¶ Nabuchodonosor king, unto all people, kindreds and tongues that dwell upon the whole earth: peace be multiplied among you, I thought it good to shew the tokens and marvelous works, that the high God hath wrought upon me. O how great are his tokens, and how mighty are his wonders? His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his power lasteth for ever and ever.
¶ I Nabuchodonosor being at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace, saw a dream, which made me afraid: and the thoughts that I had upon my bed, with the visions of mine head, troubled me. Then sent I out a commission, that all they which were of wisdom at Babylon should be brought before me, to tell me the interpretation of the dream. So there came the soothsayers, charmers, Caldees and conjurers of devils: to whom I told the dream, but what it be tokened, they could not shew me: till at the last, there came one Daniel (other wise called Balthasar, according to the name of my God) which hath the spirit of the holy Gods, in him: to whom I told the dream, saying: O Balthasar, thou prince of southsayers: For so much as I know, that thou hast the spirit of the holy Gods, and no secret is hid from thee: tell me therefore, what the vision of my dream (that I have seen) may signify. I saw a vision in my head upon my bed: and behold, there stood a tree upon the ground, which was very high, great and mighty: the highth reached unto the heaven, and the breadth extended to all the ends of the earth: his leaves were fair, he had very much fruit, so that every man had enough to eat therein. The beasts of the field had shadows under it, and the fowls of the air dwelt in the boughs thereof. Shortly, all creatures fed of it. I saw in my head a vision upon my bed: and behold, a watcher came down from heaven, and cried mightily, saying: Hew down the tree, break off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit abroad: that all the beasts may get them away from under him, and the fowls from his branches. Nevertheless leave the ground of his root still in the earth, and bind him upon the plain field, with chains of iron and steel. With the dew of heaven shall he be wet, and he shall have his part in the herbs of the ground with other wild beasts. That man's heart of his shall be taken from him, and a beast's heart shall be given him, till seven years be come and gone upon him. This errand of the watcher, is a commandment grounded and sought out in the counsel of him, that is most holy: to learn men for to understand, that the highest hath power over the kingdoms of men, and giveth them, to whom it liketh him, and bringeth the very outcasts of men over them. This is the dream, that I king Nabuchodonosor have seen. Therefore O Balthasar, tell thou me what it signifieth: for so much as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to shew me, what it meaneth. But thou canst do it, for the spirit of the holy Gods is in thee.
¶ Then Daniel (whose name was Balthasar) held his peace by the space of an hour and his thoughts troubled him. So the king spake, and said: O Balthasar, let neither the dream nor the interpretation thereof fear thee. Balthasar answered saying: O my lord, this dream happen to thine enemies, and the interpretation to thine adversaries. As for the tree that thou sawest which was so great and mighty, whose height reached unto the heaven, and his breadth in to all the world: whose leaves were fair, and the fruit much: under the which the beasts of the field had their habitation, and upon whose branches the fowls of the air did sit. Even thou (O king) art the tree, great and strong. Thy greatness increaseth, and reacheth unto the heaven, so doth thy power to the ends of the earth. But where as the king saw a watcher even an holy angel, that came down from heaven, and said: hew down the tree, and destroy it: yet leave the ground of the root in the earth: and bind him upon the plain field with chains of iron and steel: He shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and his part shall be with the beasts of the field, till seven years be come and gone upon him: This (O king) is the interpretation, yea it is the very device of him, that is highest of all, and it toucheth my lord the king. Thou shalt be cast out from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: with grass shalt thou be fed like an ox. Thou must be wet with the dew of the heaven: yea seven years shall come, and go upon thee, till thou know, that the highest hath power upon the kingdoms of men, and giveth them to whom he list. Moreover, where as it was said, that the root of the tree should be left still in the ground: it betokeneth, that thy kingdom shall remain whole unto thee, after thou hast learned to know, that the power cometh from heaven. Wherefore, O king, be content with my counsel, that thou mayest lose thy sins with righteousness, and thine offenses with mercy to poor people: for such things shall prolong thy peace.
¶ All these things touche the king Nabuchodonosor. So after twelve months, the king walked up and down in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon, and said: This is the great city of Babylon, which I myself (with my power and strength) have made a king's court, for the honour of my majesty. While these words were yet in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying: O king Nabuchodonosor, to thee be it spoken: Thy kingdom is departed from thee, thou shalt be cast out of men's company: thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, so that thou shalt eat grass like as an ox, till seven years be come and gone over thee: even until thou knowest, that the highest hath power upon the kingdoms of men, and that he may give them, unto whom it pleaseth him. The very same hour was this matter fulfilled upon Nabuchodonosor: so that he was cast out of men's company, and ate grass like an ox; His body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were as great as Aegles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
¶ When this time was past, I Nabuchodonosor lift up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding was restored unto me again. Then gave I thanks to the highest. I magnified and praised him that liveth for evermore, whose power endureth alway, and his kingdom from one generation to another: in comparison of whom all they that dwell upon the earth, are to be reputed as nothing. He handleth according to his will, among the powers of heaven and among the inhabiters of the earth: and there is none that may resist his hand, or say: what doest thou? At the same time was mine understanding given me again, and I was restored to the honour of my kingdom, to my dignity, and to my own shape again. My great estates and princes sought unto me, and I was set in my kingdom again, so that I had yet greater worship. Then did I Nabuchodonosor, love, magnify and praise the King of heaven: for all his works are true, and his ways right. As for those that go on proudly, he is able to bring them down.