for his own people: On the first day Our Lord shaped a seven-fold work; They were, all the angels, and the beginning of light, and that material out of which He

afterwards shaped the universe, the heavens above and the earth beneath, all water-bodies and the wide-veiling sea, and the sky over it, all in one day. The angels He wrought in wondrous fairness and in great strength, many thousands, all without bodies, living in spirit, whom we spoke more clearly before in writing. It was not without light that God shaped light. He is Himself the light that enlightens all things, but He shaped the light of day, and afterwards increased it with the shining stars, as it is said hereafter. Days light He shaped, and drove back the shadows, so that the world was shown through the days lightning in lenten tide: for it was in lenten tide, as teachers tell us, that He shaped the first day of this world, that is, in number-craft, the fifteenth kalends of April, and after that the universe, as we say here. The heavens above, that the angels dwell in, He shaped on the same day, of which we sing in a psalm thus: The heavens are the work of Thy hands, Lord. Afterwards in another psalm, the same writer says: He Himself said it, and they were wrought: He Himself bade it and they were shaped. The water and the earth were mingled until the third day, then God divided them. The sky He shaped for our lifes strengthening; through that we breathe, and also the beasts; and our breath fails if we cannot draw, without mouth, that air into us, and afterwards blow it out, the while that we be alive. The air is as high as the heavenly sky, and also as broad as the earths broadness. In it fly birds, aut their feathers can no-whither bear them if the air bear them not. In such wise did the early Fathers pass imperceptibly from the literal to the spiritual-mystical and practical senses of Holy Scripture. Would that we had more. But this is the end of Williams translation of this invaluable work. For in it we have the Old English version of the Creation Week and the work of each day. Most importantly of all, at this point, we see that the Light of the First Day is conceived exactly as Scripture says light. It is not the sun or the light of the sun, for the sun, moon and stars were created on the Fourth Day. Williams gives us also a passage from Byrhtferths Handbook of Science which makes this even more clear: When the greatness of Almighty God had wonderfully shaped all these things, He set all things in measure and in number and in weight. He wrought two great light-vessels, as Genesis saith, that is the first Book of the Bible. He shaped the sun and the moon and the planets and the stars. He set two sun-places (solstices), one in the 12th Kalends of January and one on the 12th Kalends of July, and He wrought and set in order the twelve months in two eventimes (equinoxes) which are set in the 12th Kalends of April and the 12th Kalends of October. And so, we may conclude, that the cosmogony and general cosmology of the Old English theology as it is manifested in the poetry and prose of the age, adhered to the first chapter of Genesis with a strong inclination towards the interpretation of St. Augustine on the one hand and St. Basil on the other. (See this writers In the Beginning, vol. I.) But what of the precise denotation of Middle Earth? To determine this more definitely we will examine other contexts in which this word-phrase appears.

Where Is Middle Earth?


Before looking closely at the poems, it would be well to indicate three possible denotations of the phrase middle-earth 1) The midst of the Earth. Fernand Crombette was arrested by Psalm 73, verse 12 which says: But God is our King before all ages: He hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. Crombette knew from his studies that it was generally believed in the Middle Ages that Jerusalem was located in the midst of the earth and he went on to demonstrate, in his book on The Divine Geography that this is, indeed, literally true. And so, middle earth may refer to the literal middle place or midst of the earths total surface. 2) The Earth as situated in the cosmic order mid-way between the roof of heaven or the heavens and the abyss of Hell, deep under Earths surface. In this regard it is instructive to recall that in the Revelations of Our Lady of Good Success at Quito in 1634, demons are described as being flung into the earth and as hurling themselves into the center of the earth after being exorcised. Likewise at Fatima, the rays of light from Our Ladys Hands seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. . . Afterwards, Our Lady told the children that they had seen Hell. Compare these revelations with that of the Apocalypse, chapter 12 verse 9 wherein it is said that after the Great War in Heaven between Michael and his angels and Lucifer and his rebels, Satan. . . was cast unto the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. In the most literal interpretation of these revelations, Earth is not necessarily midway in space between the stars, which circle us, and Hell which is beneath the Earths surface. It is only mid-way between the Heavens as above and Hell as below. And this seems to be the safest way to understand the precise meaning of Middle Earth in the light of Earths sphericity (which is Biblical as well as scientific) and the fact that it literally hangs upon nothing as Holy Job revealed (Job 26:7) and modern space photography shows. 3) A third denotation and probably the most common is simply the entire world or the Earth as a whole and as known to man. But each of these significations will be considered in its context and defined as clearly as possible in each instance.

Old English Wanderer and Seafarer


Since the Old English poems of The Wanderer and The Seafarer as well as the great epic Beowulf really pre-date in their composition the origin of Christianity in England, even though the forms in which we have these works have been altered by Christian bards, I will take them before Caedmon who is named as the first English poet. Caedmon flourished in the middle of the 7th century, so that puts the earlier poems quite far back in antiquity. Both The Wanderer and The Seafarer are described by historians of English literature as elegiac because of their very somber, almost fatalistic tone. There is frequent mention of Wyrd, the Nordic god of Fate. But the Christian poet who re-worked these poems did not allow Wyrd to

dominate. there is only one reference I can find in The Wanderer to middle earth, but there occurs another reference to earth that begs to be compared with the first. The poet is obviously of a melancholy cast of mind as he ponders the weary course of this life: Care comes again his weary spirit I cannot think but that my heart-thoughts pondering thus how they suddenly ceased the proud thanes. day by day No man is wise years in the world. to him who shall send over the waste of waters. of the wide world gather gloom, the life of all, to tread the floor, So does this middle earth perish and fail. until he live

The poet has always in mind the gathering of the King and his heroes, his thanes, in the Great Hall of meeting and feasting. And here he is comparing the activities of the Great Hall and their sudden ceasing due to defeat in war or some other catastrophe, with this middle earth which also must perish and fail, day by day. And following the Old English habit of repetition, it seems clear that in this context middle earth is the same entity as the wide world wherein the life of all and especially that of the proud thanes must perish and fail, day by day. Later in the poem, again by way of repetition and elaboration with increasing intensity of feeling, the poet laments: . . . Wyrd is mighty and storms beat on the stony slopes, the falling tempest binds the earth, with the noise of winter; when the wan light comes night shades grow dark, from the north the storm with fearful hail sends terror to men. All is hardship in the kingdom of earth decrees of Wyrd change the world under heaven. Here man is passing, here maid is passing; here life is passing, here the lover is passing. All the face of the earth stands empty. So said the wise man in his heart he sat apart in his thought.

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Recalling his Christian soul, the bard adds these wise and consoling words: Well for him who stands true; speak the woe of his heart to strongly bring help. comfort from the Father in heaven, no man should too quickly till he knows the cure Well for him who seeks mercy, in whom all fastness stands.

And so, in the end, the Father in heaven conquers Wyrd, for He alone is unchanging, in Whom all fastness stands. Here again clearly the earth is all of that place under heaven subject to the many passings of mortal life. It would seem fair and correct to conclude that this same earth is also middle earth The Seafarer is in much the same mood but there is more evidence of a basic Christianity in this poem with its references to daring deeds against devils and glory with the high angels for ever and ever, joys of life unending, happiness with strong ones. But the tone of lament is strong: . . . Days are passing and all the pomp of earths kingdoms. There are now no kings, now no Caesars nor gold-givers, as in olden days, when with his lord each man revelled in treasures and in royal-wise lived out his days. The host has fallen, weaker ones endure enjoy its business. the honour of the earth as does every man Old age comes on him, the grey-haired man mourns the sons of aethelings, Nor may this flesh-house, taste the sweet touch with its hand ... gold will not help that is filled with sin, in the face of Gods wrath joys have passed away, and hold the world, Glory is bowed down, grows old and sere throughout this middle world. his face grows pale, that his lost friends, have been laid in the earth. when the spirit leaves it, nor feel the sore, nor think with its mind. the soul then treasures that he hoarded while he lived here.

Great is the fear of the Maker, for the world turns on it, He established the strong ground . . . The earths surface and the sky above. ...

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We see here the same general concept of earth situated under the sky above, concretized further as the strong ground and the earths surface. The world is related as the place of mans business, his constant activity of coming and going, of passing that constitutes the worlds turning, and all this business turns on the fear of the Maker! Some may wish to see for the world turns on it as an allusion to the earths rotation on its axis an opinion or belief that only arose during the Renaissance. This turning of the world in the poem is clearly related to the fear of the Maker and has to do with the activities of mankind that are cyclic in their comings and goings. It is more likely that there could be an echo here of the ancient Greek ideas of coming-to-be and passing-away in their cycles than of any anticipation of modern scientific heresies. For the Anglo-Saxons were much influenced by the paganism of the Greeks and Romans, as even the reference to the Sibylla in the Dies Ir demonstrates. But the Christian poet is at pains to transform these pagan allusions, and this poem too, ends on a note of joy filled with exhortation: Foolish is he who dreds not his Lord; unthought, happy is he who lives humbly, him The Maker will hold strong his heart A man should steer with strong mood, ... The Maker is mightier Let us ponder and then think then shall we strive the deep joy home in the heavens. that He has made us worthy; Eternal Lord death comes upon him the mercy of heaven comes on for he believes in His might. hold fast his course. Wyrd is stronger, than any mans thought. where we are going home, how we came hither, to reach at last that will be unending, Thanks to the Holy One King of Glory, in all times. Amen

And in this way did the Christian bard, the Old English poet, correct, as it were, and transform the paganism that he had inherited with his ancestral treasures. In these poems it seems clear that middle-earth is the place whereon we are invited to ponder on all these things: where we are going home. . . how we came hither and how we must strive to reach at last the unending joy in the heavens. It is also the place where all is passing, even suddenly ceasing as death and misfortune mark the passing of time. It is the same place as the kingdom of earth, the world under heaven and the face of the earth. It is called at some times middle earth because the implication seems certain we are all caught mid-way between our chosen destiny Heaven or Hell. The concept, too, is both horizontal and vertical, both dynamic that is, temporally linear or cyclic, and at the same time, spiritual]y-mystically static in its constancy, though it increases

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qualitatively in intensity. Middle-earth is both spatial and temporal; it stays the same but it moves in time. The Old English poet emphasizes both aspects, moving from one to the other, as in the two poems just studied. Our striving is horizontal and temporal; our destiny, always in mind and heart, is vertical above or, God forbid, below.

Beowulf
There is only one allusion to middle-earth in my translation of Beowulf, and since this translation is incomplete, I cannot say that there may not be other allusions even more significant. But along with this one, there is another passage in the poem that is worth quoting for the reason that it shows how the Christian bard baptized his material into the real world that God created. First, there is the reference to middle-earth in the description of Hrothgar, the Danish Chieftan, as he contemplates the building of his Great Hall named Heorot after the horns of the hart that formed the gables of the Halls roof: ... that he would build a mighty mead-hall, and oft therein to young and old, all but folk-treasure Then heard I how afar on many a tribe to adorn the folk-stead. among the children of men the great hall-house, and it burned in his heart a great house, his men would make it, he would deal gifts to all, as God had to him, and the lives of the people. the work was laid throughout the middle-earth, It soon came to pass that all was ready, and he named it Heorot.

The internal relations between the sentence in which middle-earth occurs here and the following one, among the children of men attests to the fact that this middle-earth is, indeed, the entire earth then known to be populated by mankind. Later in the poem, when the monster Grendel begins to molest the Great Hall, there is this prologue to the event: ... the scops clear song. of far-off things, said how the Almighty the bright-faced plain, There was sound of the harp, Then he who could tell the first shaping of men, made the earth; water bending round it.

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Here, as well as in other poems, there is allusion to the belief of all antiquity in a flowing ocean surrounding the circle of the earth. (See Crombette, p. 116.) This was literally true before the Flood of Noah when there was only one great continent on Earth, the rest being water. The poet continues: Glorious in victory, of the sun and the moon, and He made fair with leaves and branches. for every creature So the band of noble ones in bright happiness, to frame mischief, the grim ghost mighty march-haunter the fen and fastness. dwelt for long when his Creator The eternal Lord on the race of Cain, He gained not in that feud, drove him afar From him arose monsters and elves and grim giants for a long time; Grendel drew near to the high-house, after their beer-drinking he set the gleams a light for the land-dwellers, the face of the earth He shaped life also quickened and moving. abode in their joy till one began the hell-fiend, who was called Grendel, who held the moors, The joyless foe in the land of monsters, had cast him out. avenged the murder the killing of Abel. but God for his crime from all mankind. all wicked races, all evil spirits, who warred against God He paid them for that. when night had come to see now the Ring-Danes had gone to bed. ... What the poet does here in his re-telling of the ancient saga, is to instruct his listeners in the truths concerning the real origin and genealogy, not only of the earth and mankind, but also of Grendel and all demonic creatures: giants and other monsters, such as elves, dwarves, fairies and the entire crew of evil spirits that were created good but fell with Lucifer after the Great War in Heaven, Lucifer, the hell-fiend, the grim ghost here incarnated as Grendel. The true cosmology is clear. In the beginning God made the earth, the sun, moon and stars, and everyform of life till one began to frame mischief, He was cast out and came back from the depths of Hell to molest mankind on middle-earth. He is named the hell-fiend, the unhallowed being, a cursed spirit, hell-wizard, lord of evils, Gods enemy and hells captive. Speaking of his pagan ancestors, the poet tells that they would pray that the soul-slaying devil / would send then help / against the nations woe. For,

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... the hope of heathens; in their pondering mood; Judge of all deeds, nor did they praise Wielder of glory. who through evil hate into the heart of fire; they turn away. who after deaths day their Fathers Heart,

Such was their way, they were mindful of hell they knew not the Maker thought not of the Lord God, the Helm of the Heavens, Woe is to them hurl down their souls they hope for no comfort, Well is it with them seek the Lord, and find Him in peace.

Here in the very midst of the pagan saga the poet acknowledges that his own pagan ancestors knowingly prayed to the devil himself for help against the nations plague. The Christian poet blames them and generalizes from them to all who think not of the Lord God nor praise him. On the other hand, Well is it with them who seek the Lord, their Fathers Heart, and find Him in peace. And the cosmology is clear, extending from the Helm of the Heavens down to the heart of fire that is Hell, while the Christian struggles on this middle-earth, over-spread with the children of men and the sainted heroes of old.

Caedmon
Caedmon was a lay brother in the double monastery of which Saint Hilda was the Abbess. His gift of songcraft was miraculously bestowed and his first utterances were of the worlds beginning. I have here three translations of this passage plus the Old English original. Here are the key lines in the original Old English Language: Heben til hrofe The middungeard Eci Dryetin; Firum foldu haleg scopen; moneynnes uard, aefter tiadae fres allmneetig.

The translation from the Heath Readings in the Literature of England reads: Now are we to praise the Guardian of heaven, The Creators might and his minds most thought, The glorious Fathers work; how he each of wonders, Lord everlasting, the beginning established. He at first shaped for the off-spring of men, Heaven for a roof, Holy Creator; The middle-yard then mankinds Warder, Eternal God; and after arranged Lands for men the Lord Almighty.

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The Norton Anthology of English Literature has this, not attempting a versification but only a more literal prose version: Now we must praise Heaven-Kingdoms Guardian, the Creators might and his minds plan, the work of the Glory-Father, when he of every wonder, Eternal Lord, the beginning ordered. He first created for mens sons heaven as a roof, Holy Creator; then middle-earth Mankinds Guardian, Eternal Lord, afterwards made for men the earth, the Master Almighty. And finally, here is the translation of Margaret Williams in Word-Hoard: Now must we praise the might of the Ruler the work of the glory-Father. He made the beginning, He first shaped the skies for a roof, Then afterwards made the earth, Almighty Ruler heavens Keeper, and His Hearts thought, Of every wonder everlasting Lord. for the children of men holy Maker. mankinds Keeper the soil for man, the endless Lord.

Williams translation seems to me the clearest, and since she was a scholar of the Old English language, I tend to trust her rendering more than that of the other two. The other translations seem to indicate two separate places a middle-earth created first and then afterwards the earth or lands for men. But the significance of God as mankinds Keeper or Warder, the same God Who afterwards arranged or made the earth or the soil for man, renders this separation dubious at best. In Williams translation, the afterwards belongs both to the earth and the soil, to the middle-yard and the lands for men. But the Old English itself places aefter tiadae literally in an after time or day and this could possibly be referring to the lines of Genesis where God, in the beginning, created the heavens and the earth and then afterwards, on the succeeding days of Creation week, made the soil to yield the plants, and so on. All in view of mans creation on the Sixth Day. Caveat lector and beware of translations!

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Genesis B
The poem known only as Genesis B belongs to the time of Caedmon (6th or 7th century) and is often cited as one of the main sources for the character of Satan and the description of his Fall in Miltons Paradise Lost. The Old English is far more graphic and concise. Furthermore, there is not a hint of the classical pagan influence in the Old English poem. I give here the portion that most clearly reveals the Biblical cosmology and the position of middle-earth: Then the All-powerful how His angel began to rise against Him, foolishly against his Lord, Then was the good One wroth in His Heart. of hard hell-torment God cast him hence in the deep dales, the fiend with all his companions. through a long space, those angels, to hell, by the Lord to devils, they would not serve. deep under earth set them, defeated, There in the evening to each of the fiends then in the dawn frost fiercely cold, Then great anguish they were tormented, Then for the first time with Gods adversaries. The height of heaven, heard all that, in his great pride to speak haughty words for he must pay the price. . .

He must send to the depths one who fought against Heavens King. and threw him to hell where he changed to a devil, They fell from heaven three days and nights, and were all changed because in deed and word For this in a worse place Almighty God in swart hell. time without end comes endless fire, drives the eastern wind, ever fire or frost each one must have; their world was turned, was hell filled But angels held where they do God homage.

There is yet more description of hell, but the place of hell is clear: it is in the deep dales that are deep under earth. Equally clear is the direct opposite, the height of heaven. The Old English poet had a very clear and strong sense of the directions that are necessary to know for eternal salvation. And where else could we be situated but here on middle-earth, journeying inevitably towards one or the other place.

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The Dream of the Rood


The theme of The Jeweled Cross was a constant one from the time of Cynewulf in the 9th century on into the Middle Ages. The version preserved in the Vercelli Book dates to the 10th century. Williams says of this poem, In a dream, the Rood itself had spoken, in perhaps the greatest utterance of our Old English tongue. In the lines that just precede the reference to middle-earth, there is a notable allusion to Mary, the Mother of God. The Cross speaks: Once was I the greatest of torments, most hateful to men, until I made wide the way of life to speech-bearers. Lo, He has honoured me, over all the trees of the wood, even as Almighty God, honoured His Mother, the most worthy Now I bid thee, tell of this sight unveil in words since God Almighty for the many sins and for Adams deed There He tasted death, With great might, Then He mounted to Heaven; into this middle-earth on Doomsday, Almighty God, Then will He give, judgment to each one, in the swift-passing the Prince of Glory, He, the Keeper of Heaven, for mankinds sake Mary Herself, of all women. my beloved one, to other men; that this wood is glorious suffered on it of all mankind done long ago. yet the Lord arose so to help men. thither shall He come to seek mankind the Lord Himself, and His angels with Him. He Who wields doom forever, as he earned it before days of life.

In these few lines all of time is gathered up and centered on this middle-earth, the unique place of the Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Redemption and Last Judgment.

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Cynewulf: the Christ


This late 8th or early 9th century poem in three magnificent parts celebrates the Incarnation, the Ascension and the Day of Judgment. Again, earth is the central place in the universe. The poem contains many notable references of which I will quote the most relevant to our theme of middleearth. The first part of the poem, Advent, begins with a direct address to the Lord of Glory as the Head of a mighty Hall that throughout earths dwelling / all that have eyes / may wonder evermore, . . . until at last the work of creation has need that its Craftsman come, the King Himself, / and make better / what now lies broken, / the house "neath its roof . . . Earth is here pictured as a house, a broken house, situated beneath the roof of Heaven. And so, the King Himself, the mighty Craftsman Himself, must come to make better the broken world. And here is how He comes: a stainless maiden, and without man that the young bride Never was it so in the wide world, secret was it kept, All ghostly grace there are many things through Lifes Beginner which had lain dim far-seeing prophets songs, ... Young was the woman, whom He chose for Mother, was the wonder wrought, brought forth her Bairn. before or since such Child-bearing; Gods mystery. goes throughout earths realm, became enlightened lore of long ago in dark shadows, ere the Powerful One came,

It is clear that earths realm, wide world and all such phrases could be interchanged with middle earth. After a prayer of praise to our blissful Lady, the poet has Mary Herself speak: Lo, the Day-Spring, sent to men soothfast beam more bright than stars givest light forever brightest Angel over this middle-earth, of the very Sun Thou Thyself to time going by.

Here again is the emphasis upon God as Light and the analogy that the poet finds between God and the Sun that enlightens all even as does Lifes Beginner Himself. In the following passage, we see not only the allusions to earth but the transformation of the old pagan notion of heroes and their relationship to their lord. In the poem it becomes entirely Christian, as the poet addresses Our Lady: Lo, thou the glory purest of women of the great earth over all the world

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of all who have been how right it is all heroes on earth with blithe mood of the Noblest One, So too the highest Christs thanes, that thou art Lady of the glorious armies living under the heavens For thou alone thought gloriously that thou would bring to thy Maker give it, sinless. will such another a maiden ring-adorned heaven-homeward her bright treasure.

since time began, that all voices, hail thee, and say that thou art the bride the skys King. in the heavens, cry out and sing by thy holy might of the race of men and of all hell-dwellers. of all mankind in thy strong mind thy maidenhood, Not again come of men who will thus send with ever pure heart

That Our Lady and her Immaculate nature are absolutely necessary for the Incarnation is obvious to this most Catholic poet. People today, especially parents, should notice that there is no such sense of divine Faith in either Tolkiens Middle Earth or in Lewis Narnia. Such fantasy worlds are, then, most emphatically from the Father of Lies, Lucifer himself. The poem ends with the poets vision of Heaven a strong interlacing of the natural and the supernatural, so typical of the very literal Old English minds way of seeing Reality. There is nothing like the Catholic world view of this poem in modern literature. Certainly there is nothing like it in Lewis Narnia or Tolkiens Middle Earth.

Andreas
Margaret Williams tells us that Legend had long been busy with the tale of the dispersal of the Apostles to teach all nations, and the kernel of the stories was that of the Sortes Apostolorum, the drawing of lots which sent the twelve thanes of the Lord to the four parts of the earth. A great literature grew up around these stories of the Apostles and their adventures, especially their sufferings and deaths. Williams says that the Old English poet in this story of St. Andrew along with St. Matthew in the City of the Cannibals knew his Beowulf and modeled his St. Andrew on the Old English hero. So he calls the Apostles twelve glorious heroes and a Princes thanes. But his thinking is sound and he is quick to identify the evil Druid-craft that twisted their wit / the inner vision of men and the hearts in their breasts, leading to such atrocities as those of the cannibals. Towards the end of the poem, St. Andrew, worn out with toil and suffering, hears the Voice of Our Lord saying to him: Lament not thy path of woe, O loved man

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it is not unbearable. and will set my guard My might is above all

I hold thee dear, in power about thee. on this mid-earth.

St. Andrew is healed and lives to undertake many further journeys and sufferings for the Faith. A good example of his exploits is the story of a great flood that leaves many dead bodies strewn about. Andreas prayed that the dead bodies on the plains might return to life, and they rose to their feet, begging to receive the true faith and the bath of Baptism: Then was Baptism nobly to the earls, rightly preached, to all city-dwellers, given to the people, and Gods law round in the land and a church hallowed.

The reference to mid-earth here is most obviously a denotation of the entire world because Gods might cannot be limited and it is said here, clearly, to be above all / on this mid-earth. Also, we can note that there was no such concept in the mind of the poet or of St. Andrew as that of Baptism of desire. If a miracle was required for the salvation of men of good will, a miracle was supplied.

The Panther: with a digression on some literary techniques


This poem contains two references to middle-earth but it also supplies an excellent example of the difference between analogy, symbol and allegory, as literary techniques or devices. It is my opinion that most people fail to see that C. S. Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia attempts an allegory but fails and ends with a poor analogy or a blurred symbol in his Lion, Aslan. Tolkien, on the other hand, was quite outspoken about his dislike of allegory and indeed, his work employs neither allegory nor analogy (the rings of power are actual magical entities, as are the rings in the first book of Narnia, The Magicians Nephew). Rather, Tolkien has invented and brought to magnificent literary fruition an entire mythology, something quite different from either allegory, symbol or analogy. This is so because a mythology is an unabashed reality of its own in the mind of its inventor even if others may characterize it as fantasy or fiction. In the case of Tolkien, the readership (and in the case of the films, the viewers) have agreed to call his work fantasy-adventure because the world of the Hobbits and of Middle Earth is another world from this one, or, as Tolkien himself described it, a sub-creation. He was quite accurate in his invention of this term for his sub-creation does, indeed, come from below as do all goblins, elves, dwarves and other fairy-tale creatures. Any reader of The Magicians Nephew (Book I of the Chronicles of Narnia) will notice that the Panther of the Old English poem is remarkably like Narnias Aslan, so much so that the inference seems inescapable that Lewis took his inspiration for Aslan from this very poem. One can see, however, that the Panther is an analogy in the Old English poem whereas Aslan is something else a frayed symbol, an unsuccessful allegory. In the poem, the analogy is established by means of three similes and three direct references to

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the old Dragon. The analogy is based on the Scripture, Osee 5-14: I am become like a lioness to Ephraim, and like a lions whelp to the house of Juda. In the Greek version of the Physiologus (from whence came the English Bestiaries), the lioness is termed a panther. The whole point of the ancient genre of animal tales was simply to draw out analogies between men and beasts for the purpose of making a moral point. Aesop did this with his Fables and in modern America, Joel Chandler Harris did it with his Uncle Remus Tales. Here is the Old English poem of The Panther: There are many beings unnumbered may reckon rightly And thus widely are the multitudes who live in the fields, the bright-earth-bosom, the swing of salt waves. telling the nature famous among men how it dwells in its home, in the dune-caverns. by the name of Panther. in their wisdom of that lone-goer. kindly disposed, with him at all times doing every evil to him Such is the marvellous beast with every colour. a man holy in soul, was fair, and stained with braided colours each peerless, It was brilliant; each colour shimmered, ever beautiful. lovesome and gracious; mild and even-tempered, to any creature, Thus the children of men speak in writings He is friendly to all, save to the dragon only. he lives at enmity, that he may. shining wonderfully A hero has said, that Josephs tunic with every dye, each of the very brightest, shining to every one. So was the beasts hue. (simile 1) brighter and more radiant, fairer than the other, He has a nature he is kind, doing no evil save the poisonous foe, throughout this middle earth whose nature no man or count their kinds around the world of beasts and birds even as water circles brimful, roaring, We have heard someone of a marvellous wild beast, in a far land, seeks a domain That beast is called

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his old enemy, Often, glad of the feasting after his meal in a hidden corner There the noble one, is lost in slumber, on the third day most winsome of melodies After the voice the meadow-place, sweeter and stronger than blossoming plants than any other Then from the camps and the city dwellings, fares through the fields, and great companies, men with spears after the voice So is the Lord God, kind in heart with every blessing, dealer of poison; whom He shut up and fettered there bound with dire need. He rose from the grave. He suffered for three days, Victory-giver. fair and winsome So to that fragrance from every land from every corner Said the wise man, they are manifold good things unstinted for our souls need. and the only hope

as I said before. when he has found food, he seeks his rest of the hill caves. for the space of three nights overcome with sleeping; a song comes, from the wild ones mouth. a fragrance fills a fair breath, than other odours and wood blooms, of earths adornments. and the kings palaces a mighty throng folk in crowds going in hosts hurry like animals and the fair fragrance. giver of joys, (simile 2) to all creatures save to the Dragon, he is the old foe in a land of torments, with fiery chains, And on the third day Thus death for us Prince of Angels, It was a sweet odour round the whole world. truth-fast men (simile 3) come in throngs of the earths surface. holy Paul: throughout the middle-earth, that He gives us in grace Father Almighty of all creation

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above and beneath.

That is a fair fragrance. (Ephesians 2:17)

There is no confusion of meanings here. The analogy is crystal clear, made so especially by the similes and by the reference to the dragon foe. The panther is true to his own animal nature and true to the nature of Christ only at certain points, not at all points. This is what is meant by the saying that an analogy always limps. A symbol, like an analogy, focuses on one or more central points of resemblance and makes them concrete. Thus the Phoenix symbolizes the Resurrection of Christ and the Panther symbolizes Our Lords Humanity. But Aslan is a confusing symbol and a poor analogy. The points of the attempted analogysymbol-allegory are falsified. For example, Our Lord was sacrificed on a wooden Cross, not stabbed on a stone table as Aslan was. The point of this discrepancy is enough to falsify the symbol. A good allegory is always transparent. It is an abstraction made concrete. The Seven Capital Sins in Piers Plowman and the Slough of Despond in Pilgrims Progress cannot be missed or mistaken. But an analogy does not involve an abstraction. The Panther is not an abstraction but a concrete symbol. And he is compared to God only as Redeemer: His sleep of death and Resurrection by which He conquers the Dragon-Satan. Then men hunt the Panther to kill him as they did Our Lord, but end by thronging after the sweetness of His Voice and the fair fragrance of His Holiness. This is a mystical blending of meanings. (Cf. Canticle of Canticles, 1:2-3; 2:8,14 and 5:2.) Lewis attempts to make Aslan Creator-Redeemer-Sanctifier all at once, but his being on hand to save the children from every trap into which they fall makes him resemble more the Superheroes of the comics than God. The Panther conveys both Humanity and Transcendence. Aslan conveys neither. He never rises above the heroic-animal-human and really sinks quite low in his relations with the two girls where he resembles a house-pet much more than God. The Panther, on the other hand, ascends to supernatural truth in his likeness, by analogy, with Christ. For all his learning and knowledge of literature, Lewis failed in his attempt to make a convincing symbol or allegory of Christ in Aslan. I think, however, that this failure of his was not due to any lack of literary skill or knowledge on his part, for he was one of the great talents of English literature in the 20th century. His failure was due, rather, to his lack of a Catholic sense of the Truths of Faith, especially those of the supernatural order. He had no sense of Who Christ our Lord really is. Like the Arian Milton, he probably knew more about the Devil than about God, as evidenced by The Screwtape Letters.

The Phoenix, Piers Plowman and Dante


The poem of The Phoenix already looked at with reference to cosmogony, is also an analogypoem with a central symbol, the phoenix-bird. Williams says: The Phoenix easily passed into Christian art as the symbol of the Resurrection of Christ and of the final resurrection of man at the last day,

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for the gleaming imagery of the East served well as a sign of the mystery of light triumphant. The latter part of the poem is original to the Old English poet and makes an elaborate, but none the less poetic application of the tale of the sun-bird to Christian doctrine. Here is the ending of the Phoenix-poem with the explanation of the poets purpose replete with similes:

And let not any man my poem together with lying words: of Jobs saying. stirring in his breast made glorious I doubt not that in my nest weary of body on a long journey gloomy for old deeds And then after death, as the Phoenix-bird, after my arising joy with the Lord, . . . the might of Gods Bairn, when he wakens again in the life of life, So has the Healer through His bodys sundering, even as the Phoenix with sweet spices the fairest flowers

think that I weave or write my song let him hear the wisdom Through the Spirits glory the man spoke thus, he uttered these words: in the thoughts of my heart the death-bed chosen for me, I shall go then clothed with clay, in the depths of the dust. through the Lords grace, new in spirit I shall forever So the Phoenix beacons young in the land from out his ashes strong-limbed. given help to us life without end, has laden his feather-wings and winsome blooms, that spring on the earth.

Just as the poet of the Panther poem, the poet here, too, makes clear his analogies with similes. Earlier in this same poem there is this reference to middle-earth: He flies, joy of birds, the blossoming ground, the wide stretches

From the green earth, And thus seeks Of the middle earth.

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Middle Earth in Old English poetry is clearly the entire surface of the earth where mankind dwells and where the great events of the Incarnation and Redemption took place. The passage just quoted recalls the Old English habit of repetition. Thus, the green earth, the blossoming ground and the wide stretches / of the middle earth are all poetic synonyms. Rounding out the entire cosmology of the universe as pictured in Old English poetry is the opening passage of Piers Plowman, the great Dream-Vision allegory, an ascetical-mysticaltheological alliterative poem whose versification was newly revived in the 14th century after the French influence of the Conquest (1066) had so changed the sound of English poetry, a change typified by Chaucer. William Langland constructed his long poem on the same cosmological basis as the great Mystery plays of his time. There is Heaven high up in the roof, there is Hell beneath, and there between is the field full of folk who journey over middle earth: Then began I to dream that I was in a wilderness, As I beheld to the east I saw a tower on a toft a deep dale beneath with deep ditches and dark, A fair field full of folk of all manner of men, . . . a marvellous dreaming wist I never where. high to the sun well made and trimmed, and a dungeon therein, and dreadful of sight. found I there between,

Finally, there is Dantes Divine Comedy built upon the same divinely revealed cosmology. The poet enters Hell from the Dark Wood of Error in the middle of his life and of Earth from whence he descends to the uttermost depths of Hell and then ascends through Purgatory to the highest heavens of the Beatific Vision. Dante is rightly called the Herald and Morning Star of the Renaissance because in his Comedia, heroes and figures of paganism are brought into the poets Christian world with all their paganism not only intact but quite virulent. But all that is matter for another study. Truly, it was not a matter of indifference that the Holy Ghost inspired St. Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century in the very thick of the Renaissance-Revolt to write his work on The Discernment of Spirits. How we need this Gift of Discernment today, especially if we are parents or teachers responsible for the nourishment that is provided for the minds and hearts of children.

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Epilogue
With real Middle Earth gone from the vision of men, many false worlds, false prophets and false Christs have arisen. Such are Narnia, Tolkiens Middle Earth, Aslan, Gandalf and Dumbledore, Harry Potter, Digory and Polly, Frodo and Sam, not to mention Superman, etc. It was the Copernican Revolution and its Poster-Boy Galileo that shattered with the force of an atomic bomb from Hell, the divinely revealed cosmology that truthfully and effectively taught men from whence they came, where they were situated for the journey and where lay their ultimate destiny. Places and directions are supremely important. Today, however, we live in an artificially constructed universe where men go where no man has ever gone before nor should go, both within the body and beyond the Earth. Only God is able to restore sanity to Church and World. Before Supernatural sanctity can blossom again, there must be restored the foundation of a sane and true natural order. It will happen. It will come. Our Lady has promised it!

April 27, 2002 Feast of St. Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Catechism. And Saturday of Our Lady.

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Bibliography
Crombette, Fernand. If the World Only Knew: Fernand Crombette, His Life and Works. By Noel Derose. Translation from French. CESHE, France, 1996. Heath Readings in the Literature of England. Selected and Edited by Tom Peete Cross and Clement Tyson Goode. D.C. Heath and Co., 1927. Horvat, Marian Therese, Ph.D. Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for our Times. 1999. Stories and Miracles of Our Lady of Good Success. 2002. P. O. Box 23l35, Los Angeles, CA 90023. www.TraditionInAction.org Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. I. New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1962. Williams, Margaret. Word-Hoard: Passages from Old English Literature from the Sixth to the Eleventh Centuries. Translated and Arranged by Margaret Williams. New York: Sheed and Ward, l940. Glee-Wood: Passages from Middle English Literature from the Eleventh to the Fifteenth Centuries. Sheed and Ward, 1949. __________________

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Supplement to The Real Middle Earth

Saint Patrick, Bishop and Confessor (c 385-46l)


Three are the abodes subject to the Almighty Hand of God; that on high, that in the depths, and that which is between; of which the first is named the Kingdom of God, or the Kingdom of Heaven, the lowest is called hell, and the middle abode is the present world, or this earth. Of these abodes the two extremes are wholly opposed, the one against the other; and between them is no bond of any kind. And indeed what fellowship hath light with darkness, or Christ with Belial. (II Cor.vi.14) But the middle abode hath many resemblances to the two extremes. Whence it. has light and darkness, cold and heat, it has pain and it has sound health, sadness and joy, love and hate, good as well as bad, just and unjust, servants and masters, servitude and dominion, hunger and satiety; life and death, and endless such similarities. Of all which the one half has likeness unto heaven, the other unto hell. For the commingling together of good and evil belongs to this world; but in the Kingdom of God there are none evil, but all are good; in hell none are good, but all are evil. And either place is filled from the middle abode. For of the people of this middle world, some are raised to heaven; others are borne down into hell. Like are joined to like, that is, the good are joined to the good, the evil to the evil; just men are joined to the just angels, and sinful men to the angels that have sinned; the servants of God are united to God; the servants of the devil are united with the devil; the Blessed are invited to possess the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world and the Accursed are cast down into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels (Mt.xxv.34,4l). The joys of the Kingdom of God no man can tell, not even conceive or understand, while he is yet clothed in the flesh; for they are greater and more wondrous than they are imagined or conceived to be. Whence it is written: that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him (I Cor. ii.9). For the Kingdom of God is greater than all report, better than all praise of it, more manifold than all knowledge, more perfect than every conceivable glory. The miseries of hell, as they truly are, no tongue can tell; no mind conceive; for in their reality they are far more dreadful than they are thought to be. And likewise the Kingdom of God is so full of light, and peace, and

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charity, and wisdom, and glory, and honesty, and sweetness, and loving kindness, and every unspeakable and unutterable good, that it can neither be described nor envisioned by the mind. But the abode of hell is so full of darkness, of discord, of hate, of folly, of unhappiness, of pain, of burning heat, of thirst, of inextinguishable fire, of sadness, of unending punishment, and of every indescribable evil that neither can it be told nor yet conceived by man. The citizens of heaven are the just and the angels, whose King is Almighty God; the people of hell are evil men and the demons, whose prince is the Devil. The Just are filled with the vision of the holy people of God and of the angels, and, above all, by the Vision of God Himself. The evil and the impious are tormented by the sight of the damned, and the demons, and, above all, by the sight of the Devil himself, In the Kingdom of God nothing is desired that may not be found; but in hell, nothing is found that is desired. In the Kingdom of God is nothing that does not delight and satisfy; while in the deep lake of unending misery, nothing is seen, nothing is felt, which does not displease, which does not torment. In the Kingdom of God every good abounds and there is nothing of evil; in the prison of hell every evil abounds and there is nothing of good. In the Kingdom of Heaven no one who is unworthy is received; but no one worthy, no just one, is brought down to hell. In the eternal Kingdom there be life without death, truth without any falsehood, and happiness without shadow of unrest or change, in Christ Jesus Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth world without end, Amen. From the Book of the Three Habitations.

Excerpt given in The Sunday Sermons of the Gnat Fathers. Vol. I. Trans. and Ed. by M. F. Toal, D.D., Chicago, Regnery, 19S5.

Paula Haigh

Nazareth Village I - #102

POB 1000

Nazareth KY 40048

USA

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Works (except C 751) of Paula Haigh 2002 A.D.


I.D.#
C282 C358 C317 E332 C184 C241 C294 C295 C296 C304 C305 C306 C310 C327 C329 C330 C341 C343 C350 C357 C365 C380 C439 C440 C441 C442 C443 C554 C597 C630 C703 C751 C805 C899 C900 C901 C903 C904 C905 C907 C908 C909 C912

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yr pages

Thirty Theses Against Theistic Evolutionism .................................... revised ............................... $6 .........1999 ...101 Patristic / Medievel Thought on the Hexaemeron by William A Wallace, O.P. ..........................................a summary by Haigh ...................................1976 .....32 Metaphysics of a Womans Headcovering...................................................................................................1989 .....04 Proofs for the Existence of God & Creation ................................................................................................1990 .....07 Josef Cardinal Ratzingers Idea of Creation ............................................................................................1991 .....08 Aquinas: Creationist for the 21st Century.....................................................................................................1991 .....09 Galileos Heresy...........................................................................................................................................1992 .....34 Do You Know Lucy?................................................................................................................................1991 .....04 Rev Stanley Jaki: Sophist................................................................... revised .............................................1999 .....10 Rev Stanley Jaki: Revisionist............................................................. revised .............................................1999 .....15 Rev Stanley Jaki: Surrealist ............................................................... revised .............................................1999 .....08 Rev Stanley Jaki: Evolutionist ........................................................... revised .............................................1999 .....34 Entropy & Eden ...........................................................................................................................................1992 .....29 Feminism: The Anti-Mary ...........................................................................................................................1992 .....05 New Age Synthesis ......................................................................................................................................1992 .....08 Why God? Atheism vs. Theism: The Evolution Connection .......................................................................1992 .....04 My Life With Thomas Aquinas, Carol Robinson ............................book review.........................................1992 .....06 Two Encyclicals for Modernists ..................................................................................................................1992 .....09 The Goddess Myth..........................................................................on feminism.........................................1992 .....08 Galileos Empiricism ..................................................................................................................... $5 .........1992 .....89 Was It / Is It Infallible? [more on Galileo] ...................................................................................................1992 .....34 Observations of Primary & Secondary Causality.........................................................................................1993 .....03 Utopia: Nowhere, Now Here ............... by S. Hertz '93 .........book review by Haigh .................................1993 .....04 The Thought of Their Heart ................. by S. Hertz '94 .........book review by Haigh .................................1994 .....02 Beyond Politics .................................... by S. Hertz '95 .........book review by Haigh .................................1995 .....05 Sin Revisited ......................................... by S. Hertz '96 .........book review by Haigh .................................1996 .....02 On the Contrary ................................... by S. Hertz '97 .........book review by Haigh .................................1997 .....02 New Catechism vs Pascendi .....................................................re: Evolutionism ......................................1994 .....04 Defense of the Catholic Faith......................................................thumbnail sketch .....................................1994 .....01 St Augustine: An Evolutionist?....................................................................................................................1994 .....03 Creation Is Not A Miracle............................................................................................................................1995 .....01 The Death Penalty................................. by S. Hertz ....................................................................................2001 .....05 Thomistic Principles ....................................................................................................................................1997 .....04 Brother Bryan's Book [Old Testament made easy-reading] .......................................................... $6 .........1999 ...101 From the Beginning [Modern Apostasy]Vol. I [theological]............................. Book .......... $12 .......2000 ...218 From the Beginning [Modern Apostasy]Vol. II [historical]............................... Book .......... $15 .......2000 ...320 True Science ................................................................................................................................................2000 .....01 The Cognitive Loop [physical evidences of the soul] ..................................................................................2000 .....21 19th C. Modernism: Cdl Nicholas Wiseman & Bp John Hedley... ............................ Book .......... $12... ....2000 ...189 Left Behind by Jenkins & LeHaye [ review of book series by Haigh] .........................................................2000 .....03 Haigh rebuttals Catholic Answers tract on Galileo .....................................................................................2001 .....11 Fairy-Land Is Hell & Magic Is Demon-Power (J. R. R. Tolkien & C. S. Lewis) .. Book .......... $10 .......2001 .....95 The Real Middle-Earth: A Study .............................(more on Tolkien & Lewis).......................................2002 .....29

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